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The School Uniform Debate: Pros and Cons of School Uniforms

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CONS OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS

1. School Uniforms Stifle Creativity and Individuality

There are many school uniforms pros and cons -- one major argument against school uniforms often posed by students in the school uniforms debate is that school uniforms stifle creativity and freedom of expression.

Students may say they have a right to their individual identity and that school uniforms prevent them from expressing who they are. School is a time when students are just working out who they are -- it is unfair and unwise to stop students from expressing who they are at this vital stage by stifling their options in their choice of clothing. This sends a contradictory message to students when, on one hand, they're taught to be who they are and not pretend to be someone else while they are simultaneously being forced to dress exactly the same and to conform to strict unified standards.

2. School Uniforms Are Too Expensive

Another argument commonly raised by parents in the school uniform debate is how costly they are. Parents may argue that having to buy expensive school uniforms on top of regular after school and weekend clothes can become a financial burden on families, especially those with multiple school-aged children.

School is already expensive enough, with parents having to pay for school excursions, books, stationary and transport. Adding the cost of often expensive school uniforms can make balancing the budget very difficult for many families, especially those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. School uniforms could be made cheaper, but doing so may affect the quality and comfort of the clothing. Ultimately, however, the greatest reason school uniforms are expensive is because they force parents to buy two separate sets of clothes -- this is an inherent problem for school uniforms in that whenever school uniforms are required, two sets of wardrobes (doubling the cost) are required.

In conclusion, while many parents acknowledge that there are pros and cons to having school uniforms, the cost is still just too much for many families.


Girls lining up for class via Wikimedia Commons

Girls lining up for class via Wikimedia Commons

3. School Uniforms Infringe On Religious Freedom

School uniforms, as argued by religious organizations, may often lead to religious discrimination. These organizations may claim that, in turn, school uniforms infringe on a student's religious freedom. Because many faiths have quite specific dress standards which must be followed, school uniforms mean that many students aren't able to meet the dress standards of their particular faith. Often, due to the two codes of dress being contradictory, a student is forced to choose between following the school's rules and the rules of their faith.

While it may be possible for there to be exceptions to the uniform rules, this can often create more problems. In fact, these exceptions may be even less equalizing -- for example, Islamic students' school uniforms mean that they are the only ones wearing something different and this can lead to isolation, bullying and cultural intolerance.

4. School Uniforms Are Uncomfortable and Impractical

School uniforms are uncomfortable to wear and impractical for learning. This is an argument raised in the debate against school uniforms by students having to wear them because the uniform may be made out of uncomfortable material. Students will claim also that they're better off wearing their own clothes.

School uniforms, for whatever reason, are often made of uncomfortable materials which students often despise. Therefore, it is reasonable to argue that if school children were allowed to pick their own clothes, then they would learn better because they feel more comfortable. The problem seems to be an inherent one -- school uniforms need to be uncomfortable to keep costs down and achieve the desired look. Therefore, making a comfortable school uniform simply would not be possible.

When considering school uniform pros and cons, it is vital that the purpose of school uniforms is discussed. If uniforms don't meet the purpose they were intended for, then they should be abolished.

5. Dress Codes Are a Practical Alternative to School Uniforms

A practical alternative to school uniforms is instilling dress codes. This means that the school can continue to enforce dress standards without forcing all students to wear the exact same thing. This way, the school uniforms debate can be side-stepped completely. While it is reasonable to want students to meet some minimum standards of dress, having a compulsory uniform is not necessary to achieve this. By having an enforceable dress code, it's possible to have the best of both worlds. All of the arguments against school uniforms simply fall away when you replace it with a dress code instead.


School Uniforms Pros and Cons Poll

PROS OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS

1. School Uniforms Create a Sense of Unity and Identity

School uniforms create a sense of identity and unity in a school. By having students dress the same way, you promote the idea that they are all part of something bigger than themselves individually. What's often overlooked in the school uniform debate is that uniforms often transform a school, from simply a place that students attend to something they are part of. Uniforms allow students give schools a visible identity -- something physical and real which students can look to and be proud of. Uniforms create a definitive idea of 'us' as opposed to them (them being students from other schools).

