The first seven subjects below are the ones routinely used by
those promoting uniforms. Following that are other
points raised by various parties. If you have any
other subjects for debates, or other arguments for subjects listed
(other than the ubiquitous "uniforms suck!"), please
send them our way, and we'll consider adding them.
The list below contains these abbreviations:
|1. Campus Safety and Security
- A uniform helps make the campus safer and more secure
by eliminating the wearing of gang clothing which can also be used to
intimidate or conceal contraband.
- Moreover, outsiders or non-students are easily recognized on campus.
- FRUP - some people can be intimidating when wearing
- FSMD - Gangs can choose allowed colors for their colors. In at least
one case, the limited color range mandated in a uniform policy created
"ganging", where groups of students decide to wear certain combinations of the
- Either - unless the policy mandates skin-tight clothing, how will the
concealment of contraband be eliminated???
Many people (which includes students!) express their attitudes, in part,
by their clothing. Is not "change in clothing" a warning sign for many
problems? If so, how is preventing this warning a safety advantage?
- Well, the really dumb outsiders might be...
|2. Climate for Learning
- A uniform helps students focus on learning. It sets the tone for a proper work attitude in the classroom, reducing behavior problems and improving performance.
- Ask someone who went to school in the
turbulent 1960s and 1970s if
certain clothing is required to "set the tone" in the classroom.
There may be problems achieving the "proper work attitude" in classes
these days, but mandating certain clothing seems like an ineffective
|3. School Unity and Pride:
- An attractive student uniform promotes school spirit, good self-image, and school unity.
- Just as an athletic teams' uniforms promote unity and spirit, so can a school uniform.
- Define attractive! Not all clothing styles are attractive
on all people. Forcing students to wear clothing that is uncomfortable or
unflattering is hardly going to improve their self-image.
- Athletic teams (which are voluntary activities) have a
goal above and beyond uniforms - identical clothing does not create the
spirit or unity, but merely assists in achieving the goals by
reducing the number of mistakes during the game. To
determine the real importance of uniforms in this setting, imagine
a competitive game where both teams wore identical uniforms - would
spirit and unity be at a high level at the end of such a comedic
event? Or would there be much grumbling?
If multiple school
districts shared the same building, and students had to be identified
with their district to award points scored, perhaps this argument
would have merit.
- A uniform is economical. Comparisons show that the uniform costs significantly less than what most parents pay for unregulated school clothing. Durability, reusability, and the year-to-year consistency also cut costs.
- FRUP - Some uniforms are much less durable than
"unregulated school clothing" such as denim, and parents advise
they must buy clothing more often, so even if the initial purchase is cheaper,
the overall cost is not.
FSMD - many parents report difficulty in finding certain
styles in the mandated colors. Even if the cost is less (which is NOT a
certainty), if you have to spend more time shopping,
is it an advantage???
Either - With school uniforms, parents have to purchase two sets of clothing -
one for school and another for after school and weekends. That is hardly
Many parents don't buy name brand clothes for their children, and
for them, the cost is likely to increase.
|5. Homogeneity and Opportunity for Self-Expression:
(Reduced Peer Pressure)
- A uniform removes the status that clothing labels give to some children and serves to externally equalize all students.
- This provides impetus for students to find more productive outlets for expressions of individualism such as wit, intelligence, and creativity.
- Teachers offer many opportunities for self-expression and creativity in the academic realm ranging from creative assignments to after-school clubs.
- FRUP - What a fine lesson to teach our children -
"if someone dresses different than you, they're not as good you, or don't belong,
stay away from them. Actually, if they look different..." And we all
know, when students arrive in "the real world", they'll find that everyone
dresses the same!
- FSMD - Not even close! Ask parents at a district
that forbids logos how easy it is to find off-the-rack clothing that does
Not have status symbols on them!
- Or tatoos, or flashy jewelry, or hand signals, or testing the
limits of uniform enforcements, or skipping school because of One More Hassle, or...
- Well, um, eh, didn't teachers do this before uniforms???
|6. Modesty Standards Upheld:
- A uniform meets widely accepted standards of modesty thus eliminating the conflicting interpretations of dress codes and the embarrassment that often is associated with "violations" of dress code.
- J:"So, Dude! Like, there are no "violations" of the
uniform policy? Cool!"
E:"I dunno, dude, i liked the old dress code, where we could wear
speedos and the chicks could wear bikinis..."
Just for the record, it is possible to wear any type of
clothing in an immodest manner...
|7. Dressing Simplified:
- Parents cite simplification of selection as an important advantage, eliminating the morning tug-of-war with children over what to wear.
- People, People, People!
If deciding what to wear is such a big social problem, what do
you think homework does to families? So, let's make homework
no matter what the student's abilities, K-12, same every grade, every year.
That way parents won't have the hassle of their kids having trouble with
and everyone will be happy. Dumb, but happy.
Parents: do you really want the government dressing your
Perhaps you would like the school board to decide what
cereal your family should have for breakfast.
Say, the district could mandate what TV shows you're allowed to
watch, and eliminate that night-time hassle.
Come to think of it, shuttling kids from home to school and
sports and band and such, then back again, that's also a lot of trouble
- why can't the schools have dormitories and just keep the students
until they graduate? Schools could have "meet the students" night, where
parents could visit their children and inspect the communal facilities.
Parents, GROW UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS,
YOURSELVES AND YOUR CHILDREN! Quit asking the government to do your job!
Sorry... That just slipped out.
|8. Respect for Authority:
- "You're teaching your children
to disobey/disrespect authority!"
- Ever hear of the Boston Tea Party???
Or even worse, those ingrates who signed that Declaration of Independence thing...
If only those fool's parents had taught them better, we wouldn't be having
this problem - the King would decide what our good children must wear.
But seriously - which authority? If the
local government is doing something that the state government doesn't allow,
or is in violation of the Constitution, isn't it our DUTY as citizens
to oppose it? Or is that just stuff we teach the students in
government class, but don't really expect them to believe?
|9. Uniforms in the Workplace:
- "Students will have to wear a
uniform when they start working anyway, whether it's a uniform with a paper
hat, or a "uniform" of a suit and tie"
- Which job ones takes is a voluntary decision - the
potential employee must decide if the benefits of the job outweigh restrictions
on their life, such as arriving on time, or wearing certain clothing.
Students have no legal choice about attending
- Look around at major corporations - even the mighty Electronic
Data Systems has dropped its stringent dress code.
What does "the richest
man in the world" wear when demonstrating new software products to the world?
Do the captains of "Big Blue" always wear suits during business briefings?
The myth that "the clothes make the man" has had its bluff called,
despite billions of advertising dollars.
|10. Any uniform = mandatory uniforms
- " Anyone who has ever been
in band, sports, cheerleading, plays, or church rituals and worn a
uniform can't be opposed to being required to wear uniforms to school"
- Again, those activities are
voluntary, and there are specific reasons for wearing
the uniforms during those functions.
- Does that mean, since all uniforms are created equal,
that wearing track attire or cheerleader outfits to class would be
acceptable??? They are uniforms, after all, used to create
school spirit and unity!