Should School Uniforms be Required in all Schools?
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I will now post my opening argument.
What is a dress code? A dress code is a set of rules, usually written and posted, specifying the required manner of dress at a school, office, club, restaurant, etc. The particular dress code that is the biggest problem in society today is the proposition of uniforms being enforced in schools. School uniforms are expensive and unconventional. Some people believe that uniforms put students on equal ground and prevent bullying and violence. I, and many others, believe the exact opposite. Requiring students to conform to a uniform dress code would be detrimental to the school experience because it would deprive the students of their freedom of expression, it would cost poor families even more money, and, despite this being the reason they have been enforced in other schools, uniforms do not necessarily reduce violence among students.
The restrictions on our constitutional freedoms are bad enough as it is. To have school uniforms take away yet another freedom would be absolutely absurd. Children need to be able to express themselves. It is crucial to their development. Expressing themselves with a facial expression will not work. People can fake a smile. They need to be able to show who they really are. According to a 2015 poll, 85 percent of students fell that they are not able to express themselves the way they want because of school uniforms. Shouldn't we all be able to dress the way we want? If someone picks on another because of the clothes that they wear, then that person probably has issues of their own and tries to hide them through making others feel bad.
If uniforms were enforced, then poorer families will spend even more money. A standard school uniform cost between $150 and $200. That money could go to more important things such as food or utility bills. According to a study conducted by the charity Family Action, in August a poorer parent will spend about 40 percent of his or her income on school supplies. That can get costly. With a uniform on top of that would mean that the family would barely have enough money to pay for necessities. If a family hardly has enough money to buy groceries for the week, then how do you expect them to buy a school uniform?
I know school uniforms came about with good intentions, but, despite this being the reason they were enforced in the first place, school uniforms do not necessarily decrease violence or bullying among students. A 1999 study conducted by Texas Southern University shows that disciplinary incidents among students rose by 12 percent after the introduction of school uniforms. They actually reported that fights became more common because students felt "restricted and unhappy" with the uniforms.
In conclusion, school uniforms are not what they may seem. Along with possibly causing more harm than good, they cost poor families more money, and restrict a students constitutional right.
OK, first of all uniforms just look good. Students look smart and can view themselves on the same level and as equal counterparts to their fellow students. Many first time jobs require their employees to wear uniforms, so this justly prepares students for the real world.
It doesn't even have to be a uniform for poorer areas, just an overall dress code (say white button down shirt, tan khakis). It makes the poor students who you mentioned feel on the same level as the kids who normally wear Joe's Jeans and Oakley Sunglasses.
Students in school need to understand that they are to follow what their teacher tells them to do. Teachers are being payed by the government, and the government has placed them in a position of authority. If they are wearing the same as the 30 other students in the class, they are less likely to think their opinion matters in the school system, and challenge their teacher, disrupting the class.
About the cost, $150 really isn't what it used to be. Thats the price of one pair of jeans from EXPRESS. If parents care enough for their kids, they can at least buy them some classy clothes that comply with the code of dress in that school. A specific uniform would be more durable as well (in my case, definitely so) and last many years in the same school. They come with extra fabric for alterations every 2 years or so.
You seem to be focusing on 1999......of course if i went to school wearing the type of clothes people wore in the 90's, i'd probably get beat up too! :) That is a 17 year old study, and therefore irrelevant to the way kids act today in the modern age.
If you look at the people who support dress codes, you come up with teachers, principals, parents,other countries, and a lot more. Look at who objects? Students and Retailers.
I also am a Republican and Conservative who supports the constitution, but nowhere in the bill of rights is the right to wear Osh Kosh B'gosh to schooll in place of something that looks like it belongs in a professional working environment.
Thank you, i look foreward to your reply
You stated that "uniforms just look good." That is an opinion. It is not credible information. You then stated "it makes students look smart." Can I ask you how someone looks smart? You cannot judge knowledge by looks. In my personal expirience with kids and teens that wear clothing like this voluntarily, they weren't the sharpest tool in the shed. All of the academically inclined students wore casual clothes like joggers or a sweat shirt. Then you said the uniforms will put all students on the same level. As I stated in my argument, there will always be social groups and popularity groups. There will always be some students that are more highly regarded by their peers than others. It's the way the world works. Then you stated that it doesn't doesn't have to be a uniform but a dress code. My school has a dress code, but we don't have uniforms. A school uniform is a dress code. It is a certain style that a student is forced to wear or face consequences.
You said that uniforms make students less likely to rebel against authority. You also said that the students feeling as if their opinion doesn't matter is a good thing. That, however; is a separate debate that I would be glad to debate with you. I digress. Students will uprise against authority no matter what if they feel there is a problem. Say the teacher is harassing and bullying students. The students will rise up against the teacher if the situation escalates far enough. Even if the teacher is simply not doing a well enough job teaching their class, the students will feel something is wrong and go to a higher authority figure uniforms or not.
As for the constitutional stand point, the freedom of expression falls under the freedom of speech which is covered in the first amendment of the constitution. If students can't express themselves, then they may be pushed into depression or have extreme anxiety. Expressing yourself through dress can help you let out all of the emotions inside of you.
Then we come to the cost. I can see your point of it being cost efficient over a long period of time, but what if you move unexpectedly to a school without a uniform dress code and then you paid $150 for a uniform and then you buy one for every school day so that's $750 wasted on a school weeks' worth of uniforms and then you don't have a purpose for them rather than being $750 worth of clothes.
The idea of uniformity is definitely partly for style. What would you think if a police officer pulled you over, and he was wearing a Batman vs Superman t-shirt, a pair of yoga pants, and saltwater sandals with socks? You really wouldn't respect them as much, would you. Same goes for students. It shows that the student body is committed and working together for a common goal. It gives school pride, as it were.
A study done by the Sun Sentential showed that elementary students who wore a uniform felt more secure and included when they went to school each day. and less likely to get picked on. Back in my public school days, i was the top of my class, and i wore clean pants, and a polo shirt to school every day, and combed my hair. As i remember, the ratty t-shirt guys were the ones whose parents didn't care to buy them nice clothes or help them with their school work, so they remained firmly at the bottom of the class. Your "crap clothes=smart kids" argument has zero credibility.
The uniform i wear to school every day is on the more expensive side of the spectrum, with $40 for shirts, $80 jackets etc, but it is a private school and we already pay $5000 in tuition so we can obviously afford that kind of things. In reality, according to the Sun Sentential, Boys` shirts average $12.25. Girls` skirts average $23.45. Saddle shoes for boys and girls cost $23. There is also a program to sell used uniforms cheaper.
You would have to have serious money managing issues or reckless children to buy 5 full uniforms. I only have 2 sets of shirt/pants, and one jacket. I wore my size 12 shirt from 4th grade to 8th grade, and could sell it afterwards. That is an average of $8 a year for shirt, and thats before selling it.
A uniform stems gang activity, and stops kids from starting detrimental clubs and gangs. Then, going back to your cost argument: if all schools implement a dress code/uniform, you won't have to worry about wasting your money spent on a uniform.
randomman22 forfeited this round.
DBPDX forfeited this round.
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