The Instigator
dtien400
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
jo021698j
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should School Uniforms be Mandatory?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 851 times Debate No: 87196
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

dtien400

Con

Hello, my name is dtien & I will be arguing that school uniforms should not be mandatory in the U.S.

I know this very debate has been done numerous times but I need to rack up some debates quickly in order to be able to vote.

Pro will be arguing that school uniforms should be mandatory in ALL schools specifically in the U.S., just to narrow the scope of the debate & ensure it's easy to find sources/statistics.

Rules:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: State your argument and Pro can choose to state rebuttals to Con's argument
Round 3: Rebuttals & additional arguments
Round 4: Final rebuttals & final arguments. No additional arguments.

I look forward to a great & interesting debate.
jo021698j

Pro

I am very excited to join this debate with my opponent!

This is a topic that has been shallowly discussed by many students and parents, and I will share my opinion to the best of my ability!

I wish the best of luck to my opponent and I hope the viewers find this debate entertaining. Thanks!
Debate Round No. 1
dtien400

Con

Thank you for accepting my debate! My arguments are as follows:

1. My first point is that school uniforms do, to a degree, limit a student's individuality and freedom of expression. I do recognise that students can implement jewellery, scarves, shoe wear, etc (depending on the dress code) to express themselves even with a uniform, but a part of their clothing still has been taken away. It Is well known that people, and use their clothing to express and identify themselves. Does limiting a student's stylistic freedoms worth it in order to 'properly' educate him/her in the eyes of those pushing uniforms in schools?

According to the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals, "compelled conformity to conventional standards of appearance" does not "seem a justifiable part of the education process" (Richards vs. Thurston (3-0), 1970). Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court itself ruled that in Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District (7-2, 1969) 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."

https://www.law.cornell.edu...
http://www.ahcuah.com...

Both the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court itself have agreed that freedom of expression at schools should not be limited without reason. I will address "reasons" to enact standardized dressing that are in fact inaccurate in my next two points.

2. My next point is that uniforms do not benefit a school by improving behavior, attendance, crime, and grades.

While there are some who claim that school uniforms decrease violence in a school, a study conducted in 2007 by J. Scott Granberg-Rademacker (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Avra Johnson (Minnesota State University, Mankato), and Jeffrey Bumgarner (Texas Christian University) found that "school uniforms increased the average number of assaults by about 14 (per year) in the most violent schools."

http://swacj.org...

A study conducted in 2009 by Texas Southern University concluded that school discipline incidents rose 12% after the introduction of uniforms. I am not claiming that school uniforms worsen student behavior. I am stating that if Pro claims that uniforms improve student behavior, my statistics so far prove him/her wrong. I believe student behavior and the clothing worn by students has no correlation for the reasons I will address in my next four paragraphs.

http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu...

As one article says, "Studies have not shown a clear reason why school discipline problems decline with uniforms. One study showed that teachers thought their uniformed students would perform better in school. Others have shown uniforms alone don't improve behavior, but a combination of stricter rules, heightened security and improved conflict-resolution education along with uniforms creates a better learning climate."

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com...

The Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of Education Evaluation and Management found that fights in middle schools nearly doubled within a year of introducing uniforms. In fact, their findings concluded that "there is no evidence that standardized dress policies reduce crime, violence, or drug and gang activity in schools" and that "to the extent that standardized dress does affect crime, gang and attendance rates (positively), other factors are present and could well be the cause of the reduction."

The "other factors" are that a), other rules and policies besides school uniforms were implemented at the same time as uniforms, and these other factors were responsible for positive student behavior, and b), something known as 'The Halo Effect.' The Halo Effect, a hypothesis by Marc Posner, Senior Research Associate at the Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts, was published by the Harvard Education Letter. Posner wrote that "rather than actually changing student behavior, uniforms might change the way teachers and other adults perceive the students who wear them...a substantial body of research shows that the teacher's perceptions of students influence the ways teachers treat students - and consequently the way those students behave." Posner's hypothesis is based on research done by Professor Dorothy Behling of Bowling Green University, who found that teachers believe that uniform-clad students behave better and do better academically than those who don't wear uniforms. As the study I am citing says, "As a result, students not in uniforms are graded and disciplined more harshly than students whom are in uniforms."

To put it in a layman's terms and to summarize, teachers have been found to have a subconscious bias towards students in uniforms because teachers believe that students in uniforms have better behavior and better grades. Therefore, the teachers are automatically more likely to report better behavior and grades than those in uniforms because the teachers believe the uniforms are making a difference, even if that is untrue. After all, it makes sense that somebody wearing a button-up shirt and khakis will be seen as tidier, smarter, and more mature than somebody wearing a hoodie and jeans. Furthermore, school uniforms are often implemented with stricter behavioral policies that could explain any better behavior by students at schools. Lastly, school uniforms do not always correlate with better student behavior and therefore claiming school uniforms improve student behavior is false.

http://schoenml.org...

