School uniform is an outfit that your school has told you to wear. 22% of schools have school uniform but should the number be raised?
1: They can break down class barriers between students.
When students don’t wear school uniforms it can be easy to spot the most privileged kids based on what they wear to school. One argument used in favor of school uniforms is that when kids wear uniforms visible class markers between rich kids and poor kids are decreased or eliminated, which may lead to more social mixing.
2: They can increase student focus.
Another argument that’s often in favour for uniforms is that they may increase student focus. The evidence for this seems to be thin, but many supporters of uniforms argue that when students don’t have clothing to notice, comment on or respond to, they can spend more energy on learning, this increases discipline in the classroom.
3: They can increase the sense of community in a school.
Uniforms may also build community in a school as students of all ages. children bond over the outfits they all wear on school days. When schools debate about whether they should have uniforms or not previous students have been in favour of keeping uniforms.
4: School uniforms can promote safety.
In areas where students may be gang-involved, uniforms can increase safety by preventing students from wearing clothing that inappropriate. Some people in favour of school uniforms argue that uniforms can increase student safety in school and outside of school, as well as increasing students’ ability to blend in and focus on learning without having to worry that their clothing choices.
1: They can be expensive for parents.
Keeping a child in school uniforms may be more expensive for parents and guardians than buying regular clothes would be. Often, uniforms are only available from a limited number of suppliers keeps prices high. Or, a uniform will include pricier items like blazers and dress shoes, which some families might struggle to afford.
2: Uniforms limit student self-expression.
Another argument made against uniforms is that they limit students’ self-expression. Teenagers in particular are famous for needing to express their emotions and their tastes in music, fashion and art through clothing, hair and piercings. School can be tough on kids and teens as it is, without taking away one of the few areas where they can exert some control and express themselves, say opponents of school uniforms.
3: Uniforms may be sexist.
Some uniforms may strike students and parents as sexist. For example, if a uniform requires girls to wear skirts and trousers are not allowed, some students and parents may object, leading to conflict with the school administration. Not all girls want to wear skirts and some may resent being told to wear traditionally “feminine” garments.
4: Uniforms lead to more policing of students.
If a school has a uniform policy, it generally tries to enforce that policy by monitoring students’ clothing and punishing students for violating uniform requirements. Of course, even schools that don’t require uniforms may police student clothing that’s deemed too revealing or offensive, but uniforms may add to the attention focused on student dress. This can make students feel that they’re being judged and punished for their appearance, which could have negative effects on student self-esteem or attitudes toward the school. And if students are sent home for uniform violations, they will miss valuable learning time. Plus, policing student uniforms takes time and effort on the part of teachers.