Dressing for Success: Enforcing a Schools Uniform Policy

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3 pages /

1495 words

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1495 words

Downloads: 27

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Over 55% of high school students, male and female, spend over 35 minutes to get ready for school in the morning. Although people view fashion as a fun way to express themselves, a majority do not realize the stressful side of fashion such as not meeting the social “norms,” not having enough money to buy trendy shoes, and the fact that a lot of people are trying to accept and love their bodies. All of these problems can be avoided by enforcing a simple uniform policy. Uniform policies have five main effects on students and their families such as academic effects, behavioral effects, bullying effects, emotional effects and financial effects. Although many argue that uniform policies limit the students freedom of expression, the truth is that uniforms create a sense of safeteness and a strong bond and culture between all students and teachers with equality and uniformity.

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Four public schools, across the nation, changed from a nonexistent dress code to strictly uniform policy, all four of the schools resulted in a 3.5% increase in attendance from the students. An increase in attendance goes hand in hand with academics. If students are at school, they are more likely to have significantly better grades rather than the students that skip consecutive classes. Uniform policies are known to improve teacher retention. The reason behind this change of student and teacher relationship is due to the students feeling equal to the adult. They are both dressed in uniform and students feel as though they are on the same playing field as the teacher when having a one on one conversation. When a teacher and student have a better relationship, they tend to learn better and care more about the class. Although there is no set in stone statistics that prove uniforms do affect academics, uniforms definitely determine and affect the expectations throughout the school. They are also claimed to contribute to a positive learning atmosphere, which results in better academics. Uniform policies can create an environment where discipline is emphasized and expected. High school students range from ages fourteen to nineteen years old, therefore the levels of maturity varey. When a uniform policy is enforced in highschool, it promotes order within the school. Although the maturity level lacks in some grade levels more than others, schools dressed in uniform tend to have better behavioral statistics than public schools. Enforcing school uniforms results in reduced gang activity. Because the students are not allowed to wear gang colors during school, this decreases the presence of any gang affiliations. With little to none gangs in the school, the increase in behavior sky rockets. In a speech from 1994, the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, praised the idea of uniforms as a way to ensure safety and establish discipline in public schools. Over six different high schools enforced a uniform policy to test President Clinton’s statements. Two years after the mandatory uniform policy was established, the results showed that violence and discipline problems decreased dramatically. “Assault and battery cases dropped 34 percent. Physical fights between students dropped by 51 percent, and there were 32 percent fewer suspensions” (Portner). There is no doubt that uniforms affect the way students behave. Uniforms promote safety throughout the school. It also demands order and equality which results in discipline.

For teenagers, self-expression is a key part of establishing an identity. Enforcing a uniform policy will limit the students freedom to express their differences through clothing but it pushes and encourages them to express themselves in other ways. “Because kids can’t show their individuality through clothes, they will try to express themselves through other methods such as the arts, academics, sports, or extra-curricular school activities” ( Although losing the ability to express yourself at an age where people are learning to find their style and love themselves is not ideal, it surprisingly is helpful for students to prioritize other things. Teenagers go through an interesting time during highschool, they are trying to find themselves so being able to wear a uniform and fit in like the rest of the student class helps a large group of people who felt uneasy walking down the hallways constantly feeling judged for the unique clothes they wore. Distractions are all over high school. Whether it’s relationships, friendships, drama, there is no need to waste energy on anything but academics while in school, but sometimes it happens to the best of us. Imagine students waking up and not wasting their energy on their physical appearance and spending that time on academics. If students put their academics over their physical appearance because of a uniform policy, it would “contribute to a learning atmosphere where students are not distracted by appearance or victimised based on how they dress” (Applebury). Every student is diverse, whether it’s ethnicity, economic class, sexuality there is never two exact same students; Everyone is different. When the first bell rings, alarming all students and teachers to scurry into a small room, everyone should have a sense of belonging and be taught with equality. Administrators view uniform policies as creating a sense of community and a school culture that fosters seriousness about learning. According to Anne Michaud, a spokesperson for Success Academy, she says that kids will skip the drama of judging other students of what they are wearing if they wear uniforms. “Uniforms are an equalizer.” (Applebury).

Although many believe that uniforms tend to cost a lot, in the long run they save money. The money families save on uniforms can go towards more important needs instead of the latest fashion trends. “Communal feeling uniforms support is particularly beneficial for their racially and ethnically diverse schools, and that uniforms are practical and cost-effective, since parents don’t have to worry about keeping their kids dressed in the latest fashions” (Bain). When schools are located in an area of more impoverished students and families, they lack the money to provide higher level education and the chance to meet their students needs. Uniforms create money for the schools to accomplish these goals. With the money that the schools gather, they can distribute this towards art, academics, clubs and extracurricular activities for the kids at the school. Not only do uniform policies help the schools they also help the students and their families in need. School uniforms not only save time but also money that the average teenager spends on their clothing. “School uniforms can be worn for a whole year or two. This means there isn’t a need to spend for new clothes every semester and parents don’t have to deal with picky children who demand expensive brands or a certain style of clothing.” ( From the money saved on school uniforms, families are able to afford common necessities that may not be hard to obtain for the higher class. This includes food, housing, and other items important for their well being. Another option for families that benefit from the inexpensive school uniforms is to use this financial support to kickstart the money they will have to pay to have a college education. Overall, uniform policies can help schools fundraise extracurricular activities that improve students success by selling the uniforms and profiting off them and school uniforms help families save money for important needs in life instead of expensive trendy clothes.

Most school uniforms are not designed to accentuate the diversity that cultures can bring to schools. This applies to not only religious beliefs but also the LGBTQ community. Uniform policies could cause controversy in the lesbin, gay, bisexual, or transgender students because the administrators and principle may be strict, making boys wear slacks and girls wear skirts. This would affect all students, regardless if they are a part of the community or not. Unfortunately, it could cause discomfort and disagreement for students who don’t support the ideas the community prides themselves on. In North Carolina, a five year old student was not approved to wear his patka, a Sikh head covering. This was solely for his religious beliefs and for the school to not accept the diversity of this student is very controversial. The school stated they would not enroll the five year old unless he agrees he won’t wear his head covering because they don’t want any student to stand out. Not allowing a student to freely express their religion, culture or beliefs is unfair to the student and their community. If high school students do not learn to accept their classmates diversity now, then they will be uncultured and not appreciate the differences everyone has in the real-world.

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In conclusion enforcing a uniform policy will result in improvements not only in the school but also for the students. Uniforms create a sense of safeteness and a strong bond and culture between all students and teachers with equality and uniformity. Not only are uniforms cost efficient but they create a lower level of stress for young teenagers who should focus more on their school work rather than their clothing, causing a better learning environment.  

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Dressing for Success: Enforcing a Schools Uniform Policy. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from
“Dressing for Success: Enforcing a Schools Uniform Policy.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Dressing for Success: Enforcing a Schools Uniform Policy. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Oct. 2023].
Dressing for Success: Enforcing a Schools Uniform Policy [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2023 Oct 2]. Available from:
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