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Today’s public schools have a problem beyond funding and test scores. A less obvious student issue pertains to what student are wearing or not wearing. The stress of worrying about what they are wearing can direct focus away from education and to appearance. Therefore, a uniform can eliminate distractions so students can return their attention to the most pressing matter—their education. For some people, the idea of school uniforms may seem like a rigid concept that limits individualism. Unless a child attends a private school where uniforms are the traditional attire roaming the halls, children and families are probably not accustomed to it. Why, though, are school uniforms not the norm in public schools? Some people would say that it is because uniforms have little to no point and take away individuality. However, little do they know, school uniforms have many benefits. Many students attending schools requiring school uniforms generally seem content wearing the same outfit every day and have no problems with uniforms. School uniforms are helpful to students because students can pay attention during class instead of being distracted by what they are wearing, they can save parents money, and wearing school uniforms enhances school pride, unity, and community spirt.
According to research, school uniforms help students focus more on their education and not their clothes. Students can be distracted by their clothing in the classroom causing them to mis key information. However, wearing school uniforms would make it less likely for this to happen. Research done by University of Houston in 2010 backs this point up. During this research, they analyzed nearly 20 years of data including demographics, test scores, attendance, and disciplinary records. This was from a large urban school district in the southwestern United States, all of which had school uniforms. This study showed that “uniform policies resulted in improvements in academics, attendance, and behavior” (‘School Uniforms,’ Gale, PC3010999340). Furthermore, there was more research done in California school districts. After the research was complete, “the school board reported highs in attendance rates and a decrease in suspension by about 33%” (‘School Uniforms,’ Gale, PC3010999340). School uniforms make students more focused on their education and learning compared to students who do not wear uniforms. This is shown through the improvement in academics, attendance, and more. Also shown by a drop in suspensions in certain schools.
Next, new research shows that school uniforms are less expensive than the cloths that the average non-uniform student would wear, which in turn, saves parents’ money. Data from 2013 found that school uniforms for children added up to be no more than $150 a year, says 77 percent of principals and other school leaders. “The National Retail Federation (NRF) in 2016 reported that the average family with children in elementary through secondary school planned to spend about $235 that year on school clothes” (‘School Uniforms,’ Gale, PNKNBI278385810). This research also found that even in the U.K., uniforms seem to be cheaper. The U.K. research confirmed this by saying that “uniforms cost parents £88.05 ($128.79) per outfit, while out-of-school outfits averaged £113.00 ($165.79)” (‘School Uniforms,’ Gale, PNKNBI278385810). Buying school uniforms will cost parents money but not nearly as much as compared to traditional school cloths. In addition, there is no stress about what clothes to buy and what labels are on the clothing. Without uniforms, parents feel pressured to purchase many different outfits, which as previously stated, can be very costly. Implementing uniforms will allow parents to only have to buy approximately two different school uniforms which will not only save money but help to level the playing field for different social-economic classes.
When students wear uniforms, some people say students cannot express themselves; however, what they seem to forget is that uniforms make students feel a part of something bigger than just themselves, which increases individual confidence. Many people though think that school uniforms limit individuality. Wearing school uniforms will enhance unity, community spirt, and pride for the school as the individual. A study was conducted to show whether school uniforms help support school unity, community spirt, and pride. The research consisted of 1,000 Texas middle school students. The results showed that students who did not wear uniforms to school had far less school pride and a feeling of belonging to their school compared to students who were required to wear uniforms. (“School Uniforms” ProCon.org). Additionally, more data was found to support the idea that school uniforms enhance school pride, unity, and community spirt. A study showed that when schools implemented school uniforms, ‘Teachers perceived an increase in the level of respect, caring, and trust… throughout the school’ and said ‘students are made to feel ‘important’ and as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform” (“School Uniforms” ProCon.org). School uniforms make students feel more connected to their school and classmates. When not wearing uniforms, they often feel as if they are not a part of anything or might not feel accepted. When people state that uniforms suppress individuality, they are mis-informed because uniforms accomplish the opposite. They allow students to gain their own self-confidence through being a part of something bigger.
There are far more benefits to wearing schools uniforms than there are drawbacks. Private schools have already figured this out and it is time that public schools follow suit. School uniforms will reduce problems that some teachers experience with students such as being unfocused or distracted. The implementation of student uniforms will allow students to be more focused on their education rather than their clothes, allow parents to save money, and enhance school pride, unity, and community spirt.
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