The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

School Uniforms, on Balance, are Beneficial

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,921 times Debate No: 69081
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)




Schools uniforms, on balance, are beneficial. That's the resolution at hand.
BoP is shared, so con has to prove that uniforms won't be beneficial, while I have to prove that they are beneficial. I'd like some societal impacts not just "omg r rightzz!"

R1: acceptance and thanks
R2: constructive cases without rebuttals
R3: rebuttals of constructive cases
R4: defense of one's own case, crystalization of points, and telling judges why a certain side won the debate

1) Credible sources must be cited (books are OK but provide author and all that jazz)
2) Try to keep sources up-to-date (can't have a source from 1253 BC saying school uniforms are bad)
3) No semantics
4) No trolling
5) Not really a rule, but sarcasm and stuff is fine if you are using it to advance debate. Making jokes and having fun with the debate is GOOD, but not required or anything.
6) Stay on topic

With that said, good luck to con


I accept and look forward to a clashing debate on a rather simple topic.

Good luck pro!
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. By looking at his profile for just a few minutes I can see that he is a quality debater, which is pretty awesome. Looking forward to the clash.
I just want to give everyone this fact with a time frame, so they can check if either sides' sources are out of date or not:
The first school district in the USA to require all K-8 students to wear uniforms was in Long Beach, CA, in 1994
Deterance of Crime:
According to the University of Nevada, there are some pretty awesome benefits that occur when there are uniforms in place in public schools [1], such as less crime, less bullying, and even less gang involvement (pretty crazy to think that uniforms lead to less gangs). I have some numbers for you here, these were after two years of school uniform policy in Long Beach, California [2]:
  • Assault wiithin the school district dropped by 34%
  • Assault with a deadly weapon dropped by 50%
  • Fighting incidents went down by 51%
  • Sex offenses down by 74%
  • Robbery dropped by 65%
  • Possession of weapons (or weapon look-a-likes) dropped 52%
  • Possession of drugs (legal or otherwise) dropped by 69%
  • Vandalism dropped by 18%
Now, I know what you are thinking: "Is Long Beach, CA representative of America?" (I'm assuming that we both live in the USA by saying America), and the answer is pretty much mostly. But I understand that you want some more sources that back this up, and here you are: In 2012, there was a study conducted in Sparks Middle School, Nevada, which showed that after the schools there instuted school uniforms, there was a 63% decrease in some police log reports, and decreses (not mentioned in a number, but I assume drastically enough to be noted) in gang activity, student fights, graffity, property damage (to the schools) and battery [3].

Increased Productivity:
A letter published by the NASSP, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said that, "When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork" [4]. In 2010, the University of Houston conducted a study that showed that when elementary schools implemented school uniforms, the average test score for a girl went up by 3% [5]. Before I go on, I just want you to think about that statistic, and the implications of it. 3% less people failed the 3rd grade, all thanks to wearing something that was provided by a school, at little or no cost.
Here is a syllogism that I will provide to you:
  • Premise I: Things that indcrease productivity at low cost are beneficial
  • Premise II: School uniforms increase priductivity, and are of low cost (I will explain low cost in next contention)
  • Premise III: School uniforms are beneficial

This syllogism directly proves how I have successfully fulfilled my BoP to prove that, on balance, school uniforms are beneficial.

Low Cost.
I believe that this contention is pretty self-explanatory. Parents often reduce their financial burden due to low income when their children have only one type of clothes to wear to school, instead of having to buy a large variety, when most uniforms come with 2-3 pairs. In 2013, there was a study of 517 US school leaders that found that nearly 95% of them (exact statistic is 94%) believe that one of the main benefits to parents is that shcool uniforms are more cost-effective than regular apparel [6]. In this study, 77% of leaders estimated that the average annual cost of school uniforms per child (with replacements included due to accidents) is going to be less than or equal to $150 [6]. The student uniform compant, called French Toast (which is an awesome name) reportes that the average cost of their complete uniforms is about $45, and that most students only require about 2 sets (maybe 3 if they are accident prone), which means that the average cost per student per year is only going to be around $135 a year if they are clumsy, or $90 a year if they are pretty cautious (which most students are) [7].

Allows for free expression.
Now, before you start yelling in caps at me for making this rather offense-sided contention, just hear me out. I am pretty sure that I am going to be hearing the "but, uh, our students need their ability to creatively express themselves" argument, which is valid, but wrong. In 1969, the US Supreme Court (which I should remind you, is the Supreme Court of the Land), heard a case "Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District", which was about the ability of some teenagers to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War (which I support their right to do so), and they ruled that this was constitutional for the district to set up school uniforms, on the basis that the right of free speech "does not relate to regulation of the length of skirts or the type of clothing" [8]. That basically means that the Supreme Court, the guys that check if something is constitutional or not, said that school uniforms are. I mean, you can't really be standing up here and be preaching to me, "omg lexus, but what about the freedemomom of expersion?" (not an impression of you, just an impression of some uninformed people), when it is totally constitutional for schools to be setting up these kind of regulations.

