Should Uniforms be Required in Public Schools
Debate Rounds (5)
Accepted. I think school uniforms should be issued but only optional to wear.
Discipline: If an adult wore a slobbish outfit to work, they would not have the energy or will to behave professionally. The same goes for students. If a student is wearing whatever they find in their closet, they will not want to try as hard as they normally do. Wearing uniforms will cause students to pay better attention and "earn" the uniform.
School Spirit: When all students are wearing the same outfit, they will feel a sense of unity, even if they do not know any other people.
Reduce Non-Academic Distractions: "As kids mature and begin to form self-identities, designer status symbols become more and more important as they try fit in with their peers. All too often, children are bullied if they can"t afford the new designer jeans or the latest name brand shoes. Uniforms minimize socioeconomic status between students by removing the option for different types of clothing. In addition, school administrators spend less time tending to dress code infractions, as the rules are clear and concrete." See source.
Also, it will prevent guys from ogling over a girl's cleavage, while preventing girls from staring at a guy's butt. Keeping the distraction off of the other gender will allow for kids to pay better attention on the assignment.
Less Stress on Parents/Guardians: "After taking a shower, waking up the kids, making breakfast, checking emails, putting in a load of laundry, making snacks for later, brushing teeth, and combing hair, the last thing any parent wants to do is have an early morning battle over what their child is going to wear to school that day. Uniforms reduce morning stress by making the process of getting dressed a no brainer. Students know exactly what they can and cannot wear leaving parents with only one concern" when is the last time those pants were washed?
Besides having one less thing to fight about, parents also benefit from not having to buy their children expensive, designer clothes for schools. In the cooler months, students simply add approved outwear and girls add tights or leggings to their basic uniform. And since uniforms do not vary from year to year, students can wear their uniforms for more than one year without fear that they are out of style." See source.
Safety: In a school of standards, anyone who isn't wearing a certain color will stick out as an intruder. Also, on school field trips, any kids who get lost will be easily identified.
Bullying: While I understand that wearing one outfit every day will not eliminate bullying, it will be one less thing to not have to worry about.
This is like my sixth or fifth time debating school uniform, but instead of copying my standard argument I will try to use logic to rebut and build up my arguments this time, for challenge and for fun.
"Discipline: If an adult wore a slobbish outfit to work, they would not have the energy or will to behave professionally. The same goes for students. If a student is wearing whatever they find in their closet, they will not want to try as hard as they normally do."
What do you ever mean? Just because you wear casually does not mean you'll work casually and unwell. Perhaps it is because the uniform is TOO professional, that students don't work as well. Think about it. Uniforms don't feel comfortable to everyone. Furthermore, some students feels like it limits and attacks their right to expression. Therefore by feeling uncomfortable in the extremely-professional clothes, they would actually "not want to try as hard as they normally do", as my opponent claims.
School Spirit: When all students are wearing the same outfit, they will feel a sense of unity, even if they do not know any other people.
Are people really unified if they wear the same thing? Short people can still be ridiculed by tall people. Racist students will bully others on their skin color regardless of the fact that they're all wearing the same things. People with mental disabilities will remain teased. Our modern society's students are too clever and see through everything, they'll find something to disrupt this so-called "unity". Unfortunately, wearing the same thing does not mean being equals in these bullies' minds.
Reduce Non-Academic Distractions:
Yet at the same time there are distractions. There are clear cases where students complain about their uniforms, one even about a mere emblem! Regardless of whether the student was right or not to complain, this source [http://ic.galegroup.com...] clearly highlights the problem of students being more distracted than ever with the addition of school uniforms. The case here [http://articles.latimes.com...] shows us a complaint from a student's parent about the school motto imprinted on the uniform shirt. Have students complained about needing uniforms?? Nope. But with uniforms, students become distracted from school and worry about their self-image ever so more based on their uniform. It is obvious that we cannot distract these students. We must have the best environment possible, without uniforms' problem.
"Also, it will prevent guys from ogling over a girl's cleavage, while preventing girls from staring at a guy's butt."
What do you mean? Girls and boys can be equally hot in school uniforms. Students still gonna stare at each other in love regardless of what their wear.
