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Why School Uniforms Should Be Mandatory

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Why School Uniforms Should Be Mandatory Essay

Table of contents

  1. Safety
  2. Equality
  3. Fashion Taking Over
  4. Counterargument
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works Cited

Every human being needs oxygen to survive in the world. Education is as important as this because education gives people the knowledge and skills they require. Education is essential for people of all ages and it has no limit. Children require education in order for them to learn how to speak and to write. Now if the students don’t feel comfortable and focused attending school they risk having a lower chance in obtaining the education required for future investments. Having both private and public schools require uniforms will decrease mistreatment among students, reduce opportunities for intruders, and a reduction in cliques and gangs on campuses. With this reductions it will promote students to focus on the material being taught in school rather than focusing on their fashion statement. This can be achieved by principals and parents taking actions in changing their school policies to requiring a uniform in order to guide their children’s focus on the right path.

According to CNN news in 46 weeks this year, there have been 45 school shootings. That’s nearly an average of one school shooting a week. Of those, 32 of them were at facilities serving Kindergarten through 12th grade. Part of the problem is not being able to identify school shooters when the campus is dress free and the intruders blend in with the students. By having a school uniform requirement it decreases the chances of school shootings by having the staff more aware of who comes on campus.

Here in the United States most states require children to attend school until at least the age of 16 and in others it is a requirement to attend until the end of highschool in order to get their diploma and have a better chance to get good paying jobs. It is important for the students to feel welcomed and safe at school when receiving their education. Each school and district has a different policy on their attire and they way they manage the school. There has been a big debate in the past years as to whether students uniforms should be mandatory or not. In the following I’ll be looking at the safety uniforms bring to schools and how it distinguishes the students from the intruders. Also how students emotions can be involved when judging them by the way the dress. It can have the student focus on their attire rather than on their school work. I will be presenting both sides on the issue but will emphasize the importance of uniform usage in schools.

While no school can protect itself 100 percent from such incidents, mandating a uniform policy can make it easier for faculty and school security to identify intruders, according to the Department of Education (Hallie Engel). Anyone not wearing a uniform will stand out from the crowd and can be questioned, removed or otherwise dealt with more quickly, as blending in with the students is not possible. When required to dress alike, no one student can wear an expensive piece of designer clothing or shoes that another student might be willing to fight over or steal. Students wearing the same clothes cannot bully or torment other kids for dressing differently or not having the money to purchase costly items, thereby reducing altercations (Hallie Engel). With a uniform policy, it’s harder for such groups to form and more difficult for gangsters to identify themselves as gang members, denying them necessary cohesion, according to the Public School Review website, which adds that wearing uniforms also prevents an accidental wearing gang colors.

Education is a top priority here in the United States and is required for a child to acquire. When a child enters school campus grounds the school is responsible for the wellbeing of that student. They need to be able to feel safe and engaged in order to learn the material being taught by the teachers. There can be many factors that lead to a child not engaging in school and not feeling comfortable in the environment. The appearance of a student is the first thing other students see, it’s a natural thing to do.

Safety

The following statistics given from “Are Uniforms Good For School Security & Safety?”by OSSI, are the number of public schools implementing a school uniform has been on the rise over the last 10 years. In 2000, 12 percent of public schools required a uniform. In 2010, 19 percent of school principals reported that they had adopted a uniform for their students (OSSI). It also states how uniforms help school staff & security quickly spot intruders and any other individuals who do not belong on campus.

With the recent school shootings, keeping weapons out of our schools is a major concern. School uniforms reduce crime by making it easier to keep track of students and what they are carrying into the school. Intruders on campus can be spotted, and the design of the uniform helps ensure student safety. When students can wear baggy clothes and are not in uniform, who knows what they are carrying underneath their clothes. With that being said for students’ safety it’s important to wear uniforms to be in dress code and be distinguished from suspicious people who are up to no good. When it comes to how American children are exposed to gun violence, gunfire at schools is just the tip of the iceberg–every year, nearly 2,900 children and teens are shot and killed and nearly 15,600 more are shot and injured. An estimated 3 million American children are exposed to shootings per year (Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund). There is no reason to not feel safe in school and be able to learn the material.

Another factor of students being able to choose their clothing it can promote gangs by using specific colors even if students aren’t in them. Students can get mistaken it to gang affiliated when they aren’t in them but with uniforms it can prevent this (Musu-Gillette). This makes the students be gang free and focus on their education.

As these programs continue, teachers, principals, parents, and students have also noted a possible connection between school violence and the type of clothing students wear in school. The fashion trend at schools, especially urban schools, is largely dominated by children wearing gang-related or gang-like clothing. The problematic issue of gangs and school violence has been addressed in several studies.[8,9] With respect to gang-related clothing, gang members frequently roam streets near schools and often enter schools. Hence, the color of clothing that students wear can result in their becoming targets of intentional or unintentional violence.[15] In addition, the style of clothing popular among children today arose from the clothing of inner-city gangs, who have worn baggy pants and oversized shirts that could hide weapons and drugs from law enforcement officials. With such clothing glamorized by music videos and television sitcoms, more children wear similar styles of baggy, oversized shirts and pants to school. Such clothing can become a means of transporting weapons or drugs into school and thus indirectly increase school violence. Add to this finding that one in three youths reports easy access to handguns, and the concern for school safety becomes especially crucial.

