In many ways, uniforms are unnecessary in schools, especially publicly financed schools. Uniforms might make it so students can't break a dress code, but they serve no purpose otherwise. These clothing requirements suppress individual identity. Therefore, uniforms are wholly unnecessary in the 21st century for both private and public schools.
Uniforms fail to promote diversity and individuality and students, and instead merely enforce a standard of conformity that no human being in a free, civilized society should be forced to participate in. This is a free country, and students should be allowed to celebrate that freedom by expressing themselves through fashion.
There should be no uniforms in schools. We should be focusing more on the studying that the child receives and not on what he/she is wearing. School uniforms take away from the students when they can not decide what they want to wear to school. They also put more of a burden on parents to keep these uniforms clean.
Uniforms are not effective as a means of eliminating dress conflicts or equalizing students. Even when students wear uniforms, they find other ways to compete and demonstrate class and economic differences. Furthermore, uniforms are an unnecessary expense for low income families. The cost of the uniforms is much greater than the cost of clothes at a thrift shop or secondhand store.
Enforcing an appropriate dress code is much easier when everyone is required to wear the style and color of clothes. Clothes show class stratification at a young age, with the kids whose families can't afford the "cool" brand names ending up feeling left out.
Uniforms force everyone to dress the same so that the focus is more on behavior and personality than on appearance. With a uniform code, it's easier for poor families because they don't need to purchase as large a wardrobe for their children, and they can also save on laundry costs because since kids wear the same thing everyday, they don't need to launder items that aren't actually dirty for fear their kid will be made fun of for "wearing the same clothes two days in a row." Since the uniforms don't go out of style, families have options of passing uniforms down through various siblings, as well as buying and selling gently used uniforms from other families whose kids have grown out of them, rather than always having to buy knew.
I grew up in a poor working-class family. I got made fun of for my dorky thrift-store and Kmart clothes. In retrospect I shouldn't have cared, but as a sensitive thirteen-year-old, that stuff matters. Uniforms would have alleviated that un-called-for nonsense. I shouldn't have been stressing about my clothes, I should have been expending that energy learning math.
There can be arguments made that school uniforms foster a sense of unity and cut down on bullying. However, parents may not have the money to afford five polo shirts and five pairs of jeans for their children to wear to school five days a week. If public schools can supply uniforms for kids, then they should be made available for free. How about using corporate sponsors for the uniforms? Soccer teams have corporate names emblazoned on their jerseys, so why not on school uniforms? Appropriate sponsors such as Scholastic, Harcourt-Brace and Crayola could fit the bills for school polo shirts for everyone.
Yes, I believe that uniforms are a good for school. Children find any reason possible to single out various children to bully and sometime the clothes they wear are one of the main points. Uniforms ensure everyone, for the most part, look generally the same. There are no "In group" with the name brand or expensive clothes, just the basic uniform.
There can't be any right or wrong answer relating to uniforms in schools because there can't be a right or wrong answer about dress that applies to all people in the country. While advocates of expression and individuality can argue against uniforms, uniforms can provide structure for children, and can be useful to prevent distraction and preoccupation that might otherwise derail kids from their schoolwork.