School Uniforms are being seen more and more often these days. Why is this happening? Some may say it is because school uniforms are more economically efficient and add to the learning environment. However, some authorities think that school uniforms are a bad idea because they may add more expense to school, do not separate high class from low class, and they take away from the individuality of the student. On the contrary, school uniforms are great because they add to the learning environment, they enhance school security, and they promote equality.
Since teenagers are highly prone to being overly concerned about what they are wearing, if they are required to wear a uniform then there is a greatly reduced amount of focus on this particular issue, which then allows them to turn some of that focus towards their learning. I do not, however, think that it is the sole means of achieving this. On Debate.org an anonymous writer states that there are several reasons why uniforms will help add to the learning environment. Students who come from different economic backgrounds find it very hard to assimilate in an environment where children have branded clothes, accessories, etc. With uniforms, all rich and poor students do not have to worry about the brand of their clothes, and thus helps them to focus on their education. When we speak of creativity and free expression it seems to always end with clothes, hair style, tattoos, etc. For example, if a student is a pacifist he/she might wear a dress to support his/her stand.
The problem with this is that it just ends there. Instead, encouraging these students to write an essay or paint a painting or sculpt a sculpture supporting their stand will be much better. In light of these, the argument that uniforms inhibit free expression seems to be a poorly constructed reason to avoid uniforms in school. Free expression could hurt others. What happens if a student wears a shirt saying that all homosexuals should be killed? What would happen if a student wears a shirt saying that all Christians should be killed? By wearing uniforms all such problems could be avoided, and this would help the administration to focus on improving education rather than worrying about public relations and the aftermath for suspending or not suspending a student who wore such a shirt. The “security benefits” from school uniforms often cited making it easier for authorities to identify intruders.
School uniforms also discourage gang colours which can often include sports team clothing items with a gang interpretation of the colours, encourage cohesion among the students, and eliminate clothing competitiveness & mocking. And, then, there is the “discipline of conformity”, telling the students and parents who are in charge. The school cohesiveness factor may have an unintended consequence of one person’s account of his school days in India. He explains that whenever school-related fights broke out, they were between students from different schools and bystanders will join the fray according to the uniforms involved. By that story, the uniforms might have lessened fights among one’s school’s student but given a social factor for fights with “rival” schools.The students certainly have a point in terms of freedom of choice. But the proponents of a mandatory uniform take a different stand.
Wearing a uniform, they say, makes all students equal. There is no difference evident between rich and poor. The uniform is also easy to identify, and thus helps protect students and maintains a certain standard.
It’s the same for other people in uniforms, like police, soldiers, security guards, nurses, doctors and airline crewmembers. These arguments, however, fail to convince the anti-uniform students. There is no doubt that, in most situations, the freedom to wear what one likes is an undeniable right. Nevertheless, such a right is not absolute, like the right to life. Freedoms can sometimes be restricted, and any statement of rights is not absolute and must necessarily be subject to limitations. Freedom of speech and expression does not extend to defamation, slander or obscenity.
Likewise, the exercise of one’s rights is interrelated with the rights of others in society. There is nothing wrong with the students expressing their opinion, but perhaps the effort and energy spent on this advocacy could be better spent on other causes that could benefit society as a whole. Being forced to wear a uniform in a class might be restricting, but it also denotes a sense of identity and equality.School uniforms will continue to assimilate in our schools and help them to become safer and a better place to learn.
Most students disagree with wearing uniforms, but what they don’t know is it helps them day to day at school. Hopefully, in a sense of wanting, most students will understand how this school uniform policy is actually quite a good thing. Many schools already agree with the policy of uniforms and have implemented in there schools knowing the benefits. This includes my school, where this policy keeps us safe and organized in a civil manner. Overall school uniforms add to the learning environment, enhance school security, and promote equality.