Why School Uniforms Are Unnecessary
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Student Life

Why School Uniforms Are Unnecessary

Let's get rid of unifroms

Why School Uniforms Are Unnecessary
Teen Vogue

At 7:25 am, the birds are chirping, snores are heard, and then there is the sound of one loud alarm clock.

*beep beep*

I look at my phone with a distraught look on my face. "Oh my god! I'm going to be late!" I say to myself. I rush to my rather vibrant looking closet, filled with all the colors of the rainbows. I go to the straight left back of the closet, where my black polo's and khaki skirts usually are. I hit panic- I forgot to wash my school clothes before this morning. Now I am definitely going to be late.

Welcome to the life of a public school student who has a uniform policy.

Our school system has been doing uniforms since I was in the fifth grade. If you have to ask my opinion, I hate it. I feel that my creative style, that I am able to express outside of school, has been shattered. I am not talking about the creative aspect of my clothing choice, but rather how the reason to do school uniforms don't add up.

(Before continuing to read, note that I go to a public school where we have a rather lenient uniform policy, including but not limited to: black or white polos or button ups, school approved sweatshirts and black or khaki pants, shorts, or skirts)

1. Bullying

This was one of the main reason our school choose to implement the uniform policy is because of bullying. However, as a student, I have walked between a kid with a five dollar polo and a student with a three hundred dollar jacket. I have seen every economic level of clothing, and you can tell the levels. I'm not in any way trying to bash anyone from my school, I am just trying to explain how a uniform policy does not help.

"Tony Volk, an associate professor Brock University researcher who has done extensive research on bullying. He said a controversial Niagara Catholic District School Board proposal to introduce uniforms in its elementary schools will not have an impact on bullying, as the board has suggested.

“Overall, there is no evidence in bullying literature that supports a reduction in violence due to school uniforms,” he said.

“Bullies are smart. They will just find some other way to show status. Who has the best iPod, who has the most games at home, who went on the biggest vacation. If kids want to pick on someone about how rich or how poor they are, clothes are one obvious symbol but there are a lot of other obvious ways for them to do it.”"


2. Loss of Creativity

I asked some of my friends what they would wear if we had the choice.

"A vibrant blue sweatshirt"

"Bright pink jeans'

"Anything but polos"

"Barbara C. Cruz, Ph.D., a University of South Florida professor and author of School Dress Codes: A Pro/Con Issue, points out, “We each have an external persona, and that is manifested through what we wear or how we wear our hair. And adolescence is a time of self-exploration, self-discovery, identity development — kids are testing out who they want to be.”

Yet, of the 1,350 seventh- and eighth-graders surveyed in the Reno study, 54 percent said they felt they retained their individuality, even when they wore a uniform to school."


3. Parents should be free to choose their children's clothes without government interference

When I was younger my mom had a billion smocked dress for me to where, however, this was before the time of uniforms. My mom said if we would have had the uniforms back then there wouldn't have been as many dresses. Those dresses were a crucial part of my childhood. The government nor the school system shouldn't be able to tell their kids what to wear.

Then there was the Mary Beth Tinker case, where her and her parents were fighting the right.

"Mary Beth Tinker was a 13-year-old junior high school student in December 1965 when she and a group of students decided to wear black armbands to school to protest the war in Vietnam. The school board got wind of the protest and passed a preemptive ban. When Mary Beth arrived at school on December 16, she was asked to remove the armband. When she refused, she was sent home.

Four other students were suspended, including her brother John Tinker and Chris Eckhardt. The students were told they could not return to school until they agreed to remove their armbands. The students returned to school after the Christmas break without armbands, but in protest wore black clothing for the remainder of the school year.

Represented by the ACLU, the students and their families embarked on a four-year court battle that culminated in the landmark Supreme Court decision: Tinker v. Des Moines. On February 24, 1969 the Court ruled 7-2 that students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

The Court ruled that the First Amendment applied to public schools, and school officials could not censor student speech unless it disrupted the educational process. Because wearing a black armband was not disruptive, the Court held that the First Amendment protected the right of students to wear one."


I think we have learned that we should let students express their selves in any way they see fit, where in clothes or their arts. In the words of Madonna, "Express Yourself."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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