The Instigator
sassydebater
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Sandhya12345
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should Students be Required to Wear Uniforms?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,120 times Debate No: 66516
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

sassydebater

Pro

I am taking the position that schools should require students to wear uniforms to school. I believe that it will allow more self-expression that is not based off of materialism, less stress on students that are bullied and worried about picking outfits, and will help the students' parents out financially in regards to spending money on clothes.
Sandhya12345

Con

Hello sir/ma'am and welcome to our debate on whether or not we should wear school uniforms. Being a 16 yr old girl, I feel as though wearing uniforms is denying our freedom of expression. I am sure many other students who go to school will feel the same way as well. Instead of implementing school uniforms, there should be guidelines on how to dress, like no short shorts or no tube tops, etc. Pro may say that without school uniforms, kids would be teased on the way they dress. Implementation of uniforms is a BAND-AID solution to this problem. It doesn't address the root of the problem of bullying, it only covers one aspect of it. There are many other aspects of bullying as well. While uniforms may eliminate the "best-dress" competition, it turns into the "best-body" competition where kids start to judge based on body type: fat, skinny, etc. This, again, is a BAND-AID solution to the problem. Thank you and I hope people will side with me and take my opinions into consideration. And good luck Pro!!!
Debate Round No. 1
sassydebater

Pro

Why, thank you. Good luck to you as well. My opponent believes that wearing uniforms denies freedom of expression. However, I do not believe so at all. There are many aspects to expressing oneself and clothing is just another outlet for such expression. Allowing children to wear a uniform may further their expression, actually. In a world filled with judgements and stereotypes, taking away the judgement of clothing may allow students to assess each other as equals. This will allow students to be more comfortable in expressing themselves in alternative ways, like through his or her personality and talents. Students will be able to express themselves as a person and not through materialism.
Although there are guidelines for how to dress, those can also be said to be BAND-AID solutions as well. Dress codes are a half-way mark that simply does not work and you can STILL tell the difference between the fortunate and the unfortunate. Without uniforms there are clear indicators of wealth between what children wear. This makes poorer children stand out. Children can then be bullied for being different, which diminishes a child's enjoyment of school. In a study in New York it points out, "84% of parents think uniforms promote equality, and 89% of guidance counselors think uniforms help teach children to be more accepting of others who are less fortunate." This is also likely to translate to the teachers who will therefore treat their pupils more equally. Yes you may say that this is a BAND-AID solution, but it is a solution that helps and isn't that what BAND-AID's are for? Bullying covers a wide range of roots, but clothing is usually the first thing people notice in which students assess each other, which is a harsh and brutal reality. This is why having uniforms would aid in helping those that are less fortunate out, so that they can be more comfortable with themselves and that the parents only have to buy the uniform instead of struggling to pay for the different clothing pieces for their children.
Sandhya12345

Con

My opponent seems to think that uniforms don't cost money, however, they cost about the same, maybe even more. It also reveals the socioeconomic status of the cihldren attending school, evidently, how many times they were the same clothes over and over again, etc. School uniforms seem to promote conformity versus individuality. Students have to wear uniforms to conform under school rules? That seems unfair to the student body and it will demote the student's will to learn, since they don't feel good in the uniforms they wear, which will cause them to receive lower grades, therefore, not being able to have the best life possible. Longbeach, California was one of the first places to implement school uniforms. In the year following the introduction of mandatory school uniforms to the Long Beach (CA) Unified School District, 81% of middle school students said uniforms did not reduce fights, 76% said they did not help them fit in at school, 69% said they did not make them feel more connected with the school community, and 71% said they felt no safer traveling to and from school. Uniforms have a detrimental affect to a student's self image. As I mentioned before, if students don't feel comfortable in their school uniforms, then they will lose focus on the most important thing: education. I think the thing that we are both trying to get at is the improvement of the learning environment of schools. This problem cannot be solved using uniforms. Using uniforms will make school districts look like fools for not attacking the root of the problem directly. Bullying can be solved directly, and that is the method of teaching and punishment. Teaching a child from wrong and right and punishing them if wrong is committed are some ways to DIRECTLY attack the root of thr problem. Parents of the children are partly responsible as well as teachers. Last, but certainly not least, school uniforms are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes for a free public education. This places a burden on poor families and families in general. Why pay if the uniforms do not solve the problem at all.
Debate Round No. 2
sassydebater

Pro

In countering my Opponent, uniforms would actually be a much more inexpensive way for parents to pay for their children's clothing. In fact, in most countries, parents can apply for financial aid in buying uniforms. This is similar to students receiving aid for school lunches. If a family has a need, the school will be able to assist in meeting this need. Granted, uniforms can be expensive, but if the school can help in paying for needy families, it is definitely a better option. Also, if a student even had to buy another uniform because it became "worn down," or if they outgrew it, it would still be much more affordable than having to buy more casual clothes, for children do not like wearing the same thing too often (in case of being bullied).

