Education Policies: The Pros and Cons of School Uniforms

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4 pages /

1900 words

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4 pages /

1900 words

Downloads: 46

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Table of contents

  1. Advantages of uniform
  2. Limitation of gang impacts
    Reducing peer pressure
    Decrease in clothing costs
    Increase in academic performance
    Increase pupils’ self-esteem
  3. Disadvantages of uniform
  4. Infringement of First Amendment rights
    Does not deter violence and gang activity
    Social classes among pupils will remain
    School uniforms are an economic burden
    Intrusion into lives of pupils
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works Cited

School uniforms have been a highly debatable topic for a long period of time. While some believe that by introducing a school uniform policy we can solve a lot of problems related to school education, others strongly oppose such policies considering them to limit students’ liberty of expression. So the purpose of this essay is to analyze the pros and cons of school uniforms.

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Advantages of uniform

School uniforms promote equality among students. Either rich or poor wear the same uniform. It creates equality among the rich and poor. In addition, the school uniform shows the single identity of the school. When a student wears a school uniform, they go to school with a study mindset. Thus, students give more attention to their studies instead of clothes. It decreases competition among students related to wearing fashionable outfits.

Limitation of gang impacts

Mobs have become a growing fear in our universities. These groups generally wear a certain color or emblem in order to differentiate themselves from each other. At times, non-gang member pupils are unable to wear certain articles of dress or colors because they don’t want to be mistaken as a gang members. ‘Reports say that gang wearing’s conveying messages of threat, intimidation, fear and challenge to rival gangs’. The study on gang activity in the schools has not yet been proven, but ‘evidence shows gang violence has increased, dropout rates have increased and standardized test scores have declined. It would be presumptuous to say one causes the other, but there’s a strong inference that such a correlation exists.’

Security in our schools is a major concern. By introducing a school uniform policy, the fear that pupils have by attending a gang-populated school could be reduced. Everyone would be dressed the same so the distinction between mobs, along with mob activity would be decreased. Therefore, the learning process could continue in a more positive atmosphere. Kilpatrick believes that if ‘repeated messages’ do not work, and then you simply force pupils to conform: ‘Sometimes compulsion is needed to get a habit started’.

Reducing peer pressure

Peer pressure is among all people and more so if you’re an adolescent. This is a part of human nature that has limited control. Both the style and marketing industries, along with other parts of the media in our culture, add to the peer pressure we all experience. Not only do pupils feel the pressure to conform, but so do parents. Pupils are stressed into wearing the ‘casual’ clothes so they can be ‘suitable’ in with their upper class. Making a fashion declaration is the way to be accepted and liked amongst one’s peers. Pupils release some of that pressure by claiming that their parents buy them the latest trend in dresses.

Parents are placed in a situation of buying lavish clothes that soon go out of style just so their child is liked and/or does not get stressed in school. School wears give parents and pupils another implement in the war contrary to societal stresses’ and permits pupils to put less stress on fashionable dresses and more importance on a useful education. For pupils, this means more time to sleep in the morning because they would not have to spend endless amounts of time determining on what to wear to school. If this means more sleep, then the pupils will be more attentive to focus on their studies. ‘Uniforms also impose a valuable attitude that persons have to to be judged by their personality and not by their appearance’.

Decrease in clothing costs

In the past, parents have spent a large amount of money each August buying head-to-toe school dresses for their adolescents. Presently, ‘the International Mass Retail Association (IMRA) polled its members – stores such as Walmart, Kmart, and Burlington Coat Factory – and found that pupils/parentages are purchasing only school goods in August and purchasing dresses later in the time or day around. They want to realize what their friends are wearing. Sellers also said that young customers tend to buy dresses as they are essential and need them’. Schoolchildren may seem to be unable to remember that the purpose of school is education, not making a style declaration.

By introducing a uniform policy, the economic burden that parents face could be exhausted, if not removed. Parents could spend less money each year on clothing charges because they would only need to buy a few uniforms for the year instead of trying to stay updated with the changing fashions. ‘A recent IMRA census of customers found that 52 percent of those measured preferred government suggestions demanding uniforms for school youngsters because parentages want to save money’. Uniforms could carry over year to year, so proceeding pupils could either give or sell their uniforms to the new incoming pupils. This yet again is supportive to one’s budget since one would not have to purchase new clothes each year. For those people and/or schoolchildren who still could not afford the uniforms, either the school district itself or native professional landlords would donate the money in order to resource those families with the recommended or mandatory uniforms.

Increase in academic performance

Information collected around the nation, concludes that the overall pupil performance is decreasing in the schools. Uniform test scores are reducing along with theoretical scores across the board. By having a school uniform policy, the emphasis could be on learning which could progress pupilss’ educational performances. ‘Pupils who join schools with a uniform policy appear more regularly and when in school focus on their learning rather than their societal preparations. As a result, their academic achievements increase as well’. Concentrating more on studies and that education is more important than the way one dresses is the message schools are trying to get across and school districts are trying to communicate that message to their youngsters.

Increase pupils’ self-esteem

Pupils may develop a low emotional state about them and are often supposed by their upper class when they are wearing hand-me-downs or believe they do not have fashionable clothes. This attitude is very harsh to one’s self-respect which can have an overwhelming influence on how one contributes to culture as an adult. ‘Uniforms eliminate this prejudice’ because pupils are not able to tell the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’ apart from each other.

Institutes in New York City are thinking about the need for uniforms for schoolchildren in the primary grades for the only motive of developing self-worth. ‘School Leader, Rudy Crew, considers if pupils from kindergarten through third grade put on uniforms, their self-respect would be based on academic performance instead of a wardrobe’. This school system believes without a high self-image, pupils would have a habit of not spending as much time in school and therefore their learning could agonize.

