The Instigator
ZeldaMafia
Con (against)
The Contender
Zero_F
Pro (for)

Should School Uniforms be Mandatory?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 535 times Debate No: 94084
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

ZeldaMafia

Con

Hello everyone!

This is a debate, on whether school uniforms should be mandatory or not. The first round is acceptance, no specific rules other than the fact that you can't introduce new points in the last round - conclusion round.

I am against the the topic.

Good Luck and get Cracking!

P.S. Ask questions, if any in the comments.
Zero_F

Pro

I will accept this challenge, I tend to think that school uniforms are preferable.
Debate Round No. 1
ZeldaMafia

Con

Let's begin by defining the terms -

School Uniforms - A school uniform is a uniform worn by students primarily for a school or otherwise educational institution.
Mandatory - required by law or mandate; compulsory.

The stated purpose of schools is to educate and deliver knowledge. So, where does the need of uniforms come into question?
Now, classically you could argue that school uniforms give a kind of professionalism and make students feel like they are a part of the school.

I have arranged my arguments in points for the convenience of my opponent.

Firstly, School Uniforms do not in any improve behavior, attendance or grades of students. I say this, beacause there is no evidence on the same. Infact, there is enough evidence to counter this.

https://www.theguardian.com...

If you went over the last source, this is quoted from its first paragraph
""More than 200 Bradford secondary school pupils were sent home from school this week. Their crime? Uniform infringements. They weren"t burning bras or tying their ties around their heads. They were wearing trainers or the wrong cut of trousers. But is it OK to deprive someone of a day of education just because they don"t look smart enough?""

Apart from the obvious wrong of not letting students enter school, it is also sadly considered to be "smart" for a student if he wears school uniform. Really? Today we are judging smartness based on someone's appearance? That in my opinion is completely ridiculous.

Secondly, many people have argued that wearing non-school outfits for school may lead to competition between children. "The race to who wears the best dress". According to them, school uniforms create a sense of equality among students. While this may be true, let's not overlook the fact that it's the teachers' and administrative staffs job to control competition and fights between young students. Wearing what students feel best, not only brings out the creativity in students but also boosts their self-confidence and belief. So, 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?

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.

Thirdly, School uniforms don't come cheap, atleast nowadays. If you live in the 21st Century you know that School Uniforms include shirts, pants, skirts, scarves, ties, belts, socks, shoes and even school bags, in some cases. Multiply these by 3 or 4 for 5 days of the week. The grand Total comes out to be $25-$200 (The range is so vast as uniform costs depends on the material used and the retailer involved). Now, let me ask you: Is it all worth it? Paying so much for something for your child, that you know won't fit him/her next year? Add to this, these uniforms aren't entirely durable. School Authorities can often be strict and ask students to buy new uniforms for something as small as a pen mark.
http://education.costhelper.com...

Best of luck to my opponent! :)
Zero_F

Pro

Thank you. I will list your points below and provide my arguments against them.

1. My opponent argues that

"School Uniforms do not improve behavior, attendance or grades of students"

School uniforms are being advocated for a range of social, educational, economic, and familial reasons. There are a lot of empirical studies and theories on the issue of the effectiveness of school uniforms.

One study (http://eus.sagepub.com...) found that it decreases gang activity and fights, as well as raising the perceived self-esteem of students. This study found that, in the first year of the mandatory uniform policy in Long Beach, California, fighting in schools decreased by more than 50%, assault and battery by 34%, sex offenses by 74%, and robbery by 66% (as reported by officials).

There are many other studies, I will cite two more below:

http://www.nber.org...: "[...] we find evidence that uniform adoption improves attendance in secondary grades, while in elementary schools they generate large increases in teacher retention."

http://www.cleveland19.com...: uniforms "help in addressing problems with discipline and attendance in a school building"

2. My opponent agrees that school uniforms create a sense of equality among students.

I would add that they do more than that: they diminish the sense of inequality based on what one wears.

3. My opponent argues that

"it is the teachers' and administrative staffs job to control competition and fights between young students."