[1]: "News." School Uniform Study: University of Nevada, Reno. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2015.
[2}: M. Sue Stanley, "School Uniforms and Safety," Education and Urban Society, Aug. 1996 (cannot list page numbers, this was throughout the book)
[3]: Claudene Wharton, "College of Education Researchers Conduct Study on Impacts of School Uniforms,", Apr. 23, 2013
[4]: Peter Caruso, "Individuality vs. Conformity: The Issue behind School Uniforms," NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) Bulletin, Sep. 1996
[5]: Elisabetta Gentile and Scott A. Imberman, "Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior,", Jan. 15, 2010
[6]: National Association of Elementary School Principals, "National Survey of School Leaders Reveals 2013 School Uniform Trends,", July 30, 2013
[7]: French Toast Official School Wear, "Why School Uniforms?," (accessed late 2014, sorry if out of date at current time)
[8]: David L. Hudson Jr., "Clothing, Dress Codes & Uniforms,", Apr. 1, 2002

Thanks for accepting, con. Looking forward to your case


I'd like to thank the Instigator of this debate for posting a great constructive case and now it is my turn to do mine. I, Con, will be taking the side that School uniforms, on balance, are not beneficial, meaning I if it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that uniforms do not bring benefits, even if there is no harm proved, then I have proved the topic and therefore should win. School uniforms are a burden, a hassle, and expensive from years and years of personal experience.

Burden of Proof:
Since the Instigator has not placed a burden upon himself, I'd like to take the opportunity to give her a 3-pronged burden that she must prove in order to win this debate.
1) School uniforms are an affordable solution to a multitude of problems.
2) Their benefits outweigh the harms (hence "on balance").
3) Evidence and hard statistics prove Pro's case without false causation or logical fallacies.
If any fragment of these branches are left unproved, then I advise the voters to vote for me.


Argument 1: Overpriced
Many school uniforms are not beneficial towards kids, their families, and their financial states since they are brutally overpriced for their quality. I can definitely say this out of my personal experience of attending a private school since preschool that requires uniforms. For non-formal days, one must wear a collared shirt, pants/shorts, and a belt (shoes not included in uniform but must be a certain color). On formal days, students are required to wear an oxford shirt, a blazer or v-neck sweater, a tie, dress shoes, black socks, and long pants. According to True Grits, a uniform provider to many including us, a pair of pants (65% polyester) costs $39.95, shorts (65% polyester) $37.95, shirts (65% polyester) $27.45, blazers (100% polyester) $141, v-neck sweaters (100% acrylic yarn) $40.95, and oxford shirts (40% polyester without collar sizes) $30.45 []. These articles of clothing are outrageously priced considering they are made mostly out of polyester and acrylic yarn, two extremely cheap discount designer fabrics. The same style polo shirt can be found for $8 at Target and is made with 100% cotton [] Pro says that uniforms financially help people. This argument proves otherwise.

Argument 2: omg lexus, but what about the freedomomom of expersion?
Whether the supreme court says it or not, I say it"school uniforms (on balance) are not beneficial because they take away freedom of "expersion" as Lexus likes to put it. One of the best portals for students to express themselves is clothing. If a student is a goth, he/she can wear black clothes. If a student is a golfer, he/she can wear golf clothes. If a student is a sports fan, he/she can wear a jersey. Heck, even If a student is a serial killer, he can wear a creepy mask. These are all examples of freedom of expression, something that everybody has somewhat of a right to. To prove this through the use of evidence, in a common case known as Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, the Supreme court ruled in favor of school uniforms saying "it can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." Another case resolved by the US First Circuit Court of Appeals is Richards v. Thurston, where the court ruled that "compelled conformity to conventional standards of appearance" does not "seem a justifiable part of the educational process." [] This argument is impactful because, with self-expression comes a multitude of benefits. The 6 main benefits are becoming happier, having an opportunity to help others, gaining a form of release, self-discovery, influencing others, and helping you connect with others you might not normally connect with. []

Argument 3: Key Findings of Proponents Are Inaccurate
Many proponents of this case try to prove that school uniforms are beneficial by citing a piece of evidence from the Long Beach School District to prove a direct correlation between uniforms and less crime. First of all, this piece of evidence is a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc, meaning "after it, therefore because of it". In short, this is a false cause because there are plenty of other variables than uniforms that could have affected the crime rates. Perhaps the DA's office established a new program to lower crime rates, there is no way of knowing whether uniforms actually caused a drop in crime rates. The second part of this argument is that the study itself quotes "it is not clear that these results are entirely attributable to the uniform policy". They admit to a false cause, further disproving much of the common proponent case.

Thank you for reading my speech. I look forward to some great refutations in the next round and wish luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2


Introduction and Important Procedural Matters
Thanks for a good constructive speech, I had a lot of fun reading it.