Disadvantages of uniform

The impression of applying a school uniform policy appears to have satisfactory purposes – defend pupils and provide an appreciated education, but not all societies believe so. There are many persons in society, including schoolchildren, parents, teachers, and school administrators, who have divergent the idea of a school uniform policy. The following information will look at the reasons why some disagree with such a hopeful policy.

Infringement of First Amendment rights

Liberty of expression through appearance is one’s legal right, although many school officers are trying to get around that right by claiming a school uniform policy is to control pupils for fitness and security issues, not for compliant issues. Some adults are distressed because pupils are not able to show their personality through their uniforms, and they believe it diminishes the pupils’ uniqueness.

The court of law has a firm that schoolchildren’s choice of dress as a means of individual appearance can be controlled by school administrators even though they have prolonged First Modification defenses of political speech to nonverbal acts of communication. It is not clear, however, whether the guarantees of privacy and free speech apply to pupils’ choice of dress.

Does not deter violence and gang activity

‘Those who compete with school uniforms feel that they will not discourage violence or mob activity because these actions are not a consequence of the school atmosphere’. Many of the pupils who contribute in violent activity and gangs come from an unhealthy environment containing aspects such as substance/physical abuse, maternal impact, lack of family values, and cultural traditions; those factors hearten pupils to participate in such violent acts. If a uniform policy was implemented, mobs would use other means of personal themselves from each other, like permanent markings such as tattoos and scars. A uniform program ‘proceeds by trying to ‘fix the kids’, and it ignores the accumulated evidence from the field of social psychology demonstrating that of how we act and who we are imitates the conditions in which we discover ourselves’.

Some belief, if intense activity in the schools is such a burden, then the school should work more closely with the law enforcement to ensure a safe environment. Schools alone cannot contract with the social matters at hand and exclude mobs and ferocity, just by executing a school dress code. If these issues are not dealt with appropriately, then violence and gang activity will continue. Schools need to use outside assistance, such as law enforcement, in order to ‘win’ back their schools from the ongoing destruction.

Social classes among pupils will remain

Opposes for a school uniform policy believe pupils will continue to segregate based on a social class even with the implementation of school uniforms. They will wear accessories and learn to distinguish themselves through academics, sports, and extracurricular events, rather than by the way one dress. The idea of creating an ‘oneness’ is falsity educators want parents and pupils to ‘buy’ into. In reality, pupils and society alike have different communal classes, and the implementation of school uniforms will not eliminate such classes like the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nuts.’

School uniforms are an economic burden

It is not rare for some people to have more than one child who may join different school structures within the same district. Therefore, if a school uniform policy is implemented, parents would need to purchase different uniforms without the option of using them for another child. Such a strategy would also remove the hand-me-down choice that many multi-child people rely on in order to challenge the financial need of buying new dresses each year.

Intrusion into lives of pupils

Parental privileges and duties are violated when a uniform policy is enforced because parents no longer have the right to socialize their children according to their own values and social class. For pupils, their personality is limited along with the usual process of individuality testing through dress. By compatible and removing every form of a person’s appearance, our schools will only be left with militaries and not pupils.

Since the beginning of violence in schools, uniforms have become the latest tool in the struggle to keep pupils’ minds on their studies instead of on expensive clothing. Many public schools believe violence is out of control in their schools and implementing a uniform policy will enable the school administrators to ‘take back’ their schools. They believe, by exercising such a policy, they will empower pupils to work harder and take pride in themselves and their school. They also believe that when a pupil looks good, the pupils tend to act differently, which can lower the violent activity in the schools. ‘Whether pupils are in first grade or eighth grade, they are all in school for the same reason – to learn. Too often dresses divert teenagers from that objective’.

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The pros and cons of school uniforms have been analyzed in this essay. As seen from the discussion, people in favor of school uniforms tend to see them as promoting equality among students, decreasing clothing costs, increasing self-esteen and academic performance, and even limiting gung impacts. While the opponents see school uniforms as an infringement of First Amendment rights, believing such policies won’t solve the problems present in schools.

Works Cited

  1. Brunsma, D. L., & Rockquemore, K. A. (1998). Effects of student uniforms on attendance, behavior problems, substance use, and academic achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 92(1), 53-62.
  2. DaCosta, K. (2017). Uniforms in public schools: A decade of research and debate. Education Digest, 83(4), 36-41.
  3. Davies, E. (2013). The impact of school uniforms on student achievement and behavior. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(1), 35-39.
  4. Bodine, A., & Weider, H. M. (2004). School uniforms and the First Amendment. Education and the Law, 16(1), 37-59.
  5. Gregory, A., & Weinstein, R. S. (2008). The discipline gap and African Americans: Defiance or cooperation in the high school classroom. Journal of School Psychology, 46(4), 455-475.
  6. Bögenhold, D., & Fachinger, U. (2017). The economic effects of school uniforms: Evidence from a nationwide study. Education Economics, 25(3), 285-296.
  7. Mitchell, K. M., & Knechtle, A. (2003). Are school uniforms a viable strategy for improving student achievement and discipline? Journal of Negro Education, 72(4), 413-428.
  8. Brunsma, D. L. (2006). Uniforms in public schools: A decade of research and debate in the United States. In K. A. Hibel & E. F. Champagne (Eds.), School uniforms (pp. 7-48). Greenwood Publishing Group.
  9. King, K. A., & Vidourek, R. A. (2017). The effects of school uniforms on student achievement and discipline. Journal of School Violence, 16(4), 399-417.
  10. Wade, B., & Stafford, M. (2003). School uniforms: Practicing self-expression. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 77(5), 200-204.
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Education Policies: The Pros And Cons Of School Uniforms. (2022, May 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from
“Education Policies: The Pros And Cons Of School Uniforms.” GradesFixer, 17 May 2022,
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