While that is true, bullying takes place in school yards, not during classes, and in addition, much of the judgmental attitude that needy children are subjected to is not verbal. Teachers should, in my opponent's view, control the competition and fights between students. However, it is impossible to efficiently counter a negative atmosphere and bullying if the setting (the rules of conduct) is of such a nature that it promotes inequality (as my opponent agrees, see (2) above). Being too permissive might sound very progressive, but extreme permissiveness/tolerance is a license for others to enforce their own rules upon the permissive entity (be it a school or a person). In this specific case, if the school is too permissive on the grounds of uniforms, children who can afford better clothes will enforce an atmosphere where this is what matter most in judging others.

4. My opponent argues that

"wearing what students feel best not only brings out the creativity in students but also boosts their self-confidence and belief"

This argument has two parts, I will address them separately:

a) Argument about creativity:

Children can manifest their creativity in many other ways, from schoolwork to special projects, to interests and hobbies or social causes. There are many other outlets for creativity, this is not the only one. In fact, manifesting one's creativity in other ways might be more beneficial and lead to a less consumerist, less superficial lifestyle, and it might make them think more about who they are and what they like, and less about what they wear tomorrow at school, so that they get many "likes".

b) Argument about boosting their self-confidence:

People compare themselves and judge others, most often by their appearance or the image they project (clothes included). While regular clothes might enhance the self-confidence of students whose parents have enough money for good clothes, it does the exact opposite for the self-confidence of students that are from poor families, and who compare negatively to the first group.

5. My opponent argues that

"school uniforms don't come cheap, at least nowadays. Paying so much for something for your child, that you know won't fit him/her next year?"

This is an unavoidable issue when you have a child: when he or she is very small, the clothes size changes even more frequently, because the child is growing. However, if children use uniforms at school, it is actually cheaper for the parents: one does not have to buy a lot of different clothes. Also, graduating students could donate or sell their used uniforms to needy families. (http://www.crf-usa.org...)

If children wear something else than uniforms, they would have to buy more clothes, so as not to go to school every day in the same clothes and be judged for it by their peers. This would cost more than having a uniform.

In other words, school uniforms actually diminish the cost of sending a child to school, when compared to the alternative.

I would like to add a few closing remarks:

I understand that children might not like uniforms or strict rules (of any kind). I think in fact, many children might not like school either. Just because they do not like something, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is a bad thing, or that it is to their judgment that we should defer. Society works because we all uphold some rules, and children need to learn that too. Creativity is great, but without work and discipline, it isn't worth much.
Debate Round No. 2
ZeldaMafia

Con

Thanks Pro.

Let's begin.

1. I would first like to state that to view my Opponent's source that he has linked I NEED TO "PAY" TO THE EDUCATION AND URBAN SOCIETY. This is very wrong and I'm not ready to pay to see something that might prove me wrong.

Also, the small abstract that was listed provides no evidence and proves none of the results that con has apparently made.

There is no proper research that shows that introducing uniforms cuts crime in schools. Uniforms can actually lead to more violence, as they make students from rival schools much more obvious in the street or on the bus. "Us-and-them" feelings are made worse by uniform, and bullying and fighting between students from different schools can increase.
http://oureverydaylife.com...
http://bit.ly...

This is another article that was written a former school Principal himself, T.A.DeMitchell, claims that he is unsure on any positive effects of uniforms
http://theconversation.com...

2. Yes, they do cause a sense of "equality" among students. But, there is no point, however. What's the point of dressing students up in exactly similar attire?
I mean, if you believe that wearing casuals to school causes inequality, then there are various other things that may cause that feeling. Like, for example, the student council. Crowning one student as the "head boy" surely creates some kind of hate between his fellow mates. Add to that, head boys or student council members get to wear badges. Some schools even allow council members to wear special uniforms such as different ties and pants.
What, I want to say is that, in any scenario, hate is pretty unavoidable.

3. I still uphold the fact that it is the teachers' and administrative staff's job to stop bullying and fights. My opponent argues that bullying takes place in school yards, out of sight of teachers. While, this is true let's not forget that we live in the 21st century and bullying can be easily monitored by CCTV cameras and members of the school student council.

"if the school is too permissive on the grounds of uniforms, children who can afford better clothes will enforce an atmosphere where this is what matter most in judging others."

My only reply to that is that bullying needs to be controlled.

