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Over the previous years, most public school administrators have been engaged in the heated debate over whether public college students should put on school uniforms or not. This essential argument has drawn the attention of both liberal thinkers and conservatives. From one far end, a area of the society feels that public school students school have the freedom to put on their apparel of choice while the other area feels that there should be uniformity in the public school attire. Based on such contradicting opinions, there is need to focal point on the issue of school uniforms in public schools. This essay seeks to provide motives as to why public school students should wear school uniforms. Moreover, it explores the arguments and counterarguments concerning the problem of school uniforms in public schools and its effects on student’s relations, development, and academic performance.
It is widely agreed that institutions like public schools are meant for learning activities. Previous studies have attached students’ performance to various factors including inferiority complex and self-confidence. To improve students’ equity, security, and togetherness, school informs must be used in public schools. It is because students come from varied social, economic, and political setups. Abolishing school uniforms will create situations where students from well-off families put on expensive clothes at the expense of students from poor and struggling families (Brunsma 50). Thus, students from poor backgrounds will develop low self-esteem and inferiority complex. Such challenges may adversely affect their performance thereby hindering the primary objective of their being in schools. To deal with the problems, public schools must introduce the wearing of school uniforms.
It is unimaginable that the students of today focus a lot on what they put on at the expense of their studies. Governments use a lot of money to finance public schools with the aim of achieving a macroeconomic policy objective of eradicating illiteracy and provision of quality education to its citizens (DaCosta 56). However, resources channeled to public schools are not fully utilized by the students since they tend to focus so much on their attire than their studies. In schools where students do not have school uniform, for instance, students tend to disregard the core reasons of going to schools. They instead concentrate on what they put on, their appearance, and the latest fashionable clothes. To ensure sanity is restored among the students, school uniforms must be introduced in all public schools. It will help in improving students’ concentration on their studies thus improving their performance (Altheide 428). Cases like inferiority complex and low self-esteem among students will reduce by significant percentage since students will not be worried about what their classmates say about them. In fact, school uniforms will be crucial when dealing with the issues of social classes and groupings among students. Using school uniforms in public schools, students will not categorize themselves or identify with certain social classes. Moreover, governments will not have to incur many expenditures on public schools without achieving the policy objectives.
Developing positive thinking among young generation especially students starts with addressing the issues that may bring segregation in schools. Issues of discrimination and judgment among students based on their body size, what they put on, among others are possible ways through which negative thinking can develop among students (Yeung 862). For example, a student dressed provocatively may attract negative thoughts from fellow students thereby distracting learning and relations within the classroom context. Likewise, heavy bodied students may appear aged when in normal attire hence creating room for mixed reaction from peers. Therefore, public school administrators should put into consideration the benefits of attaining uniformity in a learning environment. In fact, issues like styles of clothing or garments, self-expression on individual dressing choice are matters that should never be given room in public schools if positive outcomes need to be realized. Equality and equity can only be achieved in school settings if uniformity is maintained starting from the students’ dressing codes.
Adoption of school uniforms in public schools is beneficial in maintaining security of students. For instance, it may be difficult to spot an intruder from a group of students gathered in the field. School uniforms will ensure safety is guaranteed since cases of unauthorized entry are reduced by a significant percentage (Brunsma 50). Also, school uniforms in public schools will help in reducing the cases of bullying in schools as result of peer pressure among students. Students in uniform will have to control their behavior because they fear being reported while students in civilian may misbehave and go unidentified. To some extent, teachers will be able to monitor students and ensure high level of discipline is maintained in learning environments. Besides, school uniforms remind students of their real identity and purpose while they are in schools. Students feel more responsible and disciplined while in uniforms compared to normal clothes. Hence, uniforms instill a school spirit and build a sense of belonging among the students.
With the rising cost of living, parents are finding it very expensive to buy their kids fashionable and trendy clothes regularly. The introduction of uniforms in public schools will relieve parents the burden of buying their children normal clothes (Altheide 421). Unlike normal clothes, school uniforms are constant, and they never change with fashion or trend. Because the prices for uniforms do not change now and then, plans will be able to plan for their children’s education. Uniforms are made of durable materials hence take time before they are worn out. Parents can afford to buy two to three pairs to serve their kids for a couple of years. Thus, it is economical and cost effective for parents to finance their children’s education when uniforms are introduced in public schools compared to when they do not wear uniforms.
Students have distinct characters that they need to develop. Allowing school uniforms in public schools hinders self-development and individualism in students. Also, students need to have freedom of expression. By introducing school uniforms in schools, students’ freedom of expression is curtailed. Moreover, there is no correlation between wearing school uniforms and attaining high academic performance or positive behavior change. However, school uniforms only tend to emphasize on the existing disparities of the students’ socioeconomic backgrounds. It is believed that clothing is a popular way of showing support to various social courses (Yeung 862). Denying students their rights to put on clothes of their choice may limit their freedom of expression and association.
Over the past, introduction of uniforms in public schools has not helped to solve the issue of drug abuse among students. Moreover, other challenges like student behavior, absenteeism, and bullying have not been directly controlled by the adoption of school uniforms. Thus, teachers should focus more on efficient delivery of curriculum to help in students personal and career development. In fact, the adoption of school uniform in public schools can be another way parents are using to control their school-going children.
Based on the identified merits and demerits of introducing uniforms in schools, it is justified to claim that there is an urgent need to introduced uniforms in public high schools. School policymakers and school administrators should consider introduction of uniforms a measure to restore student discipline, improved performance, among other benefits. Thus, uniforms should be introduced in public high schools to realize the above-stated benefits.
Although mixed reactions exist on whether school uniforms should be abolished or accepted in public schools, a critical review of the two sides provides some insightful facts to base the decision. It is undisputable that everybody would want to live in a world where people are not judged by what they put on, their social class, gender, or race. The journey towards achieving this equality starts by how the young generations are being treated and their perception towards such issues. Adoption of school uniforms in public schools is the surest way of achieving equality since it will help in eliminating the issues of segregations, negative thoughts, and social groupings among students. Moreover, introduction of school uniforms in public schools will help in improving students’ performance by reducing distractions, low self-esteem, and inferiority complex. Students will thus concentrate on their studies and help in achieving the governments’ policy objectives of financing public schools. Hence, to bring to an end the current problems experienced in public schools, wearing of school uniforms should be enforced in schools.
Altheide, David L. "Terrorism and the Politics of Fear." Cultural studies↔ critical methodologies 6.4 (2006): 415-439.
Brunsma, David L. "School uniform policies in public schools." PRINCIPAL-ARLINGTON- 85.3 (2006): 50.
DaCosta, Kneia. "Dress code blues: An exploration of urban students' reactions to a public high school uniform policy." The Journal of Negro Education (2006): 49-59.
Yeung, Ryan. "Are school uniforms a good fit? Results from the ECLS-K and the NELS." Educational Policy 23.6 (2009): 847-874.
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