3. My next points are that school uniforms do not benefit a student's self-image and, in fact, can make a student more self-conscious about his/her appearance.

There are those who argue that uniforms lessen bullying and the ability for students to discern socioeconomic differences, but "Brunsma (a sociology associate professor at University of Missouri) counters that argument, saying, "More-affluent families buy more uniforms per child. The less affluent, if they can't afford uniforms, they have one. It takes two months for this to get washed, re-washed and to have things spilled on it. It's more likely to be tattered, torn and faded. It only takes two months for socioeconomic differences to show up again."

http://articles.baltimoresun.com...

Robyn Silverman, a specialist in child and teen development, has pointed out that she believes and students even say that uniforms allow for a lot of comparison between body types, leaving some girls with body image issues. This is very logical: a piece of clothing that flatters a girl of average height and weight might not flatter a plus-size girl, a very tall girl, a very short girl, a very curvy girl, a very thin girl, etc. For example, long dresses don't often flatter unusually short people, but they do flatter people of average and above-average height. A school uniform made to fit an 'average' girl may be too baggy, tight, wrinkly, or unflattering in any number of ways on somebody with a different body type..

Lisa Flam, "Are School Uniforms Helping or Hindering?," today.com, Aug. 19, 2013

To sum up my arguments,

1) School uniforms unfairly limit a student's freedom of expression
2) It has been disproved that school uniforms positively affect behavior, grades, crime, etc. In fact, it is the teacher's flawed perceptions of the students that affect how behavior, grades, etc are falsely reported as better when uniforms are implemented.
3) School uniforms still allow for socioeconomic differences between students to show and can still lower self-esteem in students.

I look forward to seeing your arguments and/or rebuttals. Have a great day! :)
jo021698j

Pro

I am very excited to get into this topic, and my opponent brings up some great points, which I am excited to address.

To start out with my round, I am going to first list my arguments to why I think uniforms should be mandatory for all schools, and then when I am finished, I will give rebuttals for Con's Argument.

PRO'S ARGUMENT


Over 60% of jobs require uniforms, and apparently, that number is rising. Almost any summer job a teen goes to look for, those workers have on a uniform. And the jobs that don't have a uniform are usually office jobs, but you can't just wear whatever you want. You have to come with a suit and tie and khaki pants.

People all over the U.S. aren't complaining about job uniforms... And yet all over... School Uniforms are unacceptable... But why is that?

The reason is simple.

Teenagers don't like to be told what to do or what to wear. They see it as an infringement upon their teenage years and their teenage creativity. But lets dig deeper into why schools want uniforms and what they see in them. (I think the thing we need to think about, is that if my opponent is "soooo right", then why aren't schools ditching the uniform idea? There must a be a good reason? And that's what I'm going to try and explain.)

Here are the BASIC REASONS to why schools want uniforms:

1. Schools want uniforms because it promotes unity and school pride.
2. Schools want uniforms because it becomes easier to enforce the rules concerning clothes.
3. Schools want uniforms because it better prepares men and women for the outside world.

Now there are MANY MORE reasons why schools want uniforms, but those are the BASICS.

So let's dig deeper into these points.

Schools want uniforms because it promotes unity and school pride. Whether it be a field trip or on campus, by wearing student uniforms, the students are promoting their school and showing that they are unified, even when in reality they most likely aren't, but others seeing them, will think they are, and that's the thing about publicity. The school is getting their school's name out just by sending them on a field trip. People can look at their uniforms and be able to see what school they're from, which gives an opportunity for them to send their kids there as well.

Schools want uniforms because it becomes easier to enforce the rules concerning clothes. This is a no brainer. Everyone has the same requirements, and if they don't follow it, discipline. Teachers may not show favoritism, because everyone has the same standards, which means less chaos, and less argument.

Schools want uniforms because it better prepares men and women for the outside world. The goal from day one of school to to better prepare you for your entire life outside of school. The reality is, over 85% of jobs require you to present yourself in a proper way, whether it be uniform or dressing up. Conditioning our kids to realize that, is a key to them adjusting to their jobs and lifestlyes much better than if uniforms were not enforced in schools.

ADDRESSING CON'S ARGUMENT

1. Having uniforms limits a student's freedom of expression.

This is true to an extent. A student, with or without uniforms, is permitted to wear jewellery and ear rings and apparel that has been approved by the school, which can still allow some freedom of expression.

And the funny thing about this argument is, is that my opponent makes uniforms seem like it's an all day thing. As in, they wake up in uniform and go to sleep in uniform. School, on average lasts 7 hours to 8 hours a day. That leaves, on average, 7 hours more to dress in whatever a student wishes. A school day is not that long, and a student can express themselves freely outside of school for an equal amount of time as they are in school.

2. Uniforms do not benefit a school by improving behavior, attendance, crime, and grades.

First of all, this is incorrect grammar. He's saying that improving behavior, attendance, crime, and grades do not benefit a school... Weird...