Less Stress on Parents/Guardians:
Not all work requires uniforms. For those that don't require uniforms, using uniforms will decrease the students' abilities to chose their clothing wisely.
My opponent has only used one source to justify his reasoning. That is simply not enough. You need the addition of logic, and actual cases plus evidence to prove your points.
Back to you, SongGeek324.
"Furthermore some students feel like it limits and attacks their right to expression."
Seeing as this is a constitutional right, this is very important to address. In the case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, the Supreme Court sided with Tinker. This is because the school attempted to deny their right to expression when they were wearing armbands to protest the Vietnam War. Uniforms, however, do not attack a students right to self expression. Students can express themselves through bows, hairstyles, jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, ect.) headbands, and styles of ties, as the Supreme Court made clear to be allowed, so long as it didn't hinder the educational process. They can also express themselves in the classroom by how they answer, who they talk to, what they research, and how they go about presentations. Clothing is not the only way to self-expression.
Also, your first source states, "Indeed, as the Daily News reported last Monday [April 2002], more and more public schools are requiring or encouraging students to wear clothing of standardized colors and styles-uniforms, basically-and there's been nary a peep of protest." Kids who have been wearing uniforms for their whole schooling experience do not have a problem with it.
"Unfortunately, wearing the same thing does not mean being equals in these bullies' minds."
I did explain how just because you are wearing the same thing does not mean that you won't get bullied. I do understand that kids will find something to put someone down over. I believe that school uniforms will give students one less thing to be bullied over. Bullying will not end. Ever. Nothing will change that. Not even my amazing uniforms. *Haha*
My friend was bullied because she was uncomfortable wearing spandex shorts to play volleyball in. This goes against the school dress code, yet it was a uniform. The school does not regulate the dress code at all. Due to bullying by the team and coaches, she felt forced to quit.
"But with uniforms, students become distracted from school and worry about their self-image ever so more based on their uniform."
This is exactly the opposite. Kids with less money, or not an appealing body type, don't have to worry about how they can't afford or fit into the most popular styles of clothing. Uniforms level the playing field of clothes. Besides, "More than 90 percent of girls -15 to 17 years- want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest." (http://www.heartofleadership.org...) "80% of children who are 10 years old are afraid of being fat." (http://www.pbs.org...). The list continues on and on with how many students feel pressured to be in the "in" crowd, while students that aren't popular feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment and dissatisfaction with themselves. Clothing is one of the biggest factors of peer pressure that I, personally, see. By implementing uniforms, kids will look the same and not be pressured to buy the biggest brand names.
"Girls and boys can be equally hot in school uniforms. Students still gonna stare at each other in love regardless of what their wear."
I do understand that. I do believe, however, that it is unacceptable to wear shorts that barely cover your underwear, sometimes not even, and see through shirts, as is the case in my school, so uniforms will help with the provocations.
"Not all work requires uniforms. For those that don't require uniforms, using uniforms will decrease the students' abilities to chose their clothing wisely."
I do believe that uniforms will allow kids to understand what is acceptable in the professional world. Just because you go to school in a uniform does that mean that you will not get practice on the weekends. We don't give people privileges just because one day they will need to learn how to use them responsibly. Also, it is possible to have free dress days once a month.
Other statistics to promote school uniform can be found here: http://www.statisticbrain.com... and http://kids.lovetoknow.com... .
I've had a lot of fun debating with you. Good luck on your rebuttal. I hope to hear from you soon.
Right to expression:
" Students can express themselves through bows, hairstyles, jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, ect.) headbands, and styles of ties...." School uniforms indeed encourage different ways of expression--but this nevertheless clashes against the uniform's goal at unifying everyone. People can still look to be economically different, some wearing more jewelry than other, some wearing more fancy ties than other. By limiting the self-expression, school uniforms defeats its own equality purpose.
My opponent concedes that uniforms does not necessarily halt bullying.
