After reading the many debates about the pros and cons about school uniforms, it is hard for any parent to decide where they stand. There are many cases made for students wearing uniforms in public schools but are we trying to take a one size fits all approach to bigger issues. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of school uniforms below.
The Pros And Cons Of Public School Uniforms: Pros
There are multiple pro points that make public school uniforms appealing in public schools. Take a look yourself at some of the bigger ideas.
School Uniforms Help Level The Playing Field
Those for uniforms feel that uniforms can help students start at the same place. Fancy clothes and brands are eliminated, and students can focus on more important things then clothes and brands… like studying.
Related: Do School Uniforms Prevent Bullying?
School Uniforms Can Reduce School Violence
By implementing school uniforms, gangs member are not able to wear gang colors or another gang insignia. School officials and parents speculate that uniforms promote a safer environment and reduce gang-related crime. It is also speculated that gang recruitment goes down as it is more difficult to identify gang members within schools.
School Uniforms Can Save Parents Money
Many educators believe that school uniforms can save parents money though parents around the internet seem to have varied opinions. According to cost helper education, a school uniform wardrobe can range from $100 to $600 to make four or five mix-and-match outfits. Statisticbrain.com estimates parents spend an average of $249 on school uniforms.
The Pros And Cons Of Public School Uniforms: Cons
School uniforms are not all sunshine and rainbows, and many parents and teachers feel strong against uniforms. Here are some of the most notable reasons a school uniform policy is not a good idea.
School Uniforms Restrict Students Freedom Of Expression
Many parents feel a uniform policy restricts children’s ability to express themselves and their individuality. Wearing a uniform can send a strong message to students that their self-expression and first amendment right to free speech must be left at the school door. Clothes are also a common way we support causes such as wearing pink for breast cancer. CNN has a great article detailing some of the latest stories about students and free expression on clothing called “When School Clothes Lead To Suspension.”
School Uniforms Widen The Gap Between Students
One of the very noticeable statistics is that uniforms are being implemented in higher poverty public schools much more quickly than in lower poverty schools. In a 2011-2012 study by the National Center For Education Statistics, 47 percent of high poverty schools surveyed were requiring uniforms in comparison to 6 percent of lower poverty schools surveyed. Even within the same school uniforms do not disguise the differences that one student has two uniforms, and another student has seven uniform outfits, especially when wear and tear show. Students also find other ways to express differences through hair, makeup, buttons and backpacks.
Uniforms Disguise The Bigger Problems In School
Many view school uniforms as a band-aid to more significant problems. By focusing on uniforms, we take time away from finding solutions that could more positively impact our schools. Smaller class sizes, parent involvement, increases to student support programs, increases in programs for physical education and the arts and improving facilities are all also ideas that will positively impact our schools. Resources only go so far, and other ideas can be pushed aside as schools focus on uniforms.