My opponent got his information from four different sources, and I'll be addressing each of these subtopics of the sentence with sources as well.

Uniforms do not benefit a school (Period) It doesn't improve behavior (Period)

"In fact, surveyed school leaders with a school uniform or formal dress code policy in place believe their current policy has made a significant, positive impact on peer pressure (86 percent) and bullying" (64 percent).

"In Long Beach, CA, after two years of a district-wide K-8 mandatory uniform policy, reports of assault and battery in the district's schools decreased by 34%, assault with a deadly weapon dropped by 50%, fighting incidents went down by 51%, sex offenses were cut by 74%, robbery dropped by 65%, possession of weapons (or weapon "look-alikes") decreased by 52%, possession of drugs went down by 69%, and vandalism was lowered by 18%" (ProCon)

"A 2012 peer-reviewed study found that one year after Sparks Middle School in Nevada instituted a uniform policy, school police data showed a 63% drop in police log reports, and decreases were also noted in gang activity, student fights, graffiti, property damage, and battery. [25] A 2010 peer-reviewed study found that schools with uniform policies had 12% fewer firearm-related incidents and 15% fewer drug-related incidents than schools without uniforms." (ProCon)

http://www.naesp.org...

http://www.newfoundations.com...

http://journals.sfu.ca...

http://school-uniforms.procon.org...

It is now we see that my side and the other have different sources with different results, which presents a problem that I will address later on.

3. Students are more self conscious about their looks.

I find this one to be the most funny out of my opponent's arguments... Really?

You're telling me that a student would feel less weird by wearing something different than everyone else than wearing the same out of everyone else. You used one person's opinion for your research on this topic.

A student is definitely going to be less concerned about his/her looks because he/she will look the same as everyone else, therefore none of the other students will be judging the student on her attire, but her attitude or behavior, which is a completely different story.

This understanding of uniforms is accepted by almost everyone when it comes to judgment from other teens. I showed through other research that bullying decreased because of uniforms and as well as crime from mostly later studies whereas my opponent used a little bit more outdated ones.

There are some other statistics that I forgot to mention concerning uniforms:

1. It is less expensive on the parents, which I believe my opponent tried to explain why it would be more expensive... But let's think logically. 1 Uniform can cost less than 30 bucks and that student can wear that uniform everyday and take care of it well and it would last the whole year. Sure there might be some wear and tear, but if taken care of correctly, uniforms are more longlasting and in the long run, less expensive than buying several different outfits for school.
2. Roughly 60% of adults and teachers are in favor of mandatory outfits for schools, which is telling you something for sure.
3. School uniforms actually have improved learning in some cases.

"utdallas.edu" did a study when it came to uniforms and test results, and they came upon some fascinating conclusions.

"A 2010 University of Houston study found that elementary school girls' language test scores increased by about three percentile points after uniforms were introduced."

The last point I'm going to make is this.

In order for uniforms to work, it needs time. It has worked tremendously with elementary schools and not AS WELL with high schoolers, but the longer one adapts to it, the more we'll see a decrease in violence, bad grades, and bullying throughout the whole country if we just press on with it.

Debate Round No. 2
dtien400

Con

Thank you for responding! You made some interesting points and have made this a very exciting debate :)

First, I will rebut Pro's argument that...

1) Schools want uniforms because it promotes unity and school pride.
My opponent has no citations to prove this is correct. Therefore, this point is invalid.

2) Schools want uniforms because it becomes easier to enforce the rules concerning clothing.
I will concede that school uniforms are extremely easy to enforce. However, dress codes are only marginally less easy to enforce. If teachers memorize their school's dress codes, it becomes very simple to identify and correct somebody who is breaking the rules.

3) Schools want unity because it better prepares men and women for the outside world.
While my opponent's argument is based on statistics, there are no citations to back these statistics up. Therefore, this point is invalid.

Secondly, I will rebut Pro's rebuttals:

1) Having uniforms limits a student's freedom of expression: why the assertion I made was correct.
The first thing my opponent writes regarding this claim was that "this is true to an extent." That was exactly my point - my very first sentence in this first argument was that "school uniforms do, to a degree, limit a student's individuality and freedom of expression." The phrase "to a degree" is synonymous with "to an extent."

Then, my opponent states that I implied that school uniforms were "an all day thing" and that students would "wake up in uniform and go to sleep in uniform." However, Pro doesn't explain where or how in my argument I implied this. I never referred to uniforms outside of school, and I even quoted the Supreme Court 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." "The schoolhouse gate" makes it very clear I am talking about the school day rather than "all day." There is nowhere in my argument that I imply school uniforms would be worn daily.

2) School uniforms do not benefit schools by improving behavior, attendance, crime, and grades: why my assertion was correct.
First of all, my opponent points out that I used "incorrect grammar." I believe my grammar was technically correct, but the way I worded my argument could have made more sense. The fact that I provided plenty of context via my arguments should have more than made up for some odd wording.