Even though many students may outwardly hate wearing their uniform, they often take pride in it secretly, especially when confronted by students from other schools. Even those school uniforms that are particularly bad can create a sense of common suffering among students. A student's education at the end of the day is a journey. Uniforms let them know that they are going through that journey with a cohort of their peers and that they aren't alone. This ultimately is a lesson and experience worth learning not only during one's schooling years, but for the entirety of their life.

2. School Uniforms Ensure Children are Wearing Practical Clothes

School uniforms ensure that all students attending a school wear practical clothes that are appropriate for both learn and play. School uniforms are specially designed to allow students to take part in a range of educational and sporting activities. It should also be considered that if children (maybe even some parents) were allowed ultimate control of their dress, there's a likely chance that they would choose fashionable clothes over practical clothes. In turn, this would hamper a child's ability to learn.

3. School Uniforms Prevent Bullying

School uniforms may act as a leveler between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, ranging from rich to poor. Uniforms ensure that all students wear the same thing no matter what their financial situation is.

If students wore their everyday clothes, there may be a visibly obvious gap between what rich students wore and what poor students wore. One's clothing may very likely become an indicator of how well off a child's parents are. Children may inevitably be bullied if they weren't able to keep up with the latest and often more expensive fashion trends. At school, all students should be seen as equal amongst their peers. Ensuring that children all wear the same uniform is one way to reach this goal. Students will find enough reasons to bully each other on their own -- we don't need to give them any more reasons. Of all the pros and cons of school uniforms in the school uniforms debate, this argument is probably the strongest.

4. School Uniforms are Necessary for Safety

School uniforms are vital for school safety in the 21st century -- this needs to be remembered in any school uniforms debate. School uniforms allow teachers and staff to quickly distinguish between students and strangers. These days, schools have to be especially vigilant about predators and those who want to invade the schoolyard to take advantage of vulnerable students. School uniforms make it easy to tell when there's a strange, non-uniformed, and possibly unwanted stranger in the schoolyard. This is easily spotted in time for staff to take appropriate action to protect the children. Additionally, uniforms can also help teachers keep track of students on excursions and allow them to spot their students even in large crowds of people.

5. School Uniforms Improve Behavior and Discipline

Another argument which should be raised in the school uniforms debate is that students learn respect for themselves and others by wearing uniforms. Uniforms teach students that what they wear and how they look matters and that it's not just all about their own personal preferences. Ultimately, wearing a uniform can be seen as something that students do for others because they want to show respect for others by presenting themselves nicely. Wearing a school uniform also teaches students respect for authority because it's something they do because they are told to and because it distinguishes them from the teachers -- those whose authority they are under.

6. School Uniforms Allow for Other Forms of Expression

School uniforms don't necessarily need to stifle a student's way of expressing their individualism. There are other ways for students to express themselves outside of just their apparel.

While schools should be about letting students express themselves and discover who they are, this process goes far beyond just one's clothing. Expression is often more internal than it is external. Therefore, what should be raised in school uniform debates is that clothing can work to stifle a student's individualism by letting them rely on their outward appearance too heavily. Having a uniform can be viewed positively in the case for self-expression in that students can then express themselves in other ways. Not needing to worry about what to wear everyday and in turn this could result in avoiding pointless fashion trends which are often more conformist rather than individualistic.

