The Instigator
ashwhe87
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Uniforms In Schools K-12

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/1/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,311 times Debate No: 9899
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

ashwhe87

Pro

I am proposing an argument based on the necessity for school uniforms. The debate over whether or not school uniforms should be mandatory has been a long standing issue for school administrators, students, and parents alike. The pros and cons for each side have resulted in a split decision in which some schools adamantly enforce the uniform policy while others employ lighter dress codes. However, with the implementation of a dress code, as opposed to a uniform policy, students retain the freedom to dress as they choose within their means. While there are benefits to this freedom, there are unfair burdens that accompany this kind of liberty. Public schools should enforce a mandated uniform policy because, in doing so, they have the ability to minimize inequalities among students.
In this debate, all I ask is that my opponent use the bullet system (as opposed to paragraph) when stating his/her arguments.

*Policy Proposition:
I advocate that students in K-12 public schools should be required to wear a mandated school uniform.

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Defining key terms:
Mandate: –verb (used with object)
(1) to authorize or decree (a particular action), as by the enactment of law.
(2) to order or require; make mandatory: to mandate sweeping changes in the election process.
**Source: http://dictionary.reference.com...

School Uniform-
(1) A set of standardized clothes—worn primarily for an educational institution
(2) Traditionally, school uniforms have tended to be subdued and professional.
**Source: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Examples-
(1) Males: "Navy straight legged pants, no larger than one size bigger at the waist and one inch off the ground. The shirts are white with a mandatory collar and have to be tucked in."
(2) Females: "Navy jumpers, skirts, walking shorts, slacks with a white blouse tucked in."
**Source: http://findarticles.com...
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*Grounds:
1. School uniforms make getting dressed easier and less time consuming for both parents (who dress their children) and students (those who dress themselves).
2. Uniforms are less expensive than current clothing trends, thus they are more economical.
3. Uniforms would eliminate students being ostracized based on what they wear.
4. Uniforms provide a level of safety in schools - they make identifying those who do not belong at the school easy, in addition gang affiliations are eliminated.

*Warrant:
Because school uniforms are time efficient, economically beneficial, create appearance neutrality, and maximize school safety, K-12 students should be required to wear mandated school uniforms.
Danielle

Con

Thanks for the debate, Pro.

To clarify, I went to a Catholic HS and absolutely loved wearing uniforms.

That said, I'll proceed to negate the resolution at hand.

[ Rebuttal of Pro's Arguments ]

1. School uniforms make getting dressed easier and less time consuming.

While the decision process of what to wear might be easier, it's not true that uniforms are always convenient. For instance, suppose you have 4 uniforms that you rotate. For one thing, what happens if some of your uniforms are dirty, and the ones that aren't get ripped or somehow soiled? This is a problem that everyone I know who were required to wear uniforms has had, including myself. If a part of your uniform was missing or unavailable to you, then you essentially could not attend school that day. Additionally, you had to do laundry far more often than you would if you didn't have to rely on just a few uniforms for continued use, making the clothing process not any less time consuming (perhaps even more time consuming) and also economically and environmentally unfriendly considering the amount of water being used on a frequent basis.

2. Uniforms are less expensive than current clothing trends, thus they are more economical.

Actually, it depends on the uniform. Some uniforms are more expensive than others. This argument does not stand against people who make their own clothes, or who specifically shop at vintage stores or other lower priced outlets for their attire (like Wal-Mart). In that way, forcing someone to buy clothes more expensive than what they would typically or could conceivably wear is unfair, and a policy that wouldn't hold water in a public school. The only way it would work is if those who couldn't afford the uniforms could receive some assistance, meaning it would actually cost the tax payers money to help dress people in clothes that they might not even want to wear. This option seems like it's only economical for the company who makes the uniforms, as well as an infringement of rights on the tax payers. Plus, even if tax payers weren't somehow held responsible, it's still an infringement of rights that some would be required to buy these uniforms because children are required by law to attend school.

