School uniforms are the only most visible elements of any school regardless whether it is a private or a public school. Any student in a school uniform is usually an advertisement for his/her school wherever s/he goes. It is the belief of many that school uniforms are reflection of the discipline standards practiced in that school. This research is purposed to give an overview of the facts for and against school uniforms as well as my opinion concerning school uniforms.
Until in the nineteenth century, school uniforms in the United States of America have been linked with expensive exclusive for children from rich families. The chronological origin of uniforms is, however, rather different. Uniforms were first established in the sixteenth century mainly at the charitable trust schools for children from poor families. It was until in the nineteenth century when the idea sailed through other public schools (Brunsma 3). Over these years, there has been debate concerning whether student should put on school uniforms as school mandatory or not. The arguments against having students compulsorily having school uniforms are just as powerful as those for students having school uniforms. This is because, some students and parents equally are for the idea that forcing students into putting on school uniforms will ruin off their creativity, choice of expression as well as their own personal fashions on cloths.
I support the idea that students should be given freedom to express themselves through dressing and fashion as well but they should also consider putting on school uniforms during school hour especially during the actual class hour. Make up classes, preps and games can be exempted for any attire. Having a uniform dress code at school not only takes the prominence on fashion off but also helps the students to concentrate on studying and not on who is putting on what fashion. Students who do not put on cloths that are considered to be fashionable feel ridiculed and pressured because their parents cannot afford to buy them nice cloths (Bearne 94). The biggest issue that has been facing both students and parents is that students have been strained into wearing branded cloths; hence introduction of school uniforms would reduce the importance of status and release the stress off children from lower class families (Alexander and Alexander 377). If putting on school uniforms reduced the amount of stress, pressure from peers and being looked as an outcast, then why not put on school uniform for the school hours only? Students can put on what they consider fashion during their free time i.e. after school, which is quite reasonable since the time they spend in school is approximately six hours in a day.
Another reason as to why school uniforms should made compulsory to all schools is that they bring about equity (Gann 82). If all students put on the same attire, there would be no significant difference between children from rich families and those from poor families. Thus when students wear uniform they become of the same level hence there is no much distractions or competition of who puts on what and why (Brunsma 31). However some would argue that initially uniforms were meant for private schools which were exclusively for the rich. The fact that these students were taken to private schools was enough reason to make of their class, thus basing the argument on equity would be as good as giving a lame excuse. But considering the fact that both private and public schools put on school uniforms, students from different back grounds come together in the public schools, thus there is a need to ensure that their differences are not very clear at the first glance, therefore uniforms should be worn at all times during class hours.
It is the hope of every parent that taking their children to school is one way of preparing them for the future. Consequently one of the preparations that children get when they go to school is training. In future, most of the careers that these students are likely to pursue require that they be in uniforms. Therefore making it mandatory for students to put on school uniforms would help a great deal in future since they would have to struggle in keeping up with the new rule. Yet there are those who argue that occupations that demand workers to put on uniforms are the odd jobs that no student can admire or look forward to them. This is actually not the case; high demanding professions such as the army, nursing and piloting require that workers be on uniforms and these are some of the top professions that most students as long as four would tell you that they want to study hard so that they become pilots. Therefore if this is the case, would the society be pleased to have a pilot who does not know what to be in uniforms means? Uniforms should be made compulsory if we really are preparing them for future.
Another useful aspect in wearing school uniforms is that is reduces the dilemma of what to wear. It becomes easier in the morning when the student has it in mind that the only thing s/he has to wear is the school uniform (Brunsma 31). If given the freedom of picking up what to wear to school, then parents, house helps and the students as well would spend countless time just looking for what is fit, what color matches the day etc as the child is getting late to school. Thus to save all this time, students should have one dress code which is easier to prepare when going to school.
Uniforms also give the students a sense of belonging in addition to giving them a common identification look. When in school uniform, students feel like a family; they feel that they belong together (Valero and Zevenbergen 155). For example, children who see other children dressed in their uniform, even if in town, easily identify with them. Like in football or any other game that involves two or more parties, one can only comfortably identify with teammate only if s/he is on uniform.
On the other hand, parents and students have been complaining on the high costs of school uniforms. Since it is known that it is the responsibility of every parent to ensure that his/her child is neatly dressed in the appropriate school uniform, school uniform distributors tend to sell uniforms expensively especially at the beginning of the year. Parents wish to have their children go to school on cloth they buy from the streets which are relatively cheaper. However, as much as they are cheaper, street cloths are usually second hand and made of fake materials. School uniforms are made of polycotton which lasts longer and does not fade easily hence cheaper (Bearne 98).
School uniforms are however not secure to wear, especially for small boys. This is because most boysâ€™ uniforms include a necktie or a ball tie which can be very harmful to the holder. This can happen when the tie is trapped by a still object, such as a door, as the boy is passing. A similar case was reported when a school boy nearly died when his tie was trapped by an automatic door. But this should not be used as a reason to stop parents from encouraging students to put on school uniforms. It is not a must for boys to have ties in school; students can only have the tops and shorts or skirts minus the ties since it is the cloths and not the tie that brings uniformity and common identification and not the ties (Purvis and Hales 228).
Alternatively, school uniforms should not be strictly made from outdated fashions. Since most students complain that they are deprived off their freedom of choice concerning fashion and style, uniforms should also be moving with fashion. For instance, if students insist on having branded cloths, then branded uniforms could serve the purpose. All children need is fashion and brand, therefore changing uniforms with fashion will not only improve the studentsâ€™ looks but also give them their sense of personality.
Parents should also be given the opportunity to choose which type of uniform, in terms of color and design, that they want their children to have. In so doing, several ideas will be suggested and finally they will all settle on something that is worthy and pleasing. This will also remove the blame on teachers who always fall victims of accusations even if they are not actual the ones who came up with the idea (Valero
And Zevenbergen 211). Parents should also inform their children of the importance of putting on school uniforms at an early age. In so doing the child will grow up prepared psychologically since young children trust and believe in anything that they learn from adults particularly their parents.
It can be concluded that school uniforms are as important as any other uniform worn either in the office or any other official function. Since the key aim of schools is to instill discipline and knowledge to students, school uniforms can be used as ways of teaching students discipline and responsibilities. Children who grow up knowing the importance of what to wear at what time grow up to be very disciplined and responsible. School uniforms also relive students off the stress and pressure caused by peer on the fashion and style if students were allowed to dress on anything. Students should therefore be encouraged to put on school uniforms and asked to be very careful and responsible in everything they do so that they do not hurt themselves with what they wear.
School uniforms also promote equality among students since the idea of who belongs to which social class is under cover as all appear equal. There is also some reduction on the dilemma of what to put on in the morning, a situation which has cost most students and parents their precious time just thinking what to ware. With school uniforms, students just wake up and pick up what it appropriate; no other alternative therefore saving time and other resources affiliated to it. School uniforms should also be encouraged since they give students a sense of belonging to a certain group.
School uniforms are designed to endure tear and wear more than the cheap street cloths that are claimed to be on fashion. Parents should therefore not complain on the high prices of school uniforms but instead look at the quality and the significance it has on the student. At the same time, students on uniforms tend to behave more responsibly and positive that students who are not on common dress code. This is because the society expects some behavioral standards that the children fear to violent them lest they be reported to their teachers. School uniform is the only visible way of identifying students even if they are out on a school trip. Therefore students and parents alike should not argue so much on whether students should be allowed to put on home cloths at school or not. It is evident that the advantages surpass the disadvantages of wearing school uniforms. Let students wear school uniforms and have harmony in our schools, both private and public.