School uniforms pros and cons poll

School Uniforms Pros and Cons; Summary Table

A quick summary of the arguments in the school uniforms debate

FORAGAINST

School uniforms prevent bullying

School uniforms are too expensive

School uniforms are impractical

School uniforms are the best way to ensure childrens clothes are practical

Students can express themselves in other ways

Limiting dress choices limits self expression

School uniforms allow students to take pride in their school

School uniforms are uncomfortable

School uniforms are needed for safety reasons

School uniforms infringe on a student's religious liberty

School uniforms increase discipline

 

Comments

barry mcCockner on July 02, 2020:

hello, young people, back in my day we had to ski to school and then run a marathon home, sym

Dexie demelio on June 03, 2020:

Charlie I an 18

Hello on May 04, 2020:

I do not like uniforms

CHARLIE DEMELIO on March 01, 2020:

HOW old are u people ???

haha on February 06, 2020:

hahaha

ha

'hi

is rat yes on February 06, 2020:

japanese school uniforms tho

joeee on February 06, 2020:

hi campbell

someone on February 05, 2020:

#U guys r weird

Me on January 27, 2020:

You

no u

Uniform guy on January 22, 2020:

I think uniforms are important

a duck on January 13, 2020:

idk wut to say

Jordan on November 07, 2019:

I am thirsty and yeez do be looking like a fine piece of meat

Name on November 07, 2019:

Add your comment

Joe Mama on November 07, 2019:

I am joe mama

I am are the smarter than you're on November 07, 2019:

Dumbass

She on November 07, 2019:

I said that

Joe on November 02, 2019:

Ask me who’s joe

Jordan on November 01, 2019:

Yas Queen!

Ok on October 30, 2019:

Ok ok

Yeez on October 30, 2019:

Yo wassup my fams yallready know who dis is

Itsaboicallofdudesxd back at it again with another yeezie fax

Jerome got a real attitude so i had to do it to em that mans had never felt so much flex in his life

Ma main man jordan had to show him what's up you know what I'm saying?

Anyway moral of the stort is yeez for life fam

Yet on October 30, 2019:

Yeet

The Yeez Fam on October 30, 2019:

What is up ma yeez fams?

just got back from spitting straight fax to that mans jerome

i'll be spitting straight fax here from now on

Yung Kittus X Jordan on October 30, 2019:

LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN

.................................................................................................... on October 30, 2019:

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Yeez on October 30, 2019:

I'm hungry and jordan do be lookin juicy

Yeez's grammar on October 30, 2019:

my grand kids gone teach you a lesson about the yeez fam, they be all up in yo business when dey do be mad doe, dem blue yeezies got me drippin

Yung Kittus on October 30, 2019:

fan c

Yeez's sister on October 30, 2019:

ma main bros do be right doe, take that into consideration before i smash your kneecaps fam

yours sincerely, Yeez fam

Yeez's brother on October 30, 2019:

Yeah mans listens to ma bro fam he do be spitting straight FAX

Yeez on October 29, 2019:

How dis dat jordan got dem yeezies fam

Step Bro on October 16, 2019:

Uniforms are not comfortable for step sis

aiko on September 18, 2019:

i hate uniforms

td on September 06, 2019:

I think that individuality is better

random on June 15, 2019:

this just made me hate school uniforms even more.

johnny on May 18, 2019:

useless

HI on April 16, 2019:

WORST

bob on April 16, 2019:

i hate them

.. on April 13, 2019:

i think it are not really good because it do not prevent bulling it just have increasing

Sofia on February 28, 2019:

School uniforms gives pupils an identity

Yeoumji on January 30, 2019:

This ariticle helped me

my opnion about school uniforms.. on January 25, 2019:

school uniforms don't give a chance for kids to feel creative or to express themselves.

Whats up people on January 18, 2019:

hi people whats up my pepes

gmex on January 18, 2019:

who is this

Crazy1655 on January 18, 2019:

This is soooo fake

somerandomkid on January 17, 2019:

i'm in class and fyi i don't like school uniforms.

