The introduction of school uniforms may not be welcomed by everyone, including students who value their individuality and freedom of choice when it comes to wearing clothing. If opposition to a proposed school uniform policy runs high within your student population, you can use some thoughtful arguments to advance your position in persuading school officials to ban uniforms from your school.
Dressing in clothes is a common way that tweens and teenagers express themselves as individuals. One main argument used in the debate against the introduction of a school uniform policy is it inhibits personal expression and individuality. While brand-name clothes have often been used to show off a student's social status, school uniform policies don't always discourage this behavior. Students can still show off their position within the school's social class with expensive cell phones, iPods and jewelry while wearing a uniform.
School uniforms don't level the playing field. Not all school uniforms are flattering to every body type. In all likelihood, the selected uniform will not fit well on every pupil in the student population. Overweight and even underweight students may hear taunting and harassing comments made by their peers because of their ill-fitting uniforms. Also, students who may have faced bullying in the past may continue to face the wrath of their tormentors, despite how they look in their uniforms, as bullies always find ways to harass their victims.
School uniforms cost money and can be a prohibitive expense for families, especially those struggling to make ends meet or those with more than one child in school. In many cases, purchasing one school uniform is insufficient, as students will need multiple uniforms to wear throughout the week as well as separate uniforms suitable for different types of weather. While some school districts supply uniforms for free, debate has resulted regarding whether that's the best use of taxpayer dollars.
Inhibiting Peer Relationships
Students who aren't able to explore their own personalities and express themselves as individuals, which occurs when wearing a uniform, may have their growth inhibited as they enter young adulthood. Despite the best efforts of educators to promote an inclusive environment for all students, cliques comprise many schools. Regardless of their negative reputations, cliques allow students to express themselves and find acceptance within their individual peer groups. Having students wear uniforms may prevent students from forming peer relationships that are crucial to social development.
- The Education Pages: Facts Against School Uniforms
- "The New York Times"; School District Has Dress Code, And Is Buying The Uniforms, Too; Winnie Hu; September 2007
- PennLive; The Case Against High School Uniforms; May 2009
- Public School Review; Public School Uniforms: The Pros And Cons For Your Child; Grace Chen; April 2008