Should Uniforms Be Mandatory in
Ever since I was born, I always wanted to be
like everyone else, didn't you? I wanted to own the exact
same clothes as the Jones'. In fact, I wanted to listen
to the same music, drive the same car, and even buy the
same brand of toilet paper. Wouldn't the world be a
better place if everyone were exactly the same?
The truth of the matter is that the world would be bland,
dull, and full of conformists. We would lose every aspect
of diversity, individuality, and creativity. In a sense,
we would be losing ourselves, so why then would somebody
want this to happen? The topic of school uniforms has
stirred up a lot of controversy in our public school
systems. The majority of public schools would like the
students to wear a uniform and the majority of the
students would like to be able to wear what they want,
but which one is right?
I would have to say that the idea of forcing every
student to wear the exact same clothes as all the other
students is absolutely ridiculous. We were all born
different. No two people are alike, so why should someone
be permitted to try and make each student as similar as
The schools think that they have good reasons behind the
idea of having all students wear the same uniforms. They
think that clothes can be distracting to someone's
studies, that the clothing just takes away from the
importance of why the student is in school. Clothes
diversity, and can often tell a lot about a person.
Students wear certain clothes for different reasons. They
might want to look nice one day and so they decide to
dress up. Another day they might want to just wear sweat
pants because they want to be comfortable. They also
might not have a choice in what they wear because they
cannot afford to buy certain clothes or even a uniform
for that matter. Students do not wear clothes with the
intent of distracting another student, and plus, how many
times have you heard a student complain, "Teacher, I
am unable to take my test today because Gabby's shoes are
incredibly ugly?" (borderline blasphemy, I know).
The fact is that clothes really do not distract the
students, they just bother the teachers. In all
seriousness, the students are not the ones complaining
and they are the ones who have to learn.
The school's biggest argument is that brand name clothing
is the cause of much violence in our inner-city schools.
Since when did you hear of somebody getting beat up with
a pair of Calvin Klein jeans? Wasn't it the gun or the
knife that caused the violence? Wouldn't the feeling of
power of possessing a weapon be the reason behind taking
something from somebody? The schools also think that some
T-shirts are too explicit for young children. Students in
high school are usually between the ages of 15 and 18,
sometimes 19 or 20. These students aren't
"children" that still play with He-man and
Barbie dolls. Teachers often expect their students to act
like adults, but continue to treat them like children.
Isn't making students wear uniforms in a way an aspect of
communism? The schools are implying that students should
all be the same, which they are not. We are all
different. We have different hair, different color eyes,
different color skin, different heights and different
weights. In no way are we all the same, so why should we
try to be?
A grey wool skirt, white knee socks, a
pastel button down, and a blazer. Every day, for four
years straight, that was my best friend's high school
uniform. I remember during her freshman year listening to
her and all of her friends bitch and complain about
having to wear these clothes. Little did they realize
that they would not only become their second skin, but
that they would also come to appreciate them. If students
took it upon themselves to deviate from the dress code,
(boys unbuttoning their first button underneath their
tie, or girls not having their skirts to a certain
length), they got JUG (Justice Under God). According to
everyone, that was the biggest pain in the ass, not to
mention a complete waste of time, so everyone just abided
by the dress code. No big deal.
A lot of people argue that enforcing a dress code
suppresses a person's individuality. I think that's
ridiculous. To begin with, if you are your own person, it
will show through in your personality, not necessarily
through your clothes. Secondly, after 3:00 PM or whatever
time school gets done, knock yourself out. Run around
naked, but for six hours of the day follow some rules. A
little discipline never hurt anyone.
Another argument against enforcing dress codes is that
some people cannot afford them.
This doesn't make a lot of sense considering, without a
mandated uniform, kids wear a variety of clothing for
each day of the week. They might not be expensive clothes
but a couple pair of jeans, t-shirts and sweaters add up.
If all you had to worry about was a couple pair of
chinos, a dress shirt and a blazer it would be the same
price if not less expensive. At my friend's school, boys
were also not allowed to wear earrings nor were they
permitted to have their hair hang below the collar of
their shirt. The headmaster had no qualms of enforcing
this. He felt it taught the students obedience and helped
them act as adults, which after all, is the goal of any
college prep school worth its tuition.
I think it's pathetic that students and parents get
neurotic about their school enforcing rules on how
students should dress. They all should be less concerned
with the way the students look and more concerned with
their receiving a solid education.
For inner-city schools, it has been shown that
instituting a dress code reduces the number of crimes.
Granted, the guns and knives might still be present, but
now there is one less reason to use them. Students in
these schools have had heinous crimes committed against
them because of their expensive shoes or trendy clothes.
Dress codes alleviate that problem.
I am not denying that uniforms make everyone look the
same and suppress diversity, that is their intent. Just
because I may be forced to wear the same shirt as someone
else doesn't make that person and I the same. Clothing
does not mirror someone's character. And if you need
something that lays on your skin to express who you
really are, then you don't have much of a personality to
A dress code also prohibits the exposure of crude and
offensive clothing. I know that a lot of people wear
coed-naked shirts and personally my children and I think
some of them are funny and not offensive, but that's just
me. Other parents might think that those shirts and
others like them are too suggestive and provocative. When
I was at my son's junior high orientation, I remember
seeing a lot of shirts that if I were of another race or
of other sexual orientation, I would definitely have
found offensive. Imagine sitting behind someone in class
and having to look at something that degrades you and
everything you stand for. Now imagine not being able to
do anything about it because some screaming liberal says
it violates their freedom of expression under the First
Amendment. What about your rights?
People have to obey a dress code in extracurricular
activities like golf, ballet classes and tennis lessons.
This has never hurt me nor my children, it has never
offended me nor my children, and it certainly has never
made me or my children any less of a person. Yes, we are
all different, even Coug and I. Except of course for the
fact that Coug likes to wear his hair like a girl, too.
::::running until next month:::::::