You are on page 1of 6

Florian 1

Lindsay Florian
Ms. Gardner
English 10 Period 2
3 May 2015
Enforcement of School Uniforms
According to Julie Wootton, a parent of a student enrolled in Cassia High School, in
2010, Cassia High School made the switch to uniforms and found that disciplinary problems
have decreased more than 75% (Wootton). To clarify, school uniforms are used not to strip the
identity of the children away, but to create a stronger academic learning environment in schools.
The switch to school uniforms creates a different mindset for children as well as a healthier
budget for their families. The children will lose their freedom of dress during school hours,
however, they can express themselves after school and on weekends and holidays. This will stop
bullies from picking on what another child is wearing and therefore reduce troublesome acts. The
same problem is seen in schools worldwide. Children want to wear what they want, but their
learning environment is compromised. Schools should enforce school uniform policies because it
it will decrease the amount of bullying happening in schools, it will make it easier on families,
and it will create a stronger learning environment.
At first glance, people may oppose the idea of school uniforms because they feel that
their child is losing their individuality and freedom to express themselves at a young age. Victor
Martelle, a victim of school uniforms growing up, argues that "Making children wear suits
almost feels like we are ripping the expression and creativity right out of their young
souls."(Martelle) It is true that uniforms will not solve all problems such as peer pressure and
bullying. In the article "The Message Behind School Uniform is: Conform," the author, a

Florian 2

parent of identical twins, argues that peer pressure is not resolved through uniforms. The author
believes that the children flip the focus of the peer pressure to the uniform policy itself (The
Message Behind School Uniforms Is: 'Conform'). Putting students in another box will not solve
the problems the school is having. Uniforms are another reason for the children to dislike
attending school. It is thought that uniforms will not create a better learning environment, it will
create a more tense environment. Bullies can and will just find other attributes in the kids to pick
on rather than what they wear, it is said not to stop them (Martelle). Yes it is also true that
uniforms are teaching children that it is okay to all be the same as one another. The author of
"School Dress Codes Are Useful, but Strip Students of Identity" argues that forcing students to
wear uniforms deprives them of their identity. Uniforms do not allow the students to fully
express themselves and may prevent them from reaching their true potential (School Dress
Codes Are Useful, but Strip Students of Identity). Indeed, several people may believe that
wearing a uniform will take the spark out of the children. However, uniforms should be enforced
since it is only during school hours and is beneficial to learning environments.
Ultimately, the amount of bullying happening in schools and troublesome acts will
decrease. In particular, Rachel Stocki, an adult looking back on her school uniform years,
announces The standardization of dress that a uniform provides promotes inclusion and
prevents bullying. With uniforms in play, nobody gets excluded because of their clothing
choices (Stocki). ...uniforms eliminate worries about what to wear."... It takes bullying down
to a smaller level. Bullying is not stopped, however, the amount occurring is certainly
decreased. Bullies will and do pick on everything they can, this cannot be stopped, but it can be
reduced (Wootton). According to Beth Kassab, an outsider looking into the problem, her article
states: I've seen it, David Christiansen, chief academic officer for Lake County schools, told

Florian 3

me. Discipline referrals drop. Bullying drops. You have increased attendance. Bullying is a
serious problem in schools. One way to reduce this problem is through uniforms because that is
one less attribute a bully can make fun of (Kassab). Therefore, uniforms could potentially be a
simple solution to making schools more enjoyable and less overbearing.
Furthermore, uniforms cost much less than a whole wardrobe for the entire school year.
To illustrate, Kassab agrees that Buying a new and unique wardrobe every year is expensive. A
handful of solid-color polo shirts and bottoms are a fraction of the cost. Obviously purchasing
new, in style clothing each year is going to increase a familys school budget drastically
(Kassab). In addition, Wootton notes Brown said that at Bridge Academy uniforms hide
disparities between students, such as family income or social status. This makes a level playing
field. Because everyone is wearing similar clothing, it is harder for students to stand out and be
stereotyped (Wootton). The tension that comes with fitting in is tremendously diminished
because there are fewer ways to stand out. The clothes that are in style and necessary to fit in are
extremely expensive and not everybody can afford it. Uniforms make it easier on families
because they dont have to buy their child a lot of extra clothes, since they are only going to be
wearing them after school hours and on weekends. With the amount of school supplies needed,
uniforms help to save money, especially in large families. As a result, uniforms allow children to
fit in without having to spend insane amounts of money (Stocki).
Admittedly, a school dress code not comprising of uniforms, may keep students on task
depending on how strictly the dress code is enforced. Nevertheless, when one considers how
much more of a childs focus will be directed towards learning, it is difficult to go against this
idea of enforcing school uniforms. Wootton openly admits that since their switch to uniforms in
2010, student behavior has improved. (Wootton) Because the students are all wearing similar

Florian 4

clothing, the environment will look more professional and it is proven that the students act more
mature. Uniforms give children a sense of direction and lead them to their path of greatness.
Uniforms are about making schools a better place to learn.Some studies have shown a
connection between uniforms and better attendance and fewer discipline problems.(Kassab)
Students are seen to be more focused on their academics rather than what they're wearing or what
somebody else is wearing. They also dont have to go through the what am I going to wear
tomorrow? hassle (Stocki). This allows students to listen and comprehend what is being taught
with fewer distractions. In summation, school uniforms create a more strict, but not harsh,
environment.
In conclusion, uniforms should be enforced in academic environments because it will
decrease the amount of bullying happening during school, help families to save money, and the
school will become more unified. Uniforms will not take away the identities of the children, but
they will create a safer schooling environment and allow students to embrace themselves rather
than becoming a follower (Stocki). In the end, the switch to uniforms is consistently proven to
affect kids in a positive manner, allowing them to focus in school and decrease the amount of
acting out.

Works Cited
Kassab, Beth. "Don't Like Dress Code? Uniforms Are Better for Students." Orlando Sentinel.
28 Aug. 2014: B.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Martelle, Victor. "A Plea Against Uniformity, a Cry for Self-Expression: Will School..."

Florian 5

University Wire. 09 Sep. 2014: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Stocki, Rachel. "School Uniform Policies Promote Acceptance, Inclusion for Students..."
University Wire. 20 Jan. 2015: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 11 May 2015.
"School Dress Codes Are Useful, but Strip Students of Identity." University Wire. 02 Apr. 2014:
n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
"The Message Behind School Uniforms Is: 'Conform'." Sunday Business Post. 07 Sep. 2014: n.p.
SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Wootton, Julie. "Schools Say Uniforms Lead to Better Academics, Behavior." McClatchy Tribune Business News. 03 Oct. 2014: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.

Florian 6