3. Uniforms would eliminate students being ostracized based on what they wear.

Maybe not. In my Catholic HS, students were not ostracized for what they wore but rather how they wore it (i.e. their skirt was too long, etc.). Additionally, students will just find other things to tease about, such as jewelry accessories or lack thereof. Plus, this is kind of a moot point since teasing is going to occur anyway. Instead of saying "Your shirt is really ugly," people will just say, "Your face is really ugly." That type of ostracizing is routine in schools and it will not decrease in general thanks to the implementation of school uniforms.

4. Uniforms provide a level of safety in schools.

In situations where harm has ever been done to a student body, the perpetrator almost always went to that school, so whether or not they had a uniform would be irrelevant (since they probably would). Further, you could easily avoid a label of gang affiliation by monitoring what you wear.

[ Conclusion ]

In addition to my points about being forced to do a lot of laundry, spend money on clothes you might not want to wear for possibly a higher cost, etc., I maintain that uniforms shouldn't be forced upon public schools because they're unnecessary. Additionally, the benefits aren't definite and don't outweigh the detriments. Why should we be forced to accept something that doesn't even really help? Students develop a sense of identity sometimes by how they dress. Additionally, letting them come to their own decisions about dress and its implications can provide beneficial and educational results that go beyond a classroom and into a sociological perspective. I'll send this debate back to my opponent for now -- good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
ashwhe87

Pro

1.Your first argument is a transfer fallacy of composition. In other words, it relies on the assumption that what is true of the part (a student with 4 uniforms) is also true of the whole (students with more or less uniforms). By saying that a student "essentially could not attend school" because of unavailable uniform pieces is a bit of an exaggeration. Most schools have a supply of appropriate attire for students to borrow in emergencies. In addition, students who have as many regular clothes as they do uniforms would do the same amount of laundry; therefore making the time spent washing clothes equivalent. The problems you state could just as easily apply to regular clothing. We cannot assume that students who do not wear uniforms have an excess of clothes that are appropriate for school.

To argue my claim that school uniforms make getting dressed easier and less time consuming, I propose that we consider other elements of time conservation.
1. Time spent shopping for regular clothes is more time consuming than ordering or picking up a designated uniform.
2. For parents of young children who do not dress themselves, uniforms provide an easy, hassle-free formula for getting dressed in the morning.
3. Those who do not wear uniforms will spend more time picking out what to wear than those who wear uniforms.

2. True, there are situations in which buying/making regular clothes are more economical, and taxpayers may experience an increase. However, whether or not the student wants to wear the uniforms is insignificant (plenty of taxpayer dollars go to things they/others do not want). Thus:
1. Taking into consideration that these uniforms would be used for public schools, the selection of uniforms mandated would probably be priced lower than those of private schools or the more expensive uniforms
2. Uniforms can be bought at places such as Walmart/thrift stores. In these cases buyers would not experience much change in price or quality of clothing.
3. Students who cannot afford uniforms have the option to receive free/reduced priced uniforms that have been donated.

3. You have some good points. There are many things to tease a student over besides the shirt they come to school in. But with the implementation of mandated uniforms:
1)I think we can both agree with one student's account, "The fact is, it really did eliminate clothing as one more thing to obsess about, or pick on people for. It didn't eliminate all teasing or bullying by any means, but it was still an improvement…"
**Source: http://www.americasdebate.com...
2) As a veteran teacher, Cecilia Hall writes, "I have taught 40 years and have seen increased PRESSURE in the area of fitting in… plus the clothing industry has taken us WAY OVER the line in sexualizing our young people."
**Source: same as above
3) School uniforms would decrease the amount of anxiety students experience, and reinstate a level of appropriateness in educational settings.

