Schools uniforms are becoming a common trend in the current school system. Students, teachers, and parents have varied feelings about the need for students to wear uniforms. While some point to the need for all learners to look alike and for discipline purposes, others contend that the requirement for all learners to wear uniforms takes away students’ freedom of self-expression. This paper argues that despite the reasons identified by opponents, school uniforms are necessary for schools and all stakeholders need to embrace it.
A common argument raised against the use of school uniforms is that it denies students a chance to fully express themselves. While this is some extent true, self-expression does not only involve clothes. The student can express him or herself through, for instance, doing hair in their style of choice, wearing bracelets, and putting on shoes of their choice and complementing this with the school uniform. Just because the learner is not allowed to dress in the latest, trendy jeans does not imply that they have been denied their rights. Furthermore, students can wear the clothes of their choice outside the school. From this perspective, uniforms give all students a homogenous look, putting them on a level playing ground, thus eliminating the likelihood of discrimination.
Schools which require that students use uniforms look more formal. The campus generally tends to have a professional look. In addition, school uniforms dissolve the concept of social classes. Allowing students to wear clothes of their choice provides a leeway for students to categorize and possibly label each other based on whether they come from wealthy or poor families. Such discrimination at school could lead to a rise in indiscipline cases, reduction in some students’ self-esteem, and poor performance in school.
The other concerns about school uniform touch on the teachers’ inability to identify students with violent tendencies and deal with them. Contrary to this allegation, uniforms help to suppress and eliminate violence and gang behavior. If students are allowed to dress in home wear, some will come to school wearing clothes with special identification gang-related colors leading to the formation of cliques. This is a factor that makes it harder for teachers to enforce discipline within the school. In fact, the essence of schooling is to acquire, among other things, education. Fashion should not be emphasized at school.
Uniforms also inculcate pride in a student, as each student identifies with the others and the school hence each of them feels proud to be associated with their institution. That way, student feel more closely connected to their classmates. A sense of community emerges, and this leads to a reduction in crime and gang affiliated behaviors. In fact, the sense of belonging that emerges from wearing of school uniforms helps to boost the students’ self-confidence. Also, bullying is a major issue in schools. Some students face physical, verbal, and social harassment from their schoolmates. Without school uniforms, it becomes easy for “bullies” to target the students who look different and who are not wearing the “right” clothes.
In conclusion, school uniforms ensure that all students have a level playing field in terms of social classes and education. Bullying and gang activity would be more prevalent if students were allowed to dress as they wish. Students, parents and teachers have an easy time undertaking their responsibilities in cases where the students have a standard uniform.
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