Even experts say that uniforms won't stop bullying. [http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca...]. Thus, why must we go through the effort to change all the schools to require uniforms? It is too much effort. Only 16.5% of the public schools in US require a uniform. [http://www.infoplease.com...] Changing this policy would require meetings, discussing, agreement, and lots of money to buy all the uniforms from the school. While private schools may earn money, most public schools are free. Therefore there not only remains the problem of time and process needed to change this no-uniform policy, public schools would have problem garnering up enough money for buying uniforms every year for new students in the school.
" By implementing uniforms, kids will look the same...." Opponent contradicts himself. Uniforms do not change the students' physique. They will still be worried about looking fat. Uniforms do not solve the problem my opponent proposes.
In addition, poor people will be unable to afford the uniforms at once. At the very least, uniforms cost way up to 100 pounds within Europe. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk...]. Keep in mind that my news article even sources the parents having to pay TWICE, meaning they had to pay a massive 200 pounds for the uniforms! The average cost of uniforms goes way up to $249 in America. [http://greatergreatereducation.org...] Thus those without uniforms cannot attend the school, or wear a slightly cheaper, different uniform, or even wear their usual clothes, yet still standing out within the crowd ever so more, destroying my opponent's "look the same" purpose yet again.
Equally hot uniforms:
"I do understand that."
People still gonna "Stare" at each other as you said, regardless of what they wear.
"Also, it is possible to have free dress days once a month."
Ah, see? School uniforms are so restricting even my opponent thinks that they shouldn't be required all the time.
My opponent gives us two statistic websites, yet do not tell us what they show and why they are credible. I expect my opponent to be the person telling us WHAT these websites show and WHY they are important, contribute to his arguments, and are trustworthy. You cannot merely say "oh, here's some statistics to show uniforms are good", and expect us to come to conclusions. In addition, causation does not show correlation, and neither vice versa. Just because violence happened to drop and school performance increased, does not attribute merely to school uniforms. We don't know if JUST the school uniforms caused these statistics. There are many other variables involved. Maybe the school added cameras? Security guards? Hired better teachers? Contacted the police more? Or maybe it's just because the school themselves are good and they are naturally improving? We don't know if the experimental data my opponent has shown is trustworthy or not. Who knows whether long-beach schools with uniforms improve on their own and our public schools just doesn't have the support to improve their security? There are too much questions and doubt within my opponent's statistics. Without outright explaining why the sources help his case and why they are credible, his statistics are moot.
Back to you, my opponent.
"School uniforms indeed encourage different ways of expression--but this nevertheless clashes against the uniform's goal at unifying everyone."
Kids wearing the same styles or colors of certain articles of clothing, such as shirts, pants, socks, ties, ect., unifies them.
Wearingg different articles at different times separates them. Take these pictures for example:
These two girls are unified by wearing the same colors, but show self expression. The girl on the left is wearing a navy and white cross-tie, white blouse, and navy skirt. The girl on the right is wearing a white long sleeved shirt with a collar, underneath a navy dresss.
All of these uniforms look diverse, yet would work for a school whose colors are red and yellow. No two uniforms match, yet it is evident that they would all be from the same school.
Also, this argument depends on your definition of unify. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com... , unify means "to cause (people or things) to be joined or brought together". An example of this is "two very different people unified by a common belief". Uniforms can unify people by using the same colors or styles, while self-expression allows variation within these boundaries. You can unify a group of people without forcing them to give up their individuality. Boy Scouts wear the same uniform, but due to their different badges, patches, pins, and beads, they are allowed to show their personal achievements and preferences. Letterman jackets also allow people in schools to be unified while showing personal achievements. http://www.wisegeek.org... explains what Letterman jackets are and how kids personalize it, while keeping the school pride.
"My opponent concedes that uniforms does not necessarily halt bullying. Even experts say that uniforms won't stop bullying."
I have already addressed this. See previous arguments.
"Changing this policy would require meetings, discussing, agreement, and lots of money to buy all the uniforms from the school. While private schools may earn money, most public schools are free. Therefore there not only remains the problem of time and process needed to change this no-uniform policy, public schools would have problem garnering up enough money for buying uniforms every year for new students in the school."