Secondly, my opponent lays the basis for his/her argument using statistics that show school uniforms supposedly decrease violence and behavior issues in some schools. Pro points out "it is now we see that my side and the other have different sources with different results, which presents a problem that I will address later on." Basically, Pro admits the inevitable conclusion that we are in a stalemate because we both have cited statistics that support both of our viewpoints. Later on, Pro attempts to break the stalemate by claiming my sources are "a little bit more outdated."

If look at recentness of our sources regarding behavior in schools, mine are from the years 2007, 2009, 2000, and 2007. My opponent's citations are from the years 2013, 2014, and 2010. I will concede that my sources are older. But "outdated?" According to Cambridge Dictionaries online, outdated means "no longer useful or modern." My sources are modern and are all from the 21st century. My sources are still useful as well, because the information from my sources is superior to the information from my opponent's sources.

Pro and I both have sources that establish either a) school uniforms do positively affect student behavior/grades or b) school uniforms don't affect student behavior/grades at all. However, the information from my sources does more than establish my claim; the information from my sources provides a reason for why my claim is correct, unlike Pro's arguments. In my second argument I provide two reasons for why school uniforms and school behavior/grades aren't linked: a) behavioral or educational policies were implemented at the same time as school uniforms, and the behavioral/educational policies were responsible for the better behavior/grades and b) the Halo Effect, or that teachers falsely perceive students in uniforms as more well-behaved and intelligent, therefore teachers falsely report that their students are more well-behaved and intelligent after they begin to wear uniforms.

Pro, on the other hand, provided no reasoning from his/her sources that proved there was a logical reason behind school uniforms affecting grades/behavior. Pro confuses correlation and causation in his/her argument. The fact that some students in school uniforms tend to behave better and score higher on tests doesn't mean the school uniforms are the cause of the better behavior and grades. Pro hasn't shown that the improvements weren't due to the Halo Effect or other behavioral/educational policies being implemented at the same time the uniforms were.

3) Students are more self conscious about their looks: why my assertion was right.
Pro tries to debunk my argument about school uniforms and body image first by saying that I "used one person's opinion for your research on this topic."

Who was this person? Dr. Robyn Silverman, a highly credible source. She is a specialist in child/teen development, bullying, and body image, and has extensively researched these topics for 15 years. Her findings have been the subject of 18 books written by or about her. The Today Show, The Early Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, US News & World Report, Parents Magazine, Self Magazine, Women's Day Magazine, Prevention Magazine, Technique Magazine, MA Success Magazine, FEIS America Magazine, Washington Post, NY Daily News, Boston Globe, and Education.com are all media that Dr. Silverman has appeared on or been cited on.

http://drrobynsilverman.com...

If anything, Pro is the one using "one person's opinion" to back up his/her side of the story. While my source is a highly experienced and intelligent woman who has spent years researching and interacting with teenagers, bullying, and body image, Pro's source is his own views. If using only "one's person opinion" makes one's argument invalid, then Pro's entire argument is invalid because Pro's entire argument consists only of his opinion and no other sources.

Pro also uses illogical claims to try to debunk my arguments, saying "A student is...going to be less concerned about his/her looks because he/she will look the same as everyone else (while wearing uniforms)...none of the other students will be judging the student on her attire, but her attitude or behavior." The student will look the same as everyone else? What about facial features, hairstyles, jewelry, makeup, etc? Don't these all indicate if somebody is 'fashionable' and/or 'attractive' and/or 'wealthy?' There are so many physical aspects of a person you can bully besides their shirt, pants, jacket, and shoes.

Thirdly, I will move on to the other poorly formatted points/arguments/rebuttals Pro had:

1. "It is less expensive" to have school uniforms.
First of all, I never addressed this in my first arguments. Secondly, how is it more cost-efficient to buy two sets of clothes, one for school and one for home? Thirdly, my citation disagrees with my opponent's claims, and since Pro doesn't have a citation at all, my point is more valid.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...

2. "Roughly 60% of adults and teachers are in favor of mandatory outfits for schools."
No citation? Invalid!

3. "School uniforms actually have improved learning in some cases."
Pro hasn't shown that the "improved learning" wasn't due to the Halo Effect or other behavioral/educational policies being implemented at the same time the uniforms were.

Pro's final arguments are claims I have already debunked.

I am excited to see Pro's response and wish my opponent good luck.
jo021698j

Pro

Thanks for responding as well! I am excited to address your arguments!

First, I will rebut my opponent's rebuttals of my argument.

1) Schools want uniforms because it promotes unity and school pride.
My opponent has no citations to prove this is correct. Therefore, this point is invalid.

My opponet has no citatoins to prove that my statement is incorrect, so therefore, his point is invalid as well. No one can deny the fact that when students wear uniforms, they are indeed promoting their school. It is what business men call "advertisements". Everyone is aware of them. The students, by wearing uniforms, are advertising unity and school pride. That's why schools want them.