Martin Luther King JR on January 17, 2019:

I agree

Chikin nuggetz on January 17, 2019:

I love chicken nuggets

chicken nuggets on January 16, 2019:

i like chicken nuggets

Aliyah on December 18, 2018:

Uniforms be costing way to much money and some people cant afford it

Donald J. Trump on December 18, 2018:

I Really Agree With Wearing School Uniforms.

ryan on November 30, 2018:

i agree

abby on November 27, 2018:

i have a very considerate question

Adolf. H on November 26, 2018:

I have a burning question about school uniforms

Shay on November 25, 2018:

School uniform does not prevent bulling. In fact in 1999 a study showed that school uniform increased bullying by 12%. I’m sorry but you got that fact wrong!

neil on November 16, 2018:

l love school and school uniform and it create a Sense of unity

Snega on October 23, 2018:

It was very helpful for our school debate competition . And i support and vote for the school uniforms.

oof on September 30, 2018:

ithink school uniform is uncomfortable

:p it's Dakota :b on May 24, 2018:

I want to were my own clothes and it is not hard for me at all to find some clothes in the morning, I have tons of clothes and also I think uniforms are dumb too you dont really need them and that video that said if I get lost I can look for kids wereing red uniforms like mine how bout you just listen for a bunch of anoying kids.

some one on May 23, 2018:

I think school uniforms help students learn

Emily on May 22, 2018:

I'm against them. I think that school uniforms are dull and boring

Fairah on May 22, 2018:

i think school uniforms are dumb

itz FAIRAH boi!!!!!!!!!!! on May 22, 2018:

i am against because uniforms interfere with students self confidence and most kid express themselves through their clothing! i mean how can you be you when you are forced to wear uniforms!!!

Hey on May 14, 2018:

Research shows that school uniforms attracts more bullies

MY NAME IS JEFF on May 14, 2018:

i hate school uniforms

Sophia Hohol on April 27, 2018:

to booh: i know that you are right. i hate having to wear uniforms.

this is a cool site!!!

booh on April 26, 2018:

nooooooooooooooooooooo school uniforms

Sophia on April 24, 2018:

i think that we should take a stand, & tell the teachers we dont want to wear uniforms

Sophia Hohol on April 23, 2018:

I think that we should not have to wear uniforms because they will get you bullyed

Sophia Hohol on April 19, 2018:

hi people's. I hope you like this because it's so cool!!!

Gabe on April 16, 2018:

You parents tell us to stay a kid for as long as we can but how can we do that if we’re forced to were uniforms. If I can’t express my self then how can I be me? How could you be you?

Maria Mcguire on April 11, 2018:

i agree my daughters went through almost the same thing. we lost every thing and my daughters would get referrals for forgetting their uniforms. i want you to know Kelly Haulsey, that i am here for you we all are me,my girls, and my husband Mark Mcguire, and we love what you said. thank you!

Kelly Haulsey on April 10, 2018:

comment #6 is wrong people express them selves through their clothing and they should not have to suffer like that. As a police officer and having two little girls Violet and Chloe who had too wear those was terrible for me to watch because my girls would come home crying because people would make fun of how they looked wearing those ridiculous uniforms.i think that i made the right choice taking them out of that school because they don't come home crying and it was way to much for me and it went over my budget. Sometimes we wouldn't eat most nights, but now that i took them out the i can pay for food, my house has been much cleaner so i can pay the made, and i have a boyfriend named Lucas Halsey, who i am having a baby with, who actually wants to help me and my kids because we are not running low on money any more. I parents if you are reading this you need to be aware that your child has to suffer from hiding who they really are with some dumb school outfit. Life has been much easier for me and my babies, and the school that they went to was Sue Buel Elementary and my daughters would come home with marks on their arms, legs, and face of hand prints and i called and the teachers were beating them, so i ask you do you want your kids to go through all of this for UNIFORMS!!!

not important on April 10, 2018:

does anyone know when this article was made

The Sorn Primary Unicorn on March 18, 2018:

School uniforms can be quite ugly sometimes and uncomfortable. They also make everyone look the same so nobody can recognise their stuff.

:(

Trinity on March 06, 2018:

School uniforms do not prevent bullying. Yes, bullying can be caused by appearance, but it can also be caused by personality or looks. Just because people wear a uniform, doesn't mean bullying will stop in schools.