I'd first like to say, before any major rebuttals on my opponent's case, this is my burden of proof (I thought it would be obvious but I have to explain what it is, since my opponent has declared what my BoP is, when I am the only one with the right to do so):
  1. Enactment of school uniforms have more benefits than harms (hence "on balance"), by use of statistics or logical syllogisms (or otherwise direct evidence)
  2. School uniforms solve more problems than they produce (kind of like on balance, but kind of different)

This is what my opponent has to prove in order to meet their burden of proof:

  1. Enactment of school uniforms have more harms than benefits (hence "on blance"), by use of statistics or logical syllogisms (or otherwise direct evidence)
  2. School uniforms produce more problems than they solve (kind of like on balance, but kind of different).
We have the same kind of BoP, just inverses of each other. Thanks for letting me clarify this aspect, didn't know it was so important.
Rebuttals: (I will italicize my opponent's argument and then use normal formatting for how I respond)

"[uniforms are] brutally overpriced for their quality."
I have evidence that is in direct refutation with this. In my 3rd contention, labelled "Low Cost", I prove that there is at least one school uniform manufacturer that has very low prices for high quality uniforms (roughly $45 a year per student per uniform) (this is from French Toast (again, awesome name)). I also have a source from 2013 that said that 77% of school leaders believe that the annual cost per student is going to be under $150 a year, replacements included.
Like most things, there is going to be one kind of "eletist" competitor in the market (just look at iPhone's at their relatively high cost), and I think that TrueGrits is this very thing.

"One of the best portals for students to express themselves is clothing."
I'd have to argue that writing is the one of the best portals for creativity, but I understand what you are trying to convey. People in most public schools that have school uniforms would still have the ability to express themselves, whether it be by wearing their hair differently than normal, wearing a bow, wearing armbands, or something related. The right to express oneself remains intact, thus this point is negated.

"Heck, even If a student is a serial killer, he can wear a creepy mask"
Not sure many schools are open to serial killers. Do you have a source to back this up? (sarcasm)

"[freedom of expression is] something that everybody has somewhat of a right to"
I have sufficiently proved that the freedom to express themselves remains intact, so this isn't a valid argument. Also, saying "somewhat" kind of diminishes that impact, since you are saying that nobody has the absolute, inalienable right to express themselves.

"the Supreme court ruled in favor of school uniforms"
Concession? Having the Supreme Court vote in your favor probably means you are correct in the modern-era. Even if this was just a simple typo, the Supreme Court released the following comment when they voted in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District: “[schools have the right to establish rules which regulate] the length of skirts or the type of clothing, to hair style,…[or] aggressive, disruptive action or even group demonstrations.” (quote found here:

"First of all, this piece of evidence is a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc"
Not true. If the city made no Ordinances in that time that reduced the instances of rape or violence, then we can obviously see that this is attributed to school uniforms. I get where you are coming from, but that's not true since the city didn't do anything crime-wise during that time really, just implemented school uniforms.

"The second part of this argument is that the study itself quotes "it is not clear that these results are entirely attributable to the uniform policy"."
Most likely not entirely attributable, but pretty darn attributable. There are variables, sure, but none that can impact crime as much as school uniforms.

"further disproving much of the common proponent case."
My point remains intact, since you have not really proven that school uniforms are not the cause of this sudden drop in crime in the area.
Closing Remarks:
I am winning this round because:
    • I have maintained my BoP with proper use of statistics and logical syllogisms
    • I have proved that school uniforms are beneficial on balance
    • I have successfully refuted my opponent's case, thus forcing ourselves to vote in affirmation due to no valid points on his side
    • My opponent has not successfully proved that school uniforms are not beneficial, thus not holding up his part of the BoP. (I stated in R1 that both sides have the BoP, so he should have tried to uphold his BoP)
    • I have used more credible sources than my opponent.
Looking forward to your rebuttals


Pokemonzr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited this round and I cannot defend my case from his rebuttals, since he made none.
I will however be telling the voters why I have won:
  1. My "deterrence of crime" argument outweighs my opponent's "cost" argument (which I refuted)
  2. I have successfully met my BoP
  3. I haven't forfeited
  4. I have successfully refuted my opponent's case, however he has not done the same to me, leaving ALL of my points true by default.
  5. I have proven that, on balance and with all arguments considered, school uniforms are beneficial.
  6. I have used stastics and logical syllogisms to prove my arguments, which I must do in order to fulfill my BoP
Hope my opponent is okay since he hasn't been on in two days. Thanks for a fun debate


Sorry for ruining your debate. I ran out of time. I was really busy since I was at Seattle over the weekend for a big debate tournament, and now I'm sick.

Btw your case would have been easy to refute :P

Vote Pro
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
You can just post links.
MLA just looks better to me but it doesn't matter.
Posted by Pokemonzr 2 years ago
Do I have to do a works cited at the end or can I just post links? That is unclear to me.
Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
Nah. I think that we can get into that within the constructive cases themselves (cases was best word I could think of). This debate is pretty straightforward no need to have all this fancy mumbo jumbo
Posted by NNEye 2 years ago
Additionally, since Pro is in affirmation of the statement and has the burden of proof, Pro should be the first to have an opening statement rather than Con.
Posted by Lexus 2 years ago
I'll edit it thanks for input. I'd just like immediate debate haha
Posted by NNEye 2 years ago
The debate is structured such that pro can have a say without refutation in an entire round. Better would be:

R1: Setting of terms and acceptance

R2: Opening statements

R3: Rebuttals

R4: Rebuttals or conclusions.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Texas14 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Better arguments and con forfeited.