Here are the Top 10 Reasons School Uniforms Should Be Mandatory at every school, everywhere.
“Schools should be schools and not fashion shows” that’s what my Mother used to tell me when I was attending my school. At that time I had little or no knowledge of what she is actually trying to say. I was usually like “what is wrong in wearing my baggy jeans at school?” Like any other teenager, I had this extremely “carefree” & “screw the rule” type of an attitude, which made me not, the greatest advocate for school uniforms.
This introduction was important because now I would be focusing on how wrong, I and other teenagers like me were and still are about uniforms.
What Critics Say
People who are against uniform at school are of the opinion that uniform undermine students’ ability to think creatively & doesn’t let them express their individuality. Some of the them also go on to say that uniforms are culturally incorrect especially in countries like USA, Canada & UK where people from different cultures live (or at least try to) in a harmony. Believe you me! As I write this, I am itching to lay down my points against this baseless criticism but just have to keep my writing in flow.
History of School-Uniforms
Before giving you the history of uniforms, allow me to slightly drift away from the topic… There is no denying the fact that current advancement in technology & Internet has solved many of our problems, it has enabled us to interact socially while dissing people who really matter in real life. It has enabled us to travel to moon and come back while making sure that we don’t care about the traffic rules. It has developed some of the most unbelievable breakthrough treatments and medicine in life sciences while making the number grow in old houses each year. I’m not a “caveman” or a huge fan of “Flintstones” but the point is, the more we move away from our basics and our values the more alien we become to ourselves & humankind.
The debate whether there should be uniform at school or not only began in the 19th century. Some of our readers might not agree with this (but then, its democracy!) but the more we talk about these “non-issues” the more we get into a slump!
We as humans have this unique tendency to mess up with traditional things and create something totally new. Yes, this is innovation, I know but too much of it in everything is not good for health! It is the blend of traditional values and innovative techniques is what we want.
NOW! The Top 10 Reasons
Now this is the best part, where I try and convince our readers to support kids wearing uniform at school. And believe me; I have many more than just “ten reasons” to support what I claim but I want to keep this short and interesting.
10- Uniforms Are Not Boring or Dull
Critics, mostly students believe that wearing a school uniform is boring. Well the idea of wearing the same color and style every day to school actually is, but imagine being different in a “not being different” set-up. Hard to understand? Let me explain. There are numerous different ways students can add their personal touch to school-uniforms like, a different hair style, use of a cool nail polish, addition of accessories such as buttons, socks, scarfs and the list can just go on. Now this is INNOVATION!
It is amazing what students can come up with wearing school uniforms and still being unique. For people who think uniforms are a hindrance to child’s individuality, well it is time to come up with something better!!
9- Uniforms Are Cost Effective
Coming back to where I started from, the famous quote by my Mom “Schools should be schools and not fashion shows.” I love designer clothes but not the fact that they are pretty damn expensive. I still remember, even being a boy I used to think a lot of what I am going to wear tomorrow for school. Now imagine a beautiful girl in this situation – “The pink dress with those shoes? Uhmm Nah! I wore that last week. Uhmm, how about this one, ahh, No Pamela has the same dress and wears it so often…! I need to revamp my wardrobe.”
Messy, isn’t it? But that’s how it is I tell you. Especially for someone from a middle-class family.
We are putting a lot of efforts in cutting down our expenses and the culture of “school-uniforms” can contribute a great deal as we move forward. Although they might not say it openly but the survey of more than 500 schools conducted in 2013 reveled that more than 90% of the parents are “pro uniforms” and believe it could help them save money. Uniform policies at school also helps families to concentrate where it matters the most that is on the quality education of their child. Secondly it also helps eliminating the race between families on dressing up their child like a movie start as he goes to school.
8- Uniforms Can Improve Punctuality
Believe it or not, getting dressed up is hassle free if you know what you have to wear. This can help students get ready in the morning quickly and lessen the chances of missing school. One of the best things about uniforms is that you don’t have to worry about the matching and what goes on with your trouser or a Tee. It also eliminates the “cold war” between students about who is looking HOT and who is not. With everyone in similar outfits the only thing that matters is tidiness.
Am I painting a very “black and white” picture here? Well, just refer to point no 10 in case you think uniforms can be boring.
Most parents and teachers can do and have tried almost everything to improve on the punctuality of students. If a simple dress code policy can solve this pressing issue, then why can’t we just give it a try?
7- School-Uniforms – preventing gang colors and insignia
One of the problems our current generation is facing is that fact that they are all influenced by “gang culture.” This gang culture is the root cause of numerous evils at schools. According to a recent study carried out on schools, trends at schools and students concluded that more than half of the high school students openly admit their active participation in so called “school gangs” The research also found out that steep decline in the percentage of crimes on campus has been observed after the formal introduction of uniform policy at school. If we take an example of an Army recruiting soldiers without their strict policy of uniform, the chances of inducting soldiers goes down. Same is the relationship between school-uniforms and the number of students forming or becoming a part of a gang.
Uniform at schools ensures not only lesser chances of conflicts and violence but also helps in creating a healthy team culture and harmony on campus.