HaileyA on February 21, 2018:

In allowing loop hole accessories it makes the whole point of uniforms is pointless , if five people are wearing the same color collared shirt, while one out of the five is wearing a different brand all five are not wearing the same shirt, meaning it is not a uniform!!!

Loop hole accessories still come with a price tag and some might even argue the fact that loop hole accessories meant to be small and not as noticeable would stand out more put on someone in a uniform, so if you do not give us the same clothes and the same brand down to the shoe, the point is well pointless, it's still class segregation, if I had a $200 watch and you had a $20 watch we could argue the fact that you could place me in a higher class demographic, which would fuel another point of segregation...

point being if it's not the same color and the same brand it's not the same so, it's pointless!

Give us back our choices and let us get made fun of or not get made fun of!

shs on February 12, 2018:

School Uniforms do not prevent bullying

No body important on January 29, 2018:

I don't want uniforms I express myself through my cloths. how are we going to express ourselves if its all boring non colorful clothing. : (

Student on January 09, 2018:

Haha most of the against uniform comments here have terrible spelling /grammar mistakes - that's why you should listen in school more and maybe you will find that the uniform really don't matter lol

Andrew on November 28, 2017:

kids should be able to wear whatever they want

dsagusadui on November 27, 2017:

you go to school to learn not to have a fashion show

Gaige Bunn on November 27, 2017:

I don't like them their stupid

my name is jeff on November 22, 2017:

school uniforms are wierd and ugly im glad i dont have to were them

Scorpion on November 20, 2017:

School uniforms are not a good I DEA because you can put on what you want instead of using school uniforms you will look much cooler than the school outfits

master of bating animals on October 30, 2017:

pretty cooll

Daniel on October 09, 2017:

I think school uniform makes you look smart

Neo on August 06, 2017:

I think school uniforms is a great thing.

hi on July 29, 2017:

hi i like the cons

Sarah Wong on July 22, 2017:

Great website you got here, awesome explanation, as a grade four student, I salute you.

Madhusudan Patel (D.A.V. school jaddupur Bhabua Kaimur Bihar) on May 16, 2017:

In my opinion ,there is obsolutely no need for uniforms in schools.Wearing a uniform does not show how disciplined a students.Students wear uniform simply because it is code of conduct.They are ridiculed if they do not wear uniform.If students were able to wear fashion clothes, the creativity of then can be shown Each student has different style and the styles define who they are.THEREFORE I feel uniforms are necessary.

John Cena on April 11, 2017:

I think uniforms are very uncomfortable and bad.

none of your beeswax on April 05, 2017:

school uniforms don't allow children to express their self

k.p on April 05, 2017:

kids shouldn't wear school uniforms

Wolvesandcats on March 09, 2017:

I would hate school uniforms. People are usually comfortable with what they like to wear. Besides, there is a lot of judgement in what students look like body wise because they are wearing the exact same thing. Some people get hotter or colder in places so uniforms would make certain students(like me) freezing cold and others burning up. Being the same can also be too strict for some students who like certain types of clothes they wear. Hairbands, bracelets, and necklaces can only do so much and students can't take after or during school classes if they have work and homework. At my school, no one cares what you wear as long as it is within the dress code. My friend used to go to a school with uniforms and said it was horrible and when you didn't have your uniform, they would make you change into a random uniform that might not be your size OR washed.

Cool beast89 on March 09, 2017:

school uniforms have terrible reasoning dress codes are way better.

Al Greenbaum from Europe on March 07, 2017:

I am for school uniform. Ties, blazers, shoes not trainers - the whole thing. Student body needs to look immaculate. Plenty of time out of school to wear trendy tee shirts etc.

Very nice hub. Congrats.

fed on February 27, 2017:

they should be able to pick their own clothes it a free country people

Humaira on February 26, 2017:

Abolished, definitely!

Who on earth, would want to wear out of style clothes?

Yay-For-School-Uniforms on February 23, 2017:

This was so helpful for my argumentative essays in school. Yay for school uniforms!!!!

bailey on February 13, 2017:

people should be able to express there own style!