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In Favor For School Uniforms
In Favor For School UniformsHere we go again; I dread the fact that a new school year is about to approach. I start stressing and pondering over the fact of how much its going to cost me this year to dress two teenagers who only follow the fashionable clothing. As a parent, I feel my kids’ pressure to project the right image so that they will not be ridiculed by their school mates and be able to fit in, but wait, - I ask my self, “Aren‘t schools supposed to be about academics and not fashion? Why do my kids spend so much time worrying about what they have to wear? Shouldn’t they be applying that time in other important things?” Therefore, why not suggest school uniforms? Uniforms are cheaper, convenient, safe, helpful in reduce peer pressure and they give students/children a sense of community belonging.
School uniforms could save me money and time. Through out the school year which is four seasons, I spend over $1000.00 on my kids designer clothing and high cost brand name footwear. Plus, the time I spend going to different stores to get the clothes that my kids need could be spent on something else. However, with school uniforms there are store uniforms available. Walk in, get your supplies, and you are done for the day. Doesn’t that sound good? Adding to that, uniforms would save me lots of money. According to Lands’ End web site, which provides uniform prices, I estimated for both my kids with five outfit each, that I would spend no more than $500 for the school year. Plus, depending on how their uniforms have been cared for, they could have them for the next school year, which could save me money. How wonderful is that!
Uniforms would be convenient because I think about how much time my daughter, who is fifteen, devotes herself in picking out the clothes she will be wearing. First, of course, before she makes a decision on what to wear, she checks in with her friends to see what they will be wearing. Then once she has that information, she lays out couple of outfits and makes sure her fingernails/toes get done before she goes to bed. The next morning, maybe two hours before school starts, she wakes up undecided because she wants to project the right image for her friends and that alone puts a lot of pressure on her. Now, I think that this process that my daughter goes through everyday is time consuming and exhausting. My daughter could be using that time to study or sleep. School uniforms would significantly reduce peer pressure. My daughter as well as other students would not have to worry about their looks, fitting in would no longer become the main worry in kids lives. Plus, a uniform saves time in the morning when you’re rushing to get ready for school. With a uniform, all you have to do is slip on the required items without having to spend any thought on how others will view you in these clothes. Doesn’t that make sense?
Safety is always a concern for parents and teachers. When dropping off my kids or when I walk through the school, I notice some kids displaying gang colors or baggy jeans that are sagged out or gothic style clothing. This creates cliques that can become an issue of safety and be dangerous. Why do schools allow this? Have we not learned from our past tragedies. For example, in Barbara C. Cruz book “School Dress Codes,” she reminds us of the tragedy that happened in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999 when two students had smuggled in homemade pipe bombs, two sawed-off shotguns, a semiautomatic rifle, and an assault pistol. They were able to conceal the weapons in their camouflage clothing, topped by black trench coats. Before they committed suicide, they killed twelve students and a teacher and wounded twenty one others. Also, in May 1999, a fifteen year old in Conyers, Georgia brought to school a revolver and a sawed-off rifle, which he hid in the legs of his baggy jeans. He wounded six students. These two examples that I give you is to show you that school uniforms would not have allowed them to cover up their weapons and would have made it more difficult for them to carry their weapons on campus.
These kids were most likely ridiculed and picked on for their appearance in schools which played a major factor in these shootings. For instance, the two kids in the Columbine High School, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were ridiculed by jocks/athletes with homophobic remarks. They were isolated from the rest of their classmates, which prompted feelings of helplessness, insecurity and depression, as well as strong need for attention. Harris and Klebold were portrayed as part of a Goth cult and thought to be part of an informal school club called the Trenchcoat Mafia. When Harris and Klebold went on a shooting rampage they targeted the jocks, athletes and anyone who wore shirts with sport symbols on them. As you can see appearance plays a major roll in peer pressure and bullying which can have tremendous and dangerous consequences. The increasingly difficult task of school safety could be, without a doubt, greatly enhanced by the use of school uniforms. Uniforms would make it easier for school personnel to identify members of the student class. This would make it difficult for someone who doesn’t belong to a school to slip in unnoticed and for students to skip school. It would also prevent gangs from displaying gang colors or other signs through clothing. It would also diminish economic and social barriers between students. Many students come from diverse backgrounds and some have economic advantages/disadvantages but with uniforms that would no longer be the case. As Mr. Clinton stated, “That what really counts is what you are and what you become on the inside, rather that what you are wearing on the outside.”
Last uniforms, with all students looking the same, can instill a sense of school togetherness. I believe kids would be treated with more respect, give a sense of unity, and self esteem. As New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “I’ve always believed that school uniforms are one important part of creating an environment in which students respect themselves, respect one another, and respect their schools as hollowed places of learning.”
In conclusion, as a parent, I stress out my concerns to you because I truly believe that implementing school uniforms would help not only me but teachers and students as well. Schools should be about academics and not fashion which promotes peer pressure upon our kids to project the right image. In addition, it would help us parents like myself save money. Furthermore, uniforms would promote unity and safety for our kids and teachers in schools.
Adams, Lorraine and Dale Russakoff. “Dissecting Columbine’s Cult of the Athlete.” Washington Post. June 12, 1999.6=
Cruz, Barbara C. “School Dress Codes: A Pro/Con Issue.” New Jersey: Berkeley Heights, 2000.
Goldberg, Carey. “For Those Who Dress Differently, an Increase in Being Viewed as
Abnormal.” New York Times. May 1, 1999.
Mitchell, Alison. “Clinton Will Advise Schools on Uniforms.” New York Times 25 February 1996.
“Public School Uniform Debate.” Education Bug. 18 July 2009.
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