The debate on the introduction of uniforms in schools has been one of the longest ones. Today, majority of people are on both sides of the debate, with some saying that uniforms should be mandatory and others saying that they should not. This has made the introduction of mandatory uniforms a national debate. While both sides of the debate have varied reasons for presenting their claims, mandatory school uniforms are more beneficial.
The debate on mandatory school uniforms dates back to the 1980s. It gained momentum in 1990s with President Bill Clinton becoming the first one to support them. Thus, at the time, the relationship between crime rates in schools that had enforced the mandatory uniforms policy had declined. This was one of the benefits in Long Beach for mandatory uniforms. By implementing the mandatory uniforms policy, then it is possible to reduce the crimes in school. This is one of the ways through which the schools can enhance discipline among the students. In addition, a mandatory uniforms policy will be the first step towards restoring order in unruly classrooms and foster adherence to discipline (Children's World, 1997).
The use of uniforms will enhance the elimination of the cliques that students form. Students have had the tendency of creating groups that dress differently because they come from different backgrounds. Students from affluent families dress differently as compared with those from poor families. The implementation of mandatory school uniforms will be an elemental step in the elimination of the competition that exists among students from the diverse backgrounds. Again, this will be an essential step in the elimination of inequality in schools (Children's World, 1997). This will enable the students to gear their focus towards learning.
If schools will not have a common uniform, the competition for the latest designer clothes will distract them from the classroom activities. Again, students have used designer clothes that they wear to schools as a way of embarrassing and abusing those who do not have. This has increased stigma among students who do not meet the fashion standards of the day. Thus, having a policy that entails mandatory uniforms, schools can eliminate the dilemma that students face while acquiring the hottest designer clothes. Uniforms will assist in reducing the conflicts and stigma amongst themselves (Children's World, 1997).
The history of uniforms has a foundation in many private schools. The question is whether the same is replicable in public schools. The answer is yes. Many private schools have used uniforms as the basis for fostering and projection of an atmosphere of uniformity, loyalty, and pride. Having the same in public schools will be critical in shaping the pride the often lacks in public schools. It is essential that public schools embrace the uniform policy to help restore the identity of the educational system.
The cost that comes to having uniforms is minimal. Fashion has remained a subject that confronts most parents. The dilemma that parents often face in providing student with the latest peer-pleasing clothes will die with making of uniforms mandatory. This is because the uniforms will reduce the cost of keeping up with the latest designs as uniforms are not about fashion. Again, the cost of uniforms in relation to the fashion merchandise is appealing in the long term.
Opponents of the mandatory uniform policy often cite that it will eliminate the individuality of students. It is vital to note that uniforms enable the students work together in a team, and it makes them feel as part of the school. Thus, uniforms do not serve the purpose of eliminating individuality, but encourage team spirit among the students.
In a nutshell, the debate on mandatory uniforms may raise controversy. However, the benefits that come from such a policy are enormous, and it is vital that school administrators take the uniform policy seriously.
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