2) Schools want uniforms because it becomes easier to enforce the rules concerning clothing.
I will concede that school uniforms are extremely easy to enforce. However, dress codes are only marginally less easy to enforce. If teachers memorize their school's dress codes, it becomes very simple to identify and correct somebody who is breaking the rules.

My opponent does concede that my point is correct, and I appreciate that, but the problem with his rebuttal is that he is assuming that the teachers are going to memorize the dress code and enforce it. This is a faulty statement, because he is assuming the best of teachers rather than the worst. A teacher may show favoritism in a student and let that student get away with the dress code error, whereas if someone breaks the dress code in a uniformed school, then the teacher cannot overlook that fact, because it is too blatantly obvious. I am not saying it's bad to assume that teachers will memorize the dress code and enforce it, but the way schools are and what we see go on in public and private schools now-a-days, I wouldn't bet on the dress code being enforced if there were no uniforms.

3) Schools want unity because it better prepares men and women for the outside world.
While my opponent's argument is based on statistics, there are no citations to back these statistics up. Therefore, this point is invalid.

Again. My opponent has no statistics to disprove me, so he cannot say that my point is invalid. We both are "in the wrong", if you will... I have a job for my opponent. He is to come up with a list of jobs that don't require some sort of uniform, or dressing up in a way that is required, and then he is to give the statistics of how many people have that job in the United States.

Going by my understanding, his percent will be very low, and he can't disprove me. All of the voters will agree with me on this one, because they themselves will have a hard time coming up with a list that doesn't require some sort of uniform or dress.

REBUTTAL OF THE REBUTTAL

1. Having uniforms limits a student's freedom of expression: why the assertion I made was correct.

My opponent says that I was affirming his point... And yes! I was! And I'm not going to argue against it. And the reason why? Because he is taking my side. I did say that it limits expressing oneself "to an extent". His argument should be that it completely limits freedom of expression. His side is making uniforms actually seem more feasible because he is affirming that you can still express yourself while having uniforms!

His argument is hurting himself because it's leaning towards my side and because he doesn't affirm what the con side generally believes about uniforms, which is that uniforms completely limits expression with uniforms.

Concering your rebuttal on uniforms being worn all day. Thanks for clarifying your point, but your argument runs with mine as well. I stated that a student can still express oneself outside school hours, and you did not address that, making my point more effective.

2. My opponent said that I claimed his arguments were "outdated". This is a misquote, because I clearly stated his citations were "a little bit more outdated" because I was comparing them to my own citations.

Also. My opponent starts to make the claim that my citations and argument were not linked. He stated that you must connect the dots to where the statistics actually prove your point...

Lets take a look here...

"In fact, surveyed school leaders with a school uniform or formal dress code policy in place believe their current policy has made a significant, positive impact on peer pressure (86 percent) and bullying" (64 percent).

"In Long Beach, CA, after two years of a district-wide K-8 mandatory uniform policy, reports of assault and battery in the district's schools decreased by 34%, assault with a deadly weapon dropped by 50%, fighting incidents went down by 51%, sex offenses were cut by 74%, robbery dropped by 65%, possession of weapons (or weapon "look-alikes") decreased by 52%, possession of drugs went down by 69%, and vandalism was lowered by 18%" (ProCon)

"A 2012 peer-reviewed study found that one year after Sparks Middle School in Nevada instituted a uniform policy, school police data showed a 63% drop in police log reports, and decreases were also noted in gang activity, student fights, graffiti, property damage, and battery. [25] A 2010 peer-reviewed study found that schools with uniform policies had 12% fewer firearm-related incidents and 15% fewer drug-related incidents than schools without uniforms." (ProCon)

I don't see how my arguments fail to connect the dots here. They show that after implementing uniforms... Good things happened. My opponent uses "fancy" language to try and persuade the audience, when in reality, my arguments were clearly presented and the citations connect the dots for me.

3. I have nothing against your source and the person with all of the accomplishments listed, but I bring a fact to the table that goes against her. One of my citations said that 60% of school leadership stated uniforms decreased bullying. That is a majority. So how would the so called "expert" try and refute that? It would be rather difficult most likely.

It's not my opinion here. I go by facts.

"Pro also uses illogical claims to try to debunk my arguments, saying "A student is...going to be less concerned about his/her looks because he/she will look the same as everyone else (while wearing uniforms)...none of the other students will be judging the student on her attire, but her attitude or behavior." The student will look the same as everyone else? What about facial features, hairstyles, jewelry, makeup, etc? Don't these all indicate if somebody is 'fashionable' and/or 'attractive' and/or 'wealthy?"

This is my opponent's OPINION. Here he's judging what seems to be my opinion when he lays this statement out.