4. School uniforms would provide a level of safety in that:
1. People who do not belong at that school can be quickly/easily identified. This is undeniably one element that schools without uniforms must face.
2. Reducing violence stemming from socio-economic status, i.e., conflicts stemming from comments and personal attacks about who has better clothing and so on.
**Source: http://www.schoolsecurity.org...
3. One major case study of the effects of adopting school uniforms in Long Beach, CA which appeared in Psychology Today, reported the following effects from the switch to uniforms:
* Overall, the crime rate dropped by 91%
* School suspensions dropped by 90%
* Sex offenses were reduced by 96%
* Incidents of vandalism went down 69%
These results show a significant change in behavior when students wear school uniforms. Yes, there are cases of violence in schools with uniforms but the overall violence decreased.
**Source: http://www.edu...
Danielle

Con

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
ashwhe87

Pro

ashwhe87 forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

1. Pro maintains that school uniforms are convenient because they will make getting dressed easier and less time consuming. I maintain that this is irrelevant. Just because one might spend 2 minutes picking out their outfit instead of 5 doesn't mean that schools should mandate same-ness. Maybe some people (especially women) LIKE shopping and don't mind. Further, what about my supposition that some people might simply prefer to make their own clothes?

This entire point is based on a lot of hypotheticals and contains mostly irrelevant arguments. For instance, I've said, "What if someone's uniforms are all dirty and they don't have any clean ones to wear to school?" Pro came back with, "Well most schools have a supply in case of emergencies." In that case, what if they DON'T? Or what if they don't fit? Or what if kids are unaware of this option? Or what if people abuse this option? Or what if the school runs out? Etc. You shouldn't come to rely on the school, and further, realistically most students would rather just stay home from school for a day than borrow a random school uniform. I know I did.

Pro has said, "Your first argument is a transfer fallacy of composition. In other words, it relies on the assumption that what is true of the part (a student with 4 uniforms) is also true of the whole (students with more or less uniforms)." The same could be said about every argument put forth from the Pro in this regard in favor of school uniforms. I'll explain what I mean as we continue out throughout the debate. For now, I'd point out that the first argument of it being less of a hassle to have uniforms is simply (a) irrelevant and (b) not proven. It wouldn't be less of a hassle in every or even most situations for all people, and simply because it might be easier to be told what to wear doesn't mean that it's the favorable option. Some people LIKE choice and variety. We live in a society that appreciates individuality.

2. Pro's next point claims, "Whether or not the student wants to wear the uniforms is insignificant (plenty of taxpayer dollars go to things they/others do not want)." So basically what Pro is advocating for is a continuation of the trend that tax payers pay taxes for things against their desires. Interesting. I wonder how the students in uniform will feel about that trend when learning about concepts like "fascism" lol. Pro continues, "Uniforms can be bought at places such as Walmart/thrift stores." Really? Because the ones I had to wear in HS had my school's name on them and could only be bought from a specific retailer. Talk about a lack of competition (there's that fascism again... kidding). Pro also writes, "Students who cannot afford uniforms have the option to receive free/reduced priced uniforms that have been donated." This shows that he's relying on charity; an option that is hardly ever sufficient.

3. Kids will always be teased. If it's not about their clothes, it'd be about their looks, intelligence, athletic ability, etc. Pro quotes a teacher stating, "I have taught 40 years and have seen increased PRESSURE in the area of fitting in." So, to solve this problem we FORCE people to fit in?! There is something inherently wrong about that. We should be embracing and encouraging individuality, and teaching important lessons such as not valuing an individual or judging them by the clothes that they wear. Also, you don't need uniforms to have an "appropriate" educational setting. That comes with discipline and good educators. Students can be home-schooled in their pajamas and still receive an outstanding education.

4. Anyone who wants to cause a school harm would hardly care about having a uniform. As I've already said (Pro did not refute it), many of those who cause harm to schools i.e. school shooters go to the school and would therefore have a uniform, making this an irrelevant point. Also, people don't typically fight over another person having crappy clothes.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Lwerd 7 years ago
Lwerd
My account's been closed, so.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 7 years ago
XimenBao
ashwhe87DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
ashwhe87DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
ashwhe87DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
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Vote Placed by wonderwoman 7 years ago
wonderwoman
ashwhe87DanielleTied
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