I do agree that changing this policy would require all of these things- initially. After initial cost, and time, is settled, uniforms are greatly inexpensive and durable. It is not the school's responsibility to provide uniforms, but to provide a path to obtaining school approved uniforms through resources such as magazines, websites, and catalogs. If parents could not provide uniforms to start with, then schools could provide interest-free loans to help offset the cost. Unless public schools wanted to completely take the whole burden of the cost, which they could do through fundraisers, they would not need to collect money for uniforms.
Besides that, uniforms and their costs are as diverse as the school districts they will be representing. In other words, each school district will have to decide for themselves the economic situation of their student body and decide how costly a uniform can be to represent them. Each school would have to choose a uniform that falls within the student body's economic range. Through the implementation of small uniform swap stores, parents wouldn't need to "buy uniforms every year for new students in the school". The uniforms would be turned in and exchanged for uniforms of a different size or for cash.
"Opponent contradicts himself. Uniforms do not change the students' physique. They will still be worried about looking fat. Uniforms do not solve the problem my opponent proposes."
Uniforms will not solve the problem of looking fat. Uniforms, will however, solve the problem of kids becoming obsessed over whether or not they have a certain style of clothing. By looking the same, I in no way meant that they would become identical in stature or weight. My opponent twisted my argument of not having to worry about not looking good in name-brand clothes. Allowing free-dress also is not the solution to kids being self-conscious about how they look. Allowing kids to dress however they please will not only put down the kids who can't afford designer clothing, but will also make the kids who don't look good in clothing made for smaller kids self-conscious.
"In addition, poor people will be unable to afford the uniforms at once."
I refuted that in my argument about interest-free loans and swap stores.
"Ah, see? School uniforms are so restricting even my opponent thinks that they shouldn't be required all the time."
This was not the argument that we were having. My opponent claimed in the second round that "Not all work requires uniforms. For those that don't require uniforms, using uniforms will decrease the students' abilities to chose their clothing wisely." Due to this argument, I conceded that to have practice choosing clothing wisely, free dress days once monthly would be sufficient, in addition to weekends. I do not believe that uniforms are restricting whatsoever, but in order to gain favor with children that are opposed to uniforms, I see the point in opening up dress once monthly.
"My opponent gives us two statistic websites, yet do not tell us what they show and why they are credible."
I do apologize for giving statistic sites and not explaining what they mean. I will now explain them.
http://www.statisticbrain.com... shows how many percent of parents marked "Agree" or "Strongly Agree" on the following questions survey asked the Survey was taken after the implementation of uniforms. The questions are stated below.
http://kids.lovetoknow.com... gives specific advantages in why uniforms are beneficial in the areas of academia, behavior, and emotion. It also shows the financial effects being primarily the same.
Back to you.
-Opponent drops my distraction argument.
My opponent has found a clever counter-plan to my problem. Good job.
Yet students are still only limited to certain colors. Tsk-tsk!
Changing the policy:
Inexpensive?? They cost hundreds of dollars as I mentioned before.
"Uniforms will not solve the problem of looking fat."
My opponent concedes that school uniforms aren't needed all the time.
Why should we trust these parents and teachers? Why not add the students in as well? Even though parents know their children, they cannot speak for them. Neither can the teachers. Why are the statistics trustworthy? My opponent hasn't shown why this source doesn't commit the texas-sharpshooter fallacy. It doesn't show all 3 sides of the picture; we cannot know absolutely for sure these benefits and lack of harm are actually there.
My opponent fails to rebut my doubt put into the benefits of (the other) school uniform statistic website.
SongGeek324 forfeited this round.
It's a shame really. One more round and my opponent probably could have completely collapsed my arguments. Unfortunately for now my arguments and rebuttals still stand. Vote me.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited the final round which is rarely acceptable behavior in any debate setting. S&G - Tie. Neither had major spelling or grammatical errors, but I did appreciate Con's formatting/spacing more than Pro's. Arguments - Con. Pro actually put up a strong fight, and nearly defeated a good amount of Con's challenges. Unfortunately, Pro failed to provide any counter-arguments to Con in the final round which allowed Con's arguments to remain standing unchallenged. Due to the failure to maintain the BOP, Con wins arguments. Sources - Tie. Both utilized sources throughout the debate, and neither really stood out having greater quality in terms of academic integrity than the other.
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