So you think it would be better without uniform so that the students with the "facial features, hairstyles, jewelry, makeup, etc..." would be better off without uniforms? My opponent knows and should affirm that not having uniforms would only make the judgments worse. And it's funny how he shows how many ways to express yourself without uniforms in his argument when he so clearly stated earlier that "School uniforms unfairly limit a student's freedom of expression." Funny contradiction there...

MY "POOR" ARGUMENTS

I admit that it was foolish of me not to cite my arguments at the end, so I will do so now.

1. http://www.examiner.com...

That is the citation for uniforms being a cheaper lifestyle.

2. http://www.naesp.org...

That is the citation for the percent of leaders who want school uniforms.

3. The Halo Effect isn't valid here because the citation CLEARLY showed that after uniforms started to be enforced, test scores rose, and that's all the info you need. The test scores were lower before uniforms, and higher after. Assumption arguments are not valid, and my opponent made one here.

Good luck on rebuttals my opponent and may the force be with you.
Debate Round No. 3
dtien400

Con

Good luck to my opponent! First, I will defend my arguments.

1. Having uniforms limits a student's freedom of expression.
Pro says I am on the Pro side of this matter because by saying that school uniforms only limit freedom of expression partially, I'm not affirming "what the con side...believes about uniforms." It is unnecessary for me to believe everything others who are against school uniforms believe. It is only necessary for me to be against uniforms. I believe uniforms partially take away a student's freedom of expression, and I believe that is wrong. Therefore, I am against uniforms, and affirming what the Con side believes. Pro fails to refute my point that limiting freedom of expression is wrong.

2. School uniforms do not benefit schools by improving behavior, attendance, crime, and grades.
First of all, I recognized that the exact words Pro used about my argument were "a little bit more outdated." I used the adjective outdated alone because I was writing the dictionary definition of the word.

Secondly, Pro failed to see my point in my second argument. I apologize if my language was fancy, but I tried to put everything I said in layman's terms. My point was that Pro's "citation and argument were not linked," because his/her arguments proved school uniforms and better student behavior happened at the same time, but didn't prove the school uniforms were the cause of the behavior. Pro had a whole round to prove me wrong, yet Pro didn't.

Let's think about this logically: can clothing really change the way a person acts? Is a vandal no longer a vandal in khakis? Can a button-up shirt inspire someone to study more? No. Any effects of school uniforms on students can easily be explained by other educational/behavioral policies and the Halo Effect. As an education writer wrote, "Studies have not shown a clear reason why school discipline problems decline with uniforms. One study showed that teachers thought their uniformed students would perform better in school. Others have shown uniforms alone don't improve behavior, but a combination of stricter rules, heightened security and improved conflict-resolution education along with uniforms creates a better learning climate."
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com...

3. Students are more self conscious about their looks.

Pro says, "One of my citations said that 60% of school leadership stated uniforms decreased bullying. That is a majority. So how would the so called "expert" try and refute that?" I can refute that myself. According to a professor who did research on uniforms, "teachers believe that uniform-clad students behave better and do better academically than those who don't wear uniforms...As a result, students not in uniforms are graded and disciplined more harshly than students whom are in uniforms." What's interesting about this is that the professor was against school uniforms, yet couldn't hide the fact that the bias of the teachers was what improved grades and behaviors, not the actions of the students. Furthermore, it's irrelevant that 60% of school leadership stated that uniforms decreased bullying. The whole point of my second argument was that the people who believe uniforms improve behavior were wrong.

http://schoenml.org...

My opponent also calls my argument in my third-to-last paragraph an opinion. How is it an opinion that when students have uniforms, the students will look different from one another, some more "fashionable," "attractive," "and/or wealthy" than others? It is inaccurate to say that students will all be equally fashionable under uniforms. A uniform can't fix a poor sense of style.

"54% of bullying happens because of physical abuse at home." Will this majority of bullies stop because of uniforms? "64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it. More than half of bullying situations (57 percent) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied. School bullying prevention programs are known to decrease bullying in schools up to 25 percent." Instead of forcing uniform policies that don't actually help onto students, schools should focus on starting bullying prevention programs that have an emphasis on reporting and intervening during bullying."
http://nobullying.com...
http://www.pacer.org...
Bullies bully because they're "feeling powerless in their own lives," "someone else is bullying them," they're "jealous of or frustrated with the person they are bullying," they have "a lack of understanding or empathy," and they're "looking for attention." http://nobullying.com...
It isn't appearance that causes bullying. The root cause of bullying is in the bully, and none of the reasons above even mention clothing. Bullies bully to cause pain. If a bully can't mock clothing, the bully will chose some other aspect of their victims to mock. If I believed school uniforms truly helped bullying victims, I wouldn't be having this debate.

Now, I will prove why Pro's arguments are wrong.

1) Schools want uniforms because it promotes unity and school pride.
Pro had no citations, yet wrote I can't claim his/her point is invalid because I have no citations. The burden of proof is on the person who made the claim. Pro claimed uniforms promoted unity and school pride but could not prove so. I could claim that my skin is blue, yet no one should believe me if I have no proof. A claim with no proof is invalid.

