A school uniform is a garment worn by students chiefly for educational institutions like schools. They are common among primary and secondary schools across the globe. The uniforms vary from one school to another. The clothes can be used to distinctively identify a student with a certain institution. There has been an emerging debate on whether the uniforms are appropriate. Some people think that uniforms are bad, whereas others deem them necessary. The arguments are based on the economic aspects, social conduct, and psychological matters. This paper will support the argument why school uniforms should be appreciated within the learning institutions. Contrary to what some people think, school uniforms should not be discarded.
One reason why school uniforms should be embraced concerns economics. Uniforms are cost-effective. They are pocket-friendly to any social class. Although designer clothes are smart, they are quite expensive and not all families can afford them. Schools are institutions of learning and not fashion shows. Imagine students thinking about what to wear daily just to look unique. And if a student dresses in a particular item of clothing on more than one occasion, he/she may believe that it is time to revamp the wardrobe. It is for this reason that many parents support uniforms. Such undertakings are quite expensive to maintain. The culture of school uniforms cuts down the expenses. Even the parents understand how much they can save in a culture of uniform. It also eliminates a fierce competition between families in terms of clothes as the sign of social status.
Uniforms are vital in improving punctuality. It is hassle-free when one knows what they are wearing. In other words, once a person knows what to wear, the rest is much easier. Try to imagine a situation where a student, especially a female in her teens is given a chance to think what to wear while going to school. She may end up spending most of the time in front of the mirror changing clothes throughout. By embracing school uniforms, students do not have to worry about their attire or rather what they are supposed to wear. They do not have to worry how the trousers will match the shirt. The cold war on who is looking smarter is also eliminated. As a result, the process is quick and students can reach school early enough to continue with the other activities. Teachers and parents strive to improve punctuality among students, and this can be achieved through simple dressing.
The uniforms also prevent gang insignia and colors. The current generation faces tremendous challenges when it comes to the gang culture. The gang culture influences many students in several ways including clothing. Giving the students autonomy to decide on their attire is a major contributor to school gangs. A good example can be drawn from the army. Imagine a situation where the soldiers were to be recruited without considering the rule of uniforms. Surely, the number of inducted soldiers could be lower than the current numbers. Similarly, without the strict uniform policy, the number of graduating students will probably reduce. Students will be more concerned with creating gangs or becoming part of them. Therefore, uniforms lessen the chances of violence and conflicts, thus championing healthy living in a team culture within the institutions of learning.
Moreover, uniforms promote the sense of pride, unity, and good spirit within the community. Just like soldiers identify themselves with their uniforms, students also do the same. Again, taking the analogy of soldiers, if they were to wear civilian clothes in the line of duty, would anyone respect them? Probably not. Furthermore, people normally respect police officers while they are dressed in their uniform rather than in civilian clothes. According to a 2007 study conducted by Oxford Brookes University, uniforms contribute significantly to the development of students’ sense of pride to the institutions they belong. Chloe Spencer, a high school student at the Neale-Wade Academy within Cambridge, UK, stated in 2013, “Wearing a uniform is a badge of pride, creates an identity for a school and is an important part of being a school student” (“Should Students Have to Wear School Uniforms”, par. 1). The sense of pride can be utilized to harness healthy competition among the students. The study further suggests that students in uniforms are likely to engage in communal activities like Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) governed events. In other words, the uniforms raise the community spirit. The sense of community also prevents isolation. Without the uniform culture, some students can isolate themselves and develop troublesome behaviors. They end up becoming self-centered and acquire issues, such as mental ailments. However, the uniform culture can prevent such issues. The students will receive enough care and share it with others in a communal setting. Therefore, the degree of care and respect is raised through uniforms.
One more argument in favor of school uniforms, is the pressing problem of bullying which causes immoral behavior in educational institutions. Bullying is a growing concern within schools that as it can lead to depression and subsequent suicides. Some aspects of bullying are affected by the type of clothing. It is a common sense that nicely dressed students discriminate against the poorly dressed. Moreover, they form groups according to the style of clothes which signifies their status among the peers. It is a natural thing predetermined by the teens’ desire to stand out from others and show their power over weaker peers. Therefore, adopting school uniforms may contribute to decreasing this naughty behavior as it makes all the student be on the equal terms. Even the former President Bill Clinton once stated, “If it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to require school uniforms.” (Mitchell, par. 2). Students who cannot afford to wear expensive clothing are exposed to bullying in schools. Nerds, in particular, can be objects of bullying. However, the uniform policy achieves a considerable amount of fairness that can reduce bullying in schools. It plays a significant role in plummeting peer pressure and raising acceptability. The students in uniform tend to feel more connected and united.
To sum up, school uniforms are important for students. Regardless of some of their disadvantages such as their inability to stress the individual’s self-image, the positive impacts outweigh the negatives.. The main aim of adopting school uniforms is to reduce bullying as one of the pressing problems in schools. The cases of bullying have significantly increased across many schools. Students are demoralized and face distressing challenges caused by bullying. Such activities can be limited by adopting a school uniform policy. It will restrict the creation of gangs and other disruptive behaviors. Furthermore, school uniforms may also improve punctuality. School uniforms are important in enforcing discipline from early stages of life which can gradually prepare a young person for the corporate culture where a dress code is also of great importance. Apart from that, school uniforms raise a sense of pride and unity within the school members. The sense of community is also achieved through school uniforms. In general, the adoption of school uniforms ought to be appreciated due to various beneficial aspects.