Implementing Uniforms into Schools

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Implementing Uniforms into Schools

The argument whether uniforms should be implemented in school has been debated over the last few decades. By implementing a uniform policy within schools would help reduce the rise of violent crimes. In today’s high schools, too many innocent youths become fatalities due to gang warfare that has spread into the school system. Many parents feel that if a uniform policy was implemented , the spread of gang warfare and the idea that children have to have name brand clothing would decrease drastically. However others are worried that this policy would infringe on students First Amendment Rights with expressing themselves. Many parents are worried that the uniforms will cost too much and they will only burden their economic status. Uniforms will either give the school strength or separate the students and parents from the administration.

Proponents of uniforms argue that the widespread violence in schools is due largely to gangs. They believe that the distinctive gang colors and symbols are used it intimidate non-gang members and reinforce gang allegiance. Gang members are often found wearing clothing with professional sports team logos on them. Children who wear this type of clothing do so only because they like it or because everyone else is wearing it. Jim Steinberg of the San Diego Examiner believes that, “They have become a fashion statement and sometimes a gang statement”(Sauewein 1). This is why so many parents want the schools to go to a mandatory uniform policy. Many parents believe that if children wear uniforms, the violence in schools would drop significantly. Long Beach Unified School District was the first large school district in the United States to implement a mandatory uniform policy. “In 1994, the Long Beach Unified School District in California became the nation’s first, large urban district to require all it’s elementary and middle school students to wear uniforms. School crime has plunged 76 percent since, says spokesman Dick Van Der Laan. Attendance is the highest it’s been since 1980. Can the uniform policy take this credit? “Very definitely,” Van Der Laan says.

“Uniforms sets a message of ‘You are in the business of learning” (Merchant 3). “In the first year following implication, overall school crime decreased by 36%, sex offenses by 74%, physical flight to point students by 51%,...

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...nonprofit organizations that give out over $100,000 in financial aid to families that allow them to buy these uniforms. School districts also point out that the uniforms can be passed down from one child to another. By doing this, they would come out ahead in the long run.

Many parents believe that uniforms will only stifle the students creativity. They will not be allowed to freely express themselves with the colors that they wear as well as the clothing itself. If a child is feeling particularly happy that day, he or she may want to wear their favorite outfit to express themselves and the way that they feel. If all students wear uniforms, the entire school will all look exactly the same, which takes away all creativity and suppresses individuality.

The controversy whether to implement the uniform policy has gone on for quite a few

years now. Both sides of the argument give compelling reasons why or why not the policy

should be arrayed. But with the rise in the violent crimes in the school systems, children need to be protected, or else our children may be growing up knowing only violence. They will not know what it will be like to live a life without fear.
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