2) Schools want uniforms because it becomes easier to enforce the rules concerning clothing.
Yes, I am assuming teachers will memorize the dress code and enforce it. Any teacher that doesn't should be reprimanded because it is a part of his/her job. Students shouldn't have to be punished by wearing uniforms because teachers were lazy and showed favoritism.

3) Schools want unity because it better prepares men and women for the outside world.
I won't do my opponent's "job" for me. There isn't enough space and I don't need to, because he/she has the burden of proof. Pro claimed school uniforms better prepared men and women for the outside world but didn't prove it, so his/her claim is invalid. Furthermore, "dressing up in some way that is required" is the definition of a dress code, which I do support, and the amount of offices having "some sort of uniform" is quickly dropping.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
In fact, according to my source, "More than a third dress casually for work."

4) It is less expensive on the parents.
I took a look at Pro's source, which stated it costs "$300 dollars for back-to-school clothing," while "the cost of a year's worth...of school uniform...is $150." Yet Pro made it clear that uniform's weren't "an all day thing." Therefore, students wear a uniform at school and normal clothing at home. So the $300 of normal clothes would be added to the cost of $150 dollars of school clothing, leading to an extra $150 a year parents have to pay for what is supposed to be a free education in public schools. Pro's source shows that school uniforms don't save money unless a student wears it all day, which according to Pro, isn't supposed to be the purpose of a uniform. Pro contradicts him/herself and is just wrong.

5) Roughly 60% of adults and teachers are in favor of mandatory outfits for schools.
My whole argument is that these people are wrong.

6) School uniforms actually have improved learning in some cases.
The Halo Effect is valid here because the citation didn't prove school uniforms caused the rising test scores. Some of my sources showed uniforms happened at the same time test scores and behavior worsened (cited in Round 2). Uniforms have no affect on student behavior. Other school policies and the Halo Effect affect the reported behaviors/grades.

Have a good day and vote for Con!
jo021698j

Pro

Thanks for getting back! I am glad I now get to have the final argument in this debate. It has been a learning experience and my opponent has done an excellent job backing up his case!

1. Having uniforms limits a student's freedom of expression.

"Pro fails to refute my point that limiting freedom of expression is wrong."

When I read this, I was confused and didn't recall ever seeing that my opponent thought that limiting freedom of expression is wrong. I jumped to his opening debate and saw that he used a citation referring to uniforms that said that uniforms:

" ...does not 'seem a justifiable part of the education process.'"

The citation never said it was wrong, it said that it didn't find uniforms justifiable for part of the education process. This isn't a solid statement, because wherever he got it from, is stating that uniforms don't "seem" justifiable, which means that this citation isn't sure of itself.

2. School uniforms do not benefit schools by improving behavior, attendance, crime, and grades.

"My point was that Pro's "citation and argument were not linked," because his/her arguments proved school uniforms and better student behavior happened at the same time, but didn't prove the school uniforms were the cause of the behavior."

My opponent seems very convincing here, but he also did not "link his citations" in the arguments above. He never stated that crime rates or bullying rose because of uniforms, he just assumed it was because of uniforms that caused it, so if we're going by his argument, we both aren't "linking", if you will. I think we both should agree that statistics changed when implementing uniforms, and as I stated, my sources are newer compared to my opponent's, which should give me the upper hand when voters pick their side.

3. Students are more self conscious about their looks.

First of all, my opponent's citation does not deal with students being more self conscious about their looks. It deals with behavior. He put his citation in the wrong place.

But if we're going by behavior, my opponent used his citation to back up his claim, so I'll use a citation to back up my claim, which is that uinforms improve behavior.

"Recently, though, a smaller study of public high schools in Ohio by Virginia B. Draa, an assistant professor of human ecology at Youngstown State University, found that schools that required uniforms generally had lower suspension rates, higher graduation rates and fewer discipline issues."

http://www.nytimes.com...

Now I will show that students aren't as self conscious about their looks with uniforms on.

"Virginia B. Draa, Assistant Professor of Human Ecology at Youngstown State University, said uniforms can decrease peer pressure and blur class lines between students."

http://files.eric.ed.gov...

The same woman, Virginia B. Draa said that "uniforms... blur class lines between students." She also said it reduces peer pressure. She's an expert in this field of student behavior and I agree with her, obviously.

My opponent then stated that bullying will still happen with uniforms. I clearly already laid out citations that stated that after the enforcement of uniforms, bullying decreased, so his argument is invalid here.

1. Schools want uniforms because it promotes unity and school pride.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

2. Schools want uniforms because it becomes easier to enforce the rules concerning clothing.

My opponent used no citations for his claim, which means that his point is invalid.

