When you think of your typical student, what are they dressed in? Some people would say in jeans and in a sweater, but the correct answer would be in a school uniform! For many years now we school uniforms have been the symbol for smart, focused, and hardworking students. We are also very fashionable; I personally make my student look amazing and mature with my stripes and colours. So I ask you, Ontario Ministry of Education, why are we not used in all of your schools? Some would argue that school uniforms limit a student from expressing themselves, but there are many other ways to express yourself, not just in your clothes ("Do you believe in School uniforms?", par. 9). We are not harmful, but in fact are beneficial to both the students and the schools and therefore should be used in all of your schools. We're helpful in many ways, but most importantly because we teach students discipline and focus, we help schools identify intruders from students, and we eliminate a major source of bullying; clothing.
Enforcing a strict dress code may seem harsh to some, but it teaches students to discipline themselves and to focus more. You may not believe it, but school uniforms do aid in a student's focus. Research at a school with uniforms found that "44% of parents have found that their kids are more focused in school after wearing uniforms" (Lalwani, "School Uniforms: Facts on School Uniforms", par. 3). With almost half the students more focused than before, it is clear that my brothers and sisters there improved their concentration to the point where even the parents noticed. Some would question how exactly we could help students focus. Well, keeping that in mind, research also found that the students were more focused "because they are not obsessed with the way they look in comparison to others" (Lalwani, "School Uniforms: Facts on School Uniforms", par. 4). Everyone is self-conscious of how they look, worrying about if they are wearing the right clothes or the best brands ("Do you believe in School uniforms?", par. 5). This constant worrying distracts students from their studies. If schools were to use my friends and family, then students wouldn't waste time worrying over their clothes. Aside from the immediate benefits, enforcing this strict dress code also helps the students' future as well. Learning to be punctual with a strict dress code such as a uniform is a life skill that the students will learn while in school if we are used. Instead of learning this skill while working at a job where you can get fired, the students will already be ready. As you can see, one of our many jobs is to improve a student's academic life and also to help schools catch trespassers.
Probably one of the most important benefits of using us, from a school's perspective, would be that anyone who is not a student would be easily identified. In schools without a uniform, it is nearly impossible to pick a trespasser out from a crowd of students just by looking at them because there is nothing visible that separates students from intruders. I can recall many occasions where this student walked into another school to see his friends, and the teachers were not even aware he was trespassing. Schools can really only be sure who goes to the school or not by looking at the student cards, but it takes too much time to ask each student to show their cards. We are the solution to this problem because we "could help school administrators identify non-students trespassers, and other visitors in the hallway who stand out in the crowd" ("School Uniforms, Dress Codes, & Book Bags", par. 3). It is quite obvious who the trespasser is in a crowd if everyone except one is wearing a school uniform. If you still are not convinced, I know of one time where an intruder was identified in a school with uniforms. My close friend was being worn by his student one day when a person walked into the school without a uniform. The student quickly informed a teacher and the teacher approached the man and told him to leave. Since the intruder stood out, he was identified as soon as he walked in. Clearly uniforms help schools with the issue of trespassers, and also with the issue of bullying.
It is a known fact that kids get bullied in school. However there is one way to reduce the amount of bullying and conflicts and that is to use school uniforms. Research at California's Long Beach Unified school proved the relationship between uniforms and conflicts at school because they had a decrease in crimes, suspensions and sex offences by at least 90% after invoking the uniform dress code (Lalwani, "School Uniforms: Facts on School Uniforms", par. 2). Once the school started to use uniforms, not only was there less bullying, but also less crimes in general. The reason for this is that "kids are not picked on due to the kind of clothes they wear" (Lalwani, "School Uniforms: Facts on School Uniforms", par. 4). Obviously no one would pick on someone because of their clothes if they are also wearing the same clothes. Basically what we are doing is unifying the students ("Do you believe in School uniforms?", par. 1). Even if two students have never met before, they will feel little more familiar with each other because they're wearing the same clothes, representing the same school. Wearing my kind "instills a sense of uniformity and the feeling of being oneâ€¦" (Lalwani, "School Uniforms: Facts on School Uniforms", par. 4). With this unity, students can look past the appearances and social statuses and just be friendly with each other. It is easy to distinguish the social statuses based on clothes, giving the wealthier people with nicer clothes a reason to bully the not so wealthy people. "When I was in high school, my family was poor. I had three pairs of pants to wear at school, one pair of shoes and maybe 4-5 shirts. My friends and non-friends noticed. Many said things they thought I could not hear" ("Do you believe in School uniforms?", par. 11). This person that came from a poor family did not have a lot of clothes so he was bullied because everyone noticed. Had the school used uniforms, no one would have noticed. Thanks to uniforms, bullying has been reduced in many schools; however we can only help the schools that are willing to reach out and take our hand.
It is clear now that we, school uniforms, are beneficial to students and the schools. It has been proven that students are more focused in school, schools are safer in general, and bullying is reduced by a lot. Some schools have realized just how useful we are. However we wish to help as many schools as we can. We only exist to serve the students and the schools. With this many benefits, not only should some schools have uniforms, but all schools in Ontario should have uniforms. It is up to you to take the first step towards a better educational system and towards the remedy for most school issues; school uniforms.