Did you know that as many as twenty-five percent of the nation?s pubic elementary, middle, and junior high schools have successfully implemented a school uniform policy? (Isaacson, 1998) School uniforms greatly benefit both the students and faculty by creating an atmosphere in which the students are able to get the most out of their education. I believe that all students should wear school uniforms regardless of whether or not the school is public. Below are clear-cut arguments in favor of school uniforms.
First, one of the chief benefits of school uniforms is their ability to make schools safer. Studies have shown that they help to reduce gang influences. (Isaacson, 1998) Many gang members wear particular types of colors and clothes to signify their membership to a certain gang. With every student wearing the same articles of clothing, gang members will not be able to establish a rivalry within the school. Uniforms also minimize violence by reducing some sources of conflict. A Long Beach Superintendent stated the first year that the uniforms had been implemented into his school, crimes decreased by thirty-six percent, school violence by fifty-one percent, and vandalism to the school dropped eighteen percent. (US Dept. of Ed., 1996) Uniforms will also make it easier for trespassers to be identified. (Ryan & Cooper, 2000) These trespassers will stick out like a soar thumb because they will not have on a uniform like everyone else. Identifying and properly escorting the trespassers to where the need to be will ensure parents that the school is a safe and secure place for their kids to get an education.
Second, school uniforms helps to eliminate socio-economical barriers. Many students come from diverse backgrounds; however, inside the walls of the school, economic advantages and disadvantages are no longer obvious. (R, 2000) Parents? incomes no longer determine how well his or her son or daughter dresses the next day at school. Uniforms help to erase the tense cultural and economic differences among the students. Not only do students and teachers benefit from the wearing of uniforms, but parents do as well. Parents are no longer pressured to buy the latest fashions; therefore they spend less money on clothes and fashionable apparel.
Third, school uniforms help to promote structure and discipline inside of the classroom. This structure creates a strong learning environment and improves the students? behavior and attitude towards schooling. In 1998 a study done by The National Association of Elementary School Principals and Land?s End discovered that schools with an active uniform policy had almost a twenty percent better discipline rate than that of a non-active uniform policy. Studies also showed that student achievement was increased by ten percent. (NAESP, 1998) Because of the learning atmosphere created by uniforms, students are more likely to concentrate on their schoolwork and strive for great grades.
Over the many years of this ongoing debate there has only been one case in which the state lost the courtroom ruling, which was the case of Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District. In 1965, Des Moines schools suspended two teenagers for wearing black armbands to protest the war in Vietnam. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that in public schools, which are run by the government, students are not to ?shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.? It said that schools could only limit students? freedom of expression if their writings or behaviors were disruptive to the functioning of school or if it invades the rights of others. (NAESP, 1998) It is evident that in many schools across the nation the types of clothes that kids wear to school are disruptive to the functioning of school. Therefore, the schools are not infringing on the Fourteenth Amendment, and do have the right to implement their own policy as long as it is in reason.
In conclusion, we should have school uniforms because overall they help to make school a better place. Uniforms help to eliminate economical barriers, help to reduce violence in the schools, and help in raising students? academic achievement. What more could an educator ask for? I have stated many of the benefits that uniforms have on students and the school as a whole. The results of school uniforms are crystal clear, and we as educators would be foolish not implementing them into our school system.