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The Contender
Con (against)

School uniforms should be banned

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2017 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 910 times Debate No: 99603
Debate Rounds (5)
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Round 1: Acceptance, you may introduce your position with no arguments or rebuttals
Round 2-3: Arguments
Round 4: Rebuttal, pick an argument from the opposing side and refute it
Round 5: Conclusion, you may conclude your position with no arguments or rebuttals

I believe school uniforms should be banned.


I accept. I personally think school uniforms should not be banned, but I think accepting this debate will help test my debating skills.
Debate Round No. 1


First of all, school uniforms restricts a student"s right to express themselves. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." [1] Yet, some schools still enforce students to wear clothes that mostly represent their school, but not their students themselves. Also, in several Supreme Court cases such as Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) , the Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 favor that "It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate" [2] which other cases had similar decisions as well. Therefore, uniforms should be considered a boundary to an individual"s personality and identity.



Decreased time In the morning spent getting dressed
Women spend nearly one year of their lives choosing what to wear in the morning[1]. This is way too much. With school uniforms it's simple you put on your skirt and blazer and head out the door. Getting ready in the morning can take up to an hour[2] minutes meaning students have to wake up earlier to get ready. The earlier they get up the more tired they would be meaning they would focus less in class. If their alarm doesn't go off they can be late for school meaning more class time. This may not be completely ended by the use of school uniforms, but it would certainly reduce the numbers.

Uniforms are safe
When walking home from school students wearing the wrong colour at the wrong time can get injured or killed. People have also been robbed for wearing expensive clothing(Jordan's, Gucci etc.). This wouldn't happen to students in uniforms because these misinterpretations wouldn't occur to someone in a shirt and dress pants[3].

[3]M. Sue Stanley, "School Uniforms and Safety," Education and Urban Society, Aug. 1996
Debate Round No. 2


Secondly, school uniforms don"t improve academic behavior. According to a national wide study of 10th graders conducted by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University discovered that "no effects of uniforms on absenteeism, behavioral problems, or substance use on campus" and "no effects" on "pro-school attitudes, academic preparedness, and peer attitudes toward school." (3)(4) A leader of the study, David L. Brunsma, PhD, found a "negative effect of uniforms on academic achievement" and that there is unchanged performance in children that attend elementary and middle schools. (3) Additionally, a 2009 study concluded that "no significant effects of school uniforms on performance on second grade reading and mathematics examinations, as well as on 10th-grade reading, mathematics, science, and history examinations... [I]n many of the specifications, the results are actually negative." (5) Based on the research, this demonstrates that school uniforms are ineffective towards curriculum activities and can be harmful to the education system. Thus, they are unnecessary to the learning environment.

(3) David L. Brunsma, The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us about American Education: A Symbolic Crusade, 2004
(4) David L. Brunsma and Kerry A. Rockquemore, "Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Use, and Academic Achievement," Journal of Educational Research, Sep./Oct. 1998
(5) Ryan Yeung, "Are School Uniforms a Good Fit?: Results from the ECLS-K and the NELS," Educational Policy, Nov. 2009


Schools are a place of learning
Schools are for education. You go there, you learn, you come home. You do not need the newest Jordan's and LAX 2 JFK to be successful in school. Uniforms do not impair on leaning. With the newest trends and how they look out of mind, students can focus on what matters: school.

Uniforms are cheaper
A new pair of Jordan's are 205 dollars. An LAX 2 JFK shirt is 35 dollars. Research has found that teenagers spend on average 21% of their earning on clothes[1] and $40 a week on clothes[2], most of this money coming from their parents[1]. If these teens had to wear uniforms then the money spent on clothes would be much less and remove a lot of the strain from the pockets of both them and their parents. The $2050 clothes would only be worn on weekends, so they wouldn't need a new outfit for everyday of the month[3]. The average cost for uniforms annually is about $249[4]. This is a significant difference. Though people complain about the price of uniforms, it's not too bad. You can also wear your uniform from the year prior if it still fits which saves you another $249.

