Writing an Against School Uniforms Essay
The issue of school uniforms is one that crops up quite regularly in the news. Uniforms are still common in many countries, although styles vary widely, and they have a lot of supporters. On the other hand there is a lot of opposition, too. If you're planning an essay opposing the use of school uniforms here are some arguments you can use.
School uniforms are expensive
Many school uniforms are designed to be affordable, but even so they become a significant cost when you have to buy them for two or more children. There's also the problem that children are growing rapidly, so a new uniform will probably be required every year or even more often. They don't even save wear on normal clothes, because those clothes will probably be outgrown before they wear out anyway, even if they're also worn for school.
Uniforms can cause corruption
Often uniforms include custom-embroidered items such as shirts or blazers, and many schools have a preferred supplier for these. In many cases there is only one supplier authorized to sell the school's logo. A large school can represent a significant market, possibly running to thousands of uniforms a year, and it can be tempting for a shop to come to an "arrangement" with a headmaster to become the approved supplier. This has happened several times in the UK.
Some uniforms are unsafe
School uniforms, especially for boys, have traditionally included a tie. There are risks from ties, though; they can become caught in things, creating a strangulation hazard, and are easily grabbed during playground scuffles.
Uniforms don't stop bullying
It's often argued that uniforms reduce bullying by ensuring that all children are dressed to the same standard. It's a poor argument though. If children want to bully a classmate they will, no matter what he's wearing. If they can't tease him for his clothing they'll simply find something else.
Uniforms harm free expression
By forcing children to dress identically their ability to express their personality, creativity and personal preferences is stifled. This is especially harmful during as important a formative period as school.
Uniforms can be racist
Uniforms often exclude items that may be important to a student's religion. There have been many cases of girls being suspended for wearing veils or jewellery that violate a uniform policy but are required by their religion.
It's obvious that there are a lot of things you can say against school uniforms. A quick web search will find lots of blog posts or articles on any of these topics, so it will be easy for you to collect all the information you need to write an interesting, persuasive essay.
There is an ongoing discussion in this nation about school uniforms, whether or not they help with behavior problems, and increase test scores. As an eighth grade student at Delta Middle School, I do not want school uniforms. In this paper I will present the argument against wearing school uniforms. I will include, personal opinion and will also site research.
Kade A., a sixth grade student, when asked about school uniforms said, “No, I don’t like them, because they are uncomfortable, and make you feel like you are in your church clothes all the time.” Daycen J., another student said, “I don’t like school uniforms because they take away student’s individuality.”
Dr. Alan Hilfer, senior psychologist in Brooklyn’s Children’s and Adolescent Unit at Maimonides Medical Center states:
"Clothes are a source of expression for children, and as kids get older, they become increasingly resentful of uniforms….By instituting a uniform policy, schools are taking away kids’ individuality--- schools need to decide if that sacrifice is worth making.”
Dr. Hilfer is talking about whether taking away student’s individuality is worth the payoff of decreased behavior problems, and increased test scores. A study done by David L. Brunsma , University of Alabama and Kerry A. Rockquemore of Notre Dame, entitled Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Abuse, and Academic Achievement, showed that uniforms did not lead to an improvement in these areas. Their conclusion was:
“Student uniform use was not significantly correlated with any of the school commitment variables such as absenteeism, behavior, or substance use (drugs). In addition, students wearing uniforms did not appear to have any significantly different academic preparedness, proschool attitudes, or peer group structures with proschool attitudes than other students.”
One area that might be of concern is the lessening of gang related problems, and fashion wars. A study published in 1995, by Lillian O. Holloman, a clothing and textiles professor at Virginia Polytechic Institute and State University, entitled Violence and Other Antisocial Behaviors in Public Schools: Can Dress Codes Help Solve the Problem? explores the problems the students can get into because of the way they dress. The study says:
“Gang colors and insignias, whether worn intentionally or unintentionally, can get a student jumped or worse. Status clothes, such as team jackets of professional sports teams, leather coats and designer sneakers, have led to thefts, sometimes by knife or at gunpoint.”
This may be true in some areas of the country, such as low-income, inner city areas, but I do not believe this to be true in the Millard County School District. I cannot recall any accounts of violence against students caused by a student’s clothing selection. I believe that before you put into action a school uniform policy based on such fears, you need to take into account the area the school is in, the economic level of the population, the number of people involved in gangs and the amount of gang related activity in the community.
Most of the articles that I have read about whether wearing school uniforms changes behavior and increases test scores, are inconclusive. Most of the time other rules are put into place along with the school uniforms, which may lead to a desired behavior. However, the uniform itself cannot be entirely responsible for the change.
Middle School/ Junior High is a time of maturing, physically, mentally, academically, and emotionally. Schools need to create an environment that encourages students individuality and motivate them to challenge themselves and inspire self confidence. I feel that school uniforms diminish creativity and self expression.
School Uniforms: Pros and Cons. Ann Svensen. http://School.familyeduction.com/eductional-philosophy/individually/38676.html
A Mixed Bag of Uniform Research. American associations of School Administrator. http://aasa.org/publicactions/content.cfm?
Scientific School Uniform Research. http:/www.gate.net/rwms/UniformsBrunRock.html/