Uniforms bring unity to schools

Picture this — a high school, junior high or even elementary school student wakes up in the morning and begins yet another school day. They think about the algebra test they may have second period or the cute guy or girl they hope to see at lunch. Whatever their thoughts may contain, one thing that may never cross their minds is, “What should I wear to school today?”

As more and more public school districts enforce school uniforms, students no longer have the same worries. No longer do they have to keep up with fashions to be included with the “in” group. No longer do parents have to spend endless dollars on Tommy Hilfiger, Polo or Nike. Students with less money to spend on clothes do not have to go through the embarrassment of not being able to keep up with the current trends. Students will not be hassled by administrators about “gang attire” and will not be mistaken as being “gang related” by their fellow classmates.

Besides school uniforms being cost efficient for parents, they build a sense of school unity and pride. What better way to have students feel spirited about their school than by having everyone wear the same colors? School uniforms are not just dowdy pleated skirts and creased slacks of yesteryear. Instead, there is a wide variety in styles, allowing students to choose from shorts, skirts, pants, jackets, blazers, blouses, sweatshirts and on and on. This way, it is easier for students to express their own individual tastes even with a uniform on.

Many would argue that uniforms stifle a young person’s individuality and sense of self. If that was the case, then parents would be considered on the same level as those uniforms. Parents do not want their daughters walking out of the house scantily clad or their sons looking like hoodlums, so in a way they enforce a “uniform.”

School uniforms are no different. Uniforms are the school’s way of saying, “Hey, we all go to the same school here. Why not show a little pride in ourselves and the institution by having a dress code?” This does not mean students cannot express their individuality. Anyone who has been young knows that no matter what anyone said, they were going to be who they were and express it in a way that everyone could see.

Uniforms in the classroom set a scene and environment for learning a value system to be used later in life. Dressing up in a uniform to go to school is the same as dressing to go to work. Students learn to feel as part of a team. With school uniforms, fashion is no longer the main focus of the academic experience.

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