In addition, not all uniforms have to be itchy or uncomfortable. In fact, most schools have a choice of uniform for many students so that they can wear what they feel most comfortable in. If children were allowed to choose their own clothes to wear to school, instead of a uniform, they might choose impractical clothes themselves, like baggy tee shirts or revealing clothing, or even wearing shorts in the winter time! To make sure that children are all wearing sensible clothes, there needs to be one uniform that all children at the school wear.

As for uniforms causing a problem in learning, I have to disagree. Uniforms help encourage discipline, but do not have any impact specifically on academics.
Cited Information:
"A study of six big-city Ohio public schools showed students who were required to wear uniforms had improved graduation, behavior and attendance rates. Academic performance was unchanged."
http://www.19actionnews.com...

You also mentioned, "school uniforms promote conformity versus individuality." Students are conforming to the rules of wearing a uniform. They are not sacrificing their individuality in result of this. Like I have mentioned several times, students can express individuality other than dressing themselves. In fact, having uniforms can ENCOURAGE students to set themselves apart based off of character rather than clothing.

In summarization, it really depends on whether you think the pros of uniforms outweigh the cons, which they do for me. You can say it limits self expression, but really it is encouraging self expression through personality rather than through clothing. It gives students the chance to stand out based on character, rather than apparel. You may say that it is a financial burden for parents, but with financial aid from schools, it is less burdensome than having to buy a bunch of different outfits for a child on a regular basis. You may say it makes them feel less connected with the community, but I strongly disagree. A uniform represents where a child goes to school and wouldn't that create a stronger connection to the community? A uniform promotes equality for those that may have been seen as less fortunate than others and does not have an overall impact on learning negatively or positively, but positively increases graduation, behavior, and attendance rates. Uniforms even reduce the stress of many high school students having to choose over what outfit to where that day. By removing such a stress, students can be comforted in knowing that they have one less thing to worry about: what to wear the next day.

Uniforms do not solve all the problems, but they help. The only thing to be said about schools not having uniforms is that it limits individuality, but even that can be expressed in other ways than through materialism. Uniforms have much more positive effects compared to not having them and the arguments that say schools should not have uniforms have much more credible refutations than the counters for why uniforms should not be encouraged.

Thank you.
Sandhya12345

Con

I think most people who go to school would agree with me in terms of the lack of uniforms. It is the best method yet.

One of the most significant issues for modern schools is the question of students" appearance. Whereas children would most likely enjoy dressing the way they want, teachers and education authorities would tend towards seeing students wearing standardized uniforms. There are many opponents and proponents of an obligatory enabling of school uniforms, both coming up with reasonable arguments in favor of their claims. However, to my mind, students should not be forced to wear uniforms, as it can negatively affect their personalities.

Wearing school uniforms is a significant obstacle for a child"s self-expression. It is not a secret that children are much more artistic than many adults; besides, in high school, teenagers often experience an increased need to be unique and special. The clothes one wears is one of the most available means of self-expression, and school uniforms do not allow students to demonstrate their individuality. Research shows that students who were forced to wear school uniforms were more likely to use makeup earlier than their peers, and later, to use more extreme accessories to alter their fashion (short skirts, mohawks, piercing, and so on) (WiseGEEK).

Another serious reason not to make students wear uniforms is when children look different and express different outlooks, it encourages them to be tolerant to those who differ from them, and to accept alternative lifestyles (Examiner.com). This is especially important considering one country can be inhabited by the representatives of different cultures, religions, and so on. Therefore, allowing students to dress according to their liking will encourage them to tolerate and accept people of other cultural, social, and religious groups. At the same time, a forced introduction of school uniforms results in a loss of diversity and a lack of tolerance towards strangers and people who are different from the majority.

The last but not the least argument refers solely to the financial aspect of the issue. After the economic crisis of 2008, many people around the world including the United States started to experience difficulties with their financial condition. School uniforms may cost significant sums of money, so some parents cannot afford to buy the required clothes for their children. On the other hand, not enabling obligatory school uniforms allows parents with lower incomes to be satisfied about their children"s appearance (Examiner.com).

The use of school uniforms is a poignant subject in debate circles. Introducing obligatory school uniforms will have several negative consequences. In particular, school uniforms interfere with children"s self-expression; create obstacles for cultivating tolerance and acceptance towards people of other lifestyles and outlooks; in addition, school uniforms may be rather expensive for some people, considering the economic crisis of 2008.

References

"What Are the Pros and Cons of School Uniforms?" WiseGEEK. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://www.wisegeek.org...;.

"The Pros and Cons of Kids Wearing Uniforms in School." Examiner.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://www.examiner.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
sassydebaterSandhya12345Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: tough, tough. Both give good cases, and pro has good suggestions that students who wear uniform CAN express themselves, and improve grades, while con shows the opposite, with lots of study and research too! I felt the two here clashed equally so null vote.
Vote Placed by Mags2 2 years ago
Mags2
sassydebaterSandhya12345Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: both had viable arguments made