School uniforms, which have traditionally been associated with private and parochial schools, are increasingly being embraced by public schools in the United States. According to a 2020 research, the number of public schools requiring school uniforms increased from 12% in 1999-2000 to 20% in 2017-18. Elementary schools (23%) were the most likely to demand uniforms, followed by middle (18%) and high schools (17%). School uniforms, according to proponents, make schools safer for kids, establish a “level playing field” that decreases socioeconomic differences, and encourage students to concentrate on their studies rather than their clothes.
Most schools purposefully chose simple uniforms, such as “white polo shirt and grey shorts,” so that parents do not have to spend a fortune on uniforms. Throughout back-to-school sales, several low-cost clothing stores such as broadbent fold primary school and nursery uniforms attempt to develop and promote these common uniform-conformant outfits. A five-pack of basic white polo shirts for students to wear to school as a uniform is predicted to cost significantly less than an outfit that a child would wear otherwise. Furthermore, while children in schools without uniforms would be pressed to change their clothes frequently (raising costs), the forced repetition of wearing uniforms would be harmful.
When parents’ children outgrow their school uniforms, it is common practice for parents to offer uniforms as hand-me-downs. This has the benefit of assisting impoverished families in obtaining free uniforms for their children. Regardless of the large number of children that grow out of their uniforms every month, there is usually an oversupply of uniforms – both new and used. As a consequence, parents who are in severe necessity of uniforms can frequently find them for free.
Poverty is less visible
When all children are dressed the same, the poorer children whose parents could afford designer apparel are not as easily identified. They will dress in the same manner as the more prosperous children. This may reduce the likelihood of bullying based on the wealth of a child’s household. However, it also allows disadvantaged children to feel like they are just like everyone else. It assists in levelling the playing field for all children and gives them the confidence that they are just like any other student – neither better nor worse than pupils from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Bullying is reduced
School uniforms may eliminate another reason for bullying. Children will not bully one another if they are all wearing the same. High school pupils appear to believe that if obligatory uniform standards are implemented, bullying will reduce.
There isn’t any effect on grades. Many research has found no difference in academic performance between students who wear uniforms and those that don’t. It could be claimed that uniforms are meaningless if there is no evident academic advantage to wearing them. The real value of wearing a uniform appears to lie in the hidden curriculum or the teaching of things at school that are not part of the academic curriculum. Discipline and conformity are two examples of this. Furthermore, whether it is the job of schools to teach these concepts is debatable. Can schools be solely concerned with grades rather than fostering conformity and discipline?
Visible diversity can be beneficial
Proponents of school uniforms contend that they prevent bullying. It prevents children from making fun of each other due to their clothing choices. Isn’t school the ideal time to begin speaking about our uniqueness and how it’s a positive thing if we want a more multicultural world? Uniforms are therefore potentially obsolete in a world where variety should be recognised, acknowledged, and debated – particularly in schools.
Uniforms Can Be Disgusting
This may appear to be a minor thing, but it is quite important. We’re pushing kids to wear clothes that they may find unattractive. Telling individuals to wear something they don’t like seems a little unjust. When you glance at some schools, you’ll see that they have colour schemes that include browns, mustards, and greys, which most people wouldn’t wear if they had the option! This isn’t a major issue. However, it could be quite dangerous for the youngsters. They have to deal with it daily!
Parental Collaboration is Required for Uniforms
Uniforms have the potential to produce friction between the school and the parents. Parents must collaborate and consent to the uniform policy, as can be seen. They must ensure that their child wears the uniform, and if a sufficient number of parents fail to do so, the required uniform policy will come apart.
Problems with Gender Expression
We’re learning in today’s world that enforcing gender standards in schools may be a violation of children’s gender expression. Dresses are not for all girls. And it’s not always about gender. It’s just that some women dislike wearing dresses!
The essence of the article is very clear when we are comparing the pros and cons. The pros have more weightage than cons.