Are you in favor of mandating students to wear polo shirts and khaki pants?
Wearing school uniforms in public schools is becoming more common. The thought behind this decision is varied—some feel that students should be dressed for success and school isn’t about the latest fashion style. There is also the idea that gang associations couldn’t be expressed through clothing. Plus, inappropriate attire (such as spaghetti straps and low-riding pants) would no longer be on the table.
On the one hand, if every student dressed alike, the playing field would be leveled and bullying over one's clothes would be hindered. Such a change may also help children with body image issues by lowering their anxiety. Plus, the economic difference among students might be better shielded.
On the other hand, if a bully is going to bully they will probably find a way—he or she may pick on the hairstyle, the shoes, or the book bag. And children usually don’t spend every minute in their school clothes, so body image issues can still apply. Implementing the school uniform rule does take away the child’s personal expression and the freedom to choose what they want to wear. And parents have to be able to afford the uniforms. However, the idea of having different outfits for different seasons is negated—that could be a cost saver.
I spoke with one mom of a first grader who is all in favor of the policy. “I think school uniforms bring a sense of equality and community," she says. "In my case, my son feels really proud to wear his school’s logo on his shirt.”
I also spoke with an 11-year-old sixth grader and here is what she had to say: “I like to have my own style. Uniforms are just so ‘blah.'” Expected, right?
If she was required to wear a uniform then it might take away a fundamental part of growing up and making her own decisions. She might get bored instead of enjoying the task of laying out her clothes the night before or waking up to choose what outfit she will get to wear.
Is this an issue that is debated in your school district? Let us know what you think.