If schools really want to maintain their air of control, I suggest that they enforce the dress-code law. Dress codes are way more student-friendly and they even abide by most school rules.
They are basically in-between school uniforms and casual wear, but they allow the student to choose.
This is more effective as completely casual or being too permissive, may bring out weird dresses from young students, who are too young to judge what's wrong or right.
Basically, the school places multiple restrictions but in the end, the students are the ones who get to choose what to wear whilst abiding by those restrictions. The restrictions could include - No tank tops or shoulder reveals for boys and specific skirt lengths for girls.

4. Creativity and Self-Confidence

Creativity

Pro argues that " There are many other outlets for creativity, this is not the only one". What pro is overlooking is the fact that dressing up is one of the most important and effective ways to do so. This is because, dressing up to go to school is something you have to everyday for school or anywhere while going out. However, the other ways Pro argues that we can be creative are not really done on a daily basis. School projects are usually given for weekends, hobbies and interests can really be only done in our free time and it's not that we do social work all the time. I just want to say that I'm not against showing creativity. I just want to show how important dressing up is, as a way to show it.

http://www.bustle.com...
"dressing up tends to make people feel more powerful, competent, and confident. Also, as The Science of Us points out, when one is in a position of power, they feel free to think more about the big picture because it's someone else's job to think about concrete details. The novelty factor of making oneself look special may also reportedly have something to do with the increased creativity." This extract from the last article sums up my point.

Self Confidence

http://dailym.ai...
* I know the example given about Superman is too extreme, but it's just a hyperbole.

Again, my opponent goes on to say that kids from poor backgrounds are disadvantaged. I have covered up bullying before. For poorer families,most schools have the policy of donating clothes to disadvantaged families.

5. My opponent says "This is an unavoidable issue when you have a child: when he or she is very small, the clothes size changes even more frequently, because the child is growing. However, if children use uniforms at school, it is actually cheaper for the parents"

I do not understand, how school uniforms are cheaper for parents. It is true that children grow very fast. My opponent thus states that casual dresses need to be bought often, so it wastes money. Then he goes on to say that school uniforms are cheaper.

I do not understand what my opponent really implies here. Is he trying to say that school uniforms are naturally cheaper? (Which is not the case as I have already shown before - comparing the costs) or is he trying to say children do not grow fast? (Which is a contradiction by the way, as I mentioned above).

The next paragraph is equally confusing as my opponent says that buying casuals would be very costly, as they would need to buy new clothes to stand out, and not be judged. I have anyways already covered, bullying needs to be controlled by the school. In the second round, I also mentioned that students deserve to wear what they prefer so as to bring out their own style and creativity, not for competition.

New points -

1) Future Jobs and Careers - Wearing a school uniform is not good preparation for working. Only a few jobs require uniforms, and many of these are low-paid service jobs - not what we want our young people to aim for. After all, their main role-models at school - the teachers - don"t have to wear a uniform. Well-paid jobs used to require a suit, but this has been changing in recent years and smart-casual clothes are much more common now. Even if you have to wear a suit, you still have a huge choice of styles, colour and accessories with which to express your personality. This isn"t true of school uniform.

2) Hampering the Individuality of students -

I have this to some extent before, but there are newer sub-points included here.

Everyone says that uniforms make students equal which will cause less bulling but has anyone ever thought about people who are forced to wear certain items, such as a head scarf, to school.They will be pulled out of school at an earlier age if they do not follow the family's religious beliefs. Not only that, all kids should be given the freedom to chose what they like rather than wearing what they do not like. When they grow up they will never be able to give their opinion on something, whatever it may be. When choosing a dress to wear to school, kids might take time at the same time they learn to think for themselves and to give their ideas to the world, now like in school...
We all have a right to individuality, to make personal choices and to express our personality. This right of free expression includes the way we choose to dress. Making everyone wear the same school uniform infringes on (goes against) our rights and is a misuse of authority. The right to choose what to wear is particularly important for young people, who often have few other ways of expressing their personality or making choices about their lives.
Additionally, children may be laughed at by outsiders. Most kids absolutely hate uniforms.

http://www.broowaha.com...
http://juneauempire.com...

Thank you and best of luck! :) xD
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Zero_F 4 months ago
Zero_F
although I did spellcheck it twice, an error persisted in my text:

" where this is what matter most" instead of "matterS".

Sorry about that.
Posted by ZeldaMafia 4 months ago
ZeldaMafia
I am against the topic* (Forgot to type this, para 3)
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