6- School Uniforms Can Save Valuable Class Time
The first two things that come to our mind of schools are “discipline” and “rules.” We also know that kids love to break rules and it is hard to make them obey. Almost daily at schools, it is a common norm to spend some time making the students obey to certain rules and get them disciplined. Good portion of this valuable time can be saved if we have a strict uniform policy at school. People in charge would not have to worry about checking each and every student of what he or she is wearing and whether it is acceptable at school or not. Tremendous amount of time can be utilized more productively if the school management doesn’t have to worry about the dressing of individual students.
One of the leaders in education industry says that, a lot of time has been spent on checking whether a skirt or a short is too short, the new in-trend baggy pants for boys are not being pulled up properly and other non-issues like that. It is time to invest our time and efforts productively and where it is needed. Spending our valuable time on petty issues is going to take us nowhere but will just keep the never-ending debate on fire!
5- School Uniform For Unity, Pride & Good community Spirit
Famous Oxford Brookes University in UK carried out a study in 2007. According to this study school uniform is a major contributor in building up the feeling of pride amongst students towards their institution. This feeling of pride can be harnessed to create healthy competition amongst students of the same institution and also amongst students from other universities. This study also concluded that students wearing school uniform are more likely to develop a sense of community spirit which can be utilized for numerous noble causes like fundraising campaigns and actively participating with NGOs to support their purpose.
Troubled student at any school benefits a great deal from uniform culture. Usually such students are known to isolate themselves and keep whatever they feel inside. They become self-centered and later in life can fall for issues like, mental illness and even suicide. Such students can be saved if they are given a feeler that they are a part of a community; they are important and are just as normal as any other student. Uniform culture at school can help at-risk student to overcome their stress and feeling of loneliness.
Teachers have also observed that wearing school uniform enhances the level of respect & care and improves team play!
4- School Uniform – The Best Solution to Bullying
Do you know repeated bullying at school is one of the main reasons why students fall for depression and end up attempting suicide? Bullying can be controlled to a considerable level through implementation of school uniform policy. Students who can’t afford expensive or designer clothing are often an easy target to bullying. There are some students who don’t give too much importance on their dressing and are careless towards what they should and shouldn’t wear at school; Nerds, you may call them are also prime targets of bullying.
Now imagine a Richie Rich, a nerd and a son of a plumber all dressed up in a school uniform. Equality is the word that is coming to mind, right? That is exactly what school uniform tends to achieve. It creates a sense of equality and prevents repeated bullying at school.
Uniforms play a vital role in reducing peer pressure and raise the level of acceptability. Students in uniform feel united and connected.
3- School Uniforms – Enabling Students Concentrate on Studies Rather Than Clothes
Number 3 on our list is one of the strongest points in favor of implementation of school uniform policy. If we look at our modern education system (and I am not overly criticizing here) our institutions give a look of everything but education. You can see students bullying each other, hanging out at canteen, playing music but hardly anyone having a good conversation about a lecture. This is because our current system has failed to create a model of educational institutes where the real focus is on studies.
According to majority of school principals, wearing school uniform enables a student to concentrate more on studies and less on clothing and other non-productive activities. All students in a similar outfit also make students less concerned about what other people are wearing. They tend to bond in nicely with their peers and can create an environment where they could learn more effectively in a group. Although it can’t be related directly but trends and studies have proved that school uniform policy have helped students, especially girls score better results.
2- School Uniforms – Improves Professionalism & Enhances Image
Professionalism is very important as children grow up and especially when they enter a corporate setup. Off course there are no uniforms in offices but professionalism and adherence to policies is what uniform-friendly children tend to exhibit more than casual kids. When you’re required to dress up daily in a uniform, you are actually learning to abide by policies and exist in an environment guided by principles.
Parents want their kids to be well mannered and behaved; a 1994 study proves that students wearing uniform at school are well perceived by teachers. Adapting to a uniform culture at school actually means that you are going to see long-term benefits of this. Uniforms are also known to raise the level of acceptance amongst peers.
1- Increased Student Safety & Less On-Campus Crimes
The number 1 on our list is student’s safety. It is not only number 1 on our list but on every parent’s list as well. Parents want to be absolutely sure that their kids are safe in school. We can’t keep our eyes closed or ignore some of the stats that lead to injury or assault at school. Wearing school uniform has this impact on student’s thinking as well. They become less violent over time and stats show the same. Study shows that rate of assault, fighting, injuries and assault with a deadly weapon decreased by a 50 percent after a school changed its policy from casual to uniform.
When we talk about safety and keeping an eye on students, it becomes seamlessly easy to manage them at field trips and outings. All kids similarly dressed up makes it easier to identify intrusion on campus. So, if it is safety, school-uniform is a must!
Bill Clinton is one of the most prominent and strongest proponents of school uniforms at public schools. Clinton is of the opinion that if we can save lives, and stop killings of students, by students over mere designer jackets then there is no point in resisting the adaption of school uniforms. President Clinton during his time as the president of United States (in the 90’s) made several public appearances and emphasized over the benefits of school uniforms and how this trend may help us end many social evils.
It is time for all of us to think neutral, leave our egos behind and decide what is best for our new generation and society. There are many critics of school-uniform but they are usually seen to be fighting a lost battle when it comes to defending what they claim.
Change is good only if it is for a purpose! What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. And check out the opposing view here at List Land: Top 10 Reasons School Uniforms Should Be Banned