"I wished many times that we had uniforms because the issue of skirts or shorts being too short, and baggy jeans and pants on the boys not being pulled up as they needed to be, would have been a non-issue," she says.

Murphy agrees that uniforms help equalize students, even if students - and parents - resist the mandatory uniforms.

"I think they level the playing field and give all students the opportunity to be seen as equal in terms of the designer clothes issue, and the fashion fads. We have so much to cover in the curriculum now, and students have so much going on in their lives. I believe we could eliminate some of the negatives and the wasted time if uniforms were the policy everywhere," she says.

https://news.unt.edu...

3. Schools want unity because it better prepares men and women for the outside world.

My opponent had a citation that said that more than 1/3 dress casually for work. Well what about the 2/3? That means my opponent is stating that the minority of jobs dress casually for work and the other majority dresses in uniform. This goes for my argument, not against it. So yes. Uniforms do prepare students for the outside world, because the majority of jobs have a uniform requirement.

4. It is less expensive on the parents.

His argument had no proof, therefore it is invalid. I already used proof for my assessment of the situation and will add another citation to back this up.

"As long as schools have some funds for children who can't afford the uniform, it probably in the long run would mean families would have a smaller clothing budget for their children because they would wear the same one or two outfits," Jacobson says.

https://news.unt.edu...

5. Roughly 60% of adults and teachers are in favor of mandatory outfits for schools.

My whole argument is that the majority is right.

6. School uniforms actually have improved learning in some cases.

I already addressed the Halo Effect, but I'll address it again. My opponent went against the Halo Effect himself because in his earlier rounds he did not establish a connection between bad behavior and uniforms. We both should agree that there were changes in statistics once uniforms were enforced, which means that the uniforms were connected in some way. My citations were newer, making my arguments more valid, which means that the Halo Effect runs in my favor.

WHY VOTERS SHOULD VOTE FOR PRO:

1. I used sources that were newer compared to my opponent that were also in my favor.
2. I established that uniforms have improved behavior, decreased bullying, and is less expensive on the parents.
3. My opponent's grammar was rusty for most of the debate. He even said in the comments he was having a hard time.
4. I established how having uniforms in the long run would be beneficial for students because of the acceptance of the uniform idea by conditioning.

Thanks for letting me debate on this topic!


My opponent did an excellent job and I hope the voters will vote from an unbiased standard and choose the side that they think really won the debate.

Thanks! And may the force be with us all!
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by dtien400 9 months ago
dtien400
Vote for Pro because:
1) Grammar and spelling: I made three grammar mistakes, while Pro made two spelling mistakes and a grammar mistake. My arguments were formatted better.
2) Citations: We had about an even number of citations, but mine were able to debunk his DESPITE being older.
3) Civility: Pro called my arguments weird and funny, and called Dr. Silverman "a so called 'expert.'"
4) Convincing arguments: Pro never refuted my argument about freedom of speech, but instead argued about the semantics of one word of one of my two sources. Pro never refuted my argument about behavior and grades. Pro claimed I didn't prove that school uniforms made behavior worse - as I said in the beginning of that argument, school uniforms and behavior has no correlation. Pro misunderstood my argument about the Halo Effect as well, claiming it ran "against" me at one point, which isn't possible. The Halo Effect only applies to arguments claiming school uniforms improve behavior. Pro seemed to not to have even read my argument about school uniforms and body image and socioeconomic differences, and ignored all my points. Pro claimed my refutation of his argument about easiness of enforcing clothing rules was wrong because it required citations when I stated an argument rooted in logic needed no citations. Inside the "preparing students for the outside world" argument, Pro only focuses on my 1/3 statistic and ignores that I said the amount of offices using dress codes is dropping. Pro claims I didn't cite a source for the argument about saving money when I did. The argument about 60% of school leaders was nothing but an affirmation of both of our stances. In the last argument, Pro claims I went against the Halo Effect, which again, isn't impossible. The only argument Pro had that I didn't debunk was the argument about unity, which could be explained by the Halo Effect.
Posted by dtien400 9 months ago
dtien400
"For Round 4," not "Four Round 4." Needless to say I'm exhausted right now. Just trying to help Pro out :)
Posted by dtien400 9 months ago
dtien400
I meant "Four Round 4, final argument can include 'why viewers should vote for me.'" Inclusion isn't necessary, I was just trying to clarify what constitutes as a "final argument." :)
Posted by dtien400 9 months ago
dtien400
For Round 4, final argument does include "why viewers should vote for me."
Posted by dtien400 9 months ago
dtien400
I apologize for my grammar mistakes in the first few paragraphs of my arguments in the second round. As a former "grammar Nazi," I am really disappointed in myself! I had to edit my argument heavily several times in order to not go over the character limit, and as a result there were a lot of grammatical errors. I spent a long time cleaning them up, but apparently, even after proofreading, I missed some. I promise my arguments will be much more clear and easier to read in the next rounds, and if you need any clarification on what I wrote, please let me know!
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