Equality

School uniforms create equality. When students dress alike, that unhealthy competitive feeling about who looks best is eliminated. Studies have shown that school uniforms decrease peer pressure and bullying. Why? Students are all wearing the same outfit. It doesn’t matter if they come from high or low income homes. No one stands out in the type of clothing they are wearing. One of the main arguments parents or students can have against schools making uniforms mandatory is the freedom of the child expressing themselves by being allowed to wear what they want. (Quinn 2018). The parents want the child to feel comfortable with who they are but in reality they can do that during non school hours. The main reason the students attend school is to gain the skills and education needed to live autonomously and successfully. School also teaches us social skills we will need in our future lives and careers (Sucre Herrera, Kwin Lee, Duran Paez, and Angel Yee).

Fashion Taking Over

Children’s hunger to be fashionable brings another dimension to the connection between clothing style and school violence. Children may envy other children’s clothing and lack the financial resources to purchase similar styles. Subsequently, children have been violently injured or even murdered for their designer clothes, sneakers, or professional sport-team paraphernalia. School uniforms may reduce these occurrences. In addition, requiring children to wear the same clothing could send them a message that they all belong to the same team, which may decrease violence toward other ‘team members.”

When a school doesn’t require uniforms students tend to get distracted by the clothing they are wearing and it causes to lose focus on what’s important, which is the material being taught. Uniforms make it easier for them to concentrate and focus on what’s important, which is the things in the classroom. They get distracted by the accessories if their shirt is “cool” enough to wear compared to the other students. School uniforms make it easier to get ready for school. No more worrying about what to wear! Students can quickly put on their uniforms and get to school on time. Time can be better utilized for other activities rather than choosing out what outfit will look best. One of the best reasons for school uniforms? No more arguing about what to wear in the morning! (American 2019). With this being said it benefits the parents when they have multiple children to take to school and make breakfast for but at the same time get to work on time.

Counterargument

Another powerful argument against wearing school uniforms because of the cost but a lot of schools donate uniforms to students who can’t afford them. (Quinn 2018). I have experienced this in elementary school where my friends had uniforms donated to them and they had to go during class to choose their size of clothing. With this being said there are solutions to buying school uniforms to those who can’t afford them. For example we have the “Operation School Bell Foundation” that provides children who do not have clean, well-fitting clothes or who must share clothing with one or more siblings are at a disadvantage. Operation School Bell provides elementary school children in the Greater Sacramento area with school uniforms, shoe vouchers, sweatshirts or jackets. Each year over 4,000 children are clothed for school from Operation School Bell. The new clothing promotes regular school attendance, academic performance and self-esteem. In schools where children wear uniforms, our members work with school staff to arrange clothing distribution.

Conclusion

To conclude, students should be able to attend school without the fear of being judged or misunderstood because of their clothing. This is causing students to focus on that rather than concentrate on the importance of the material being taught. Not only that but their safety can be in danger. With uniforms being mandatory they can distinguish if there’s an intruder on campus and it will make it easier to stand out. We have a big issue of school shootings and that can be prevented. With further investigation I will support this thesis by providing statistics of school incidents by intruders that were not uniforms schools and the distraction rates of students focusing on their clothing. Also how some families are economically stable to have their children wearing top brand clothes in order to fit in. With all this I will explain the significance of schools having mandatory school uniforms and how those factors promote higher education for the students.

Works Cited

  1. Engel, Hallie. “The Effects of School Uniforms on the Public School System.” The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey, 10 Jan. 2019, https://www.theclassroom.com/effects-uniforms-public-school-system-7887178.html.
  2. “What Are Good Reasons for Wearing School Uniforms.” American Preparatory Schools, 24 Apr. 2019, https://www.americanprep.org/what-are-good-reasons-for-wearing-school-uniforms/
  3. Thiel, Jeff. “How To Protect Your School Against School Intruders.” How To Protect Your School Against School Intruders, 2019, https://www.myknowledgebroker.com/blog/business-insurance/how-to-protect-your-school-against-school-intruders/.
  4. “The Long, Shameful List of Gunfire on School Grounds in America.” EverytownResearch.org, 3 Apr. 2019, https://everytownresearch.org/gunfire-in-school/#12737.
  5. Quinn, Edith. “Reasons Why School Uniforms Should Be Banned.” Synonym, 27 June 2018, https://classroom.synonym.com/reasons-school-uniforms-should-banned-7959850.html.
  6. “Are Uniforms Good For School Security & Safety?” OSSI, 26 Apr. 2017,http://www.ossi-usa.com/are-uniforms-good-for-school-security-safety/.
  7. King, Keith A. “Should School Uniforms Be Mandated in Elementary Schools?” Journal of School Health, vol. 68, no. 1, 1998, pp. 32–37., doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.1998.tb03484.x.
  8. Wolfe, Elizabeth, and Christina Walker. “In 46 Weeks This Year, There Have Been 45 School Shootings.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 Nov. 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/15/us/2019-us-school-shootings-trnd/index.html.
  9. Herrera, Sucre, et al. “Many Reasons to Attend School.” Napa Valley Register, 10 Dec. 2015, https://napavalleyregister.com/community/eagle/news/opinion/editorial/many-reasons-to-attend-school/article_78c22f80-f666-561d-a195-e72e49fc02ca.html.
  10. “Assistance League Sites.” Go to Assistance League Sites., https://www.assistanceleague.org/sacramento/philanthropic-programs/operation-school-bell/.

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