Uniforms prepare students for the real world
Whereas dress codes are pretty relaxed allowing students to wear t-shirts, blue jeans and trainers, school uniforms prepare students for the real world. When you're an adult when you go to work you are wearing very close to how you're dressed in uniforms. It's dress shoes, khakis and dress shirts unless it's Friday. Schools are there to prepare children for the real world, what's a better way then giving them a dose of reality by putting them in monkey suits all day. That way they won't arrive to the office constantly adjusting their collar and scratching their pants. They would have had years of conditioning for it and would automatically know what to wear, what goes with what, how to tie a tie etc..

Uniforms can be individual
If you're desperate to be different than you can with creative ways to express your individuality. You can use scarves, lipticks, cool backpacks, hair dyes, hair does and countless other ways to make you stand out and be individual. The thing about school uniforms though is the choice. if you don't want to be different of bullied simply don't. When you choose your own clothes if you don't have an eye for fashion, don't have a bunch of money to put into expensive clothes or you have to wear hand me down there's no way to hide that. With uniforms if you want to blend in simply keep your hair normal and that's it, they have nothing to tease you on. Don't believe appearance is even a factor? Nearly half of girls get bullied because of it[5].

School uniforms encourage unity
School uniforms make students feel a sense of school pride being apart of a group of people dressed the same[6]. This feeling of unity can make people feel less excluded if they usually aren't part of a crowd and bring schools together. It's like a pep rally in every class.

Debate Round No. 3


"Decreased time in the morning getting dressed"
Even so, school uniforms deprive students of identification. Adults have the freedom to choose what they want to wear at any time, any wear. The average American lifespan is 79 years (6), and the average American public school offers 6.64 hours of education in the school day and 180 school days in the year (7). If a student spends his learning time from kindergarten to 12th grade, that"s about 15537.6 hours or about 2 years which is approximately 2.5% of their life spent in school. A good chunk of that time is spent during the stages of adolescence. Denying other clothing options from students may make them unprepared for the working world (8)(9). Finding a self-image is crucial during this period, and one of means of identification is clothing choices. (10)(11) With freedom of choice relating to clothing, students can find their individuality and develop it along the way as they reach the adult world, making them better prepared when it comes to dressing.

"Uniforms are safe"
Actually, uniforms can increase violence in schools. According to Tony Volk, PhD, an Associate Professor at Brock University says "Overall, there is no evidence in bullying literature that supports a reduction in violence due to school uniforms." (12) Also, a 2007 study found out that the average number of assaults that are increased by 14 per year in the most violent schools are caused by school uniforms. (13) Additionally, a 1999 study conducted by Texas Southern University concluded that school discipline incidents rose by 12% after introducing uniforms. (3) A similar situation in Miami-Dade County showed fights in middle school nearly doubled after one year of mandatory school uniforms. (14)(15) This conveys that school uniforms causes more harm than good, as shown by the examples above.

(8) Grace Chen, "Public School Uniforms: The Pros and Cons for Your Child,", Apr. 24, 2014(12
(9) Beth Asaff, "Pros and Cons of School Uniforms," (accessed Aug. 20, 2014)
(10) Melinda Swafford, Lee Ann Jolley, and Leigh Southward, "The Student Dress Code Debate," Techniques, Jan. 2011
(11) Erikson Institute, "Erik H. Erikson: Erikson Institute's Namesake," (accessed Aug. 21, 2014)
(12) Shawn Jeffords, "Uniforms Won't Stop School Bullies, Experts Say,", Mar. 14, 2012
(13) J. Scott Granberg-Rademacker, Jeffrey Bumgarner, and Avra Johnson, "Do School Violence Policies Matter? An Empirical Analysis of Four Approaches to Reduce School Violence," Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, Spring 2007
(14) Charles Badger, "Report of Standard School Attire: A Look at the Issues," (accessed Aug. 20, 2014)
(15) Lois K. Solomon, "9 More Schools to Have Students Wear Uniforms,", May 6, 2000
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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