Should students be required to wear a uniform?
A school uniform is an old tradition respected by many educational institutions. At the same time, there are schools whose boards do not require young people to wear it. Which approach is more reasonable? There is a burning controversy between proponents and opposes of standardized garments. What do you think about it? Experts from ProPapers have prepared the list of pros and cons to help you take a well-informed decision.
Advantages of school uniforms
Peers won’t say to a person from a poor family that one is a looser after assessing one’s appearance. There is no need to compete in terms of fashion and boast of rich parents. All learners can count on equal attitude and social status, which protects their emotional well-being and self-esteem. Academic accomplishments remain the only way to achieve superiority in a class, which attracts students’ attention to learning.
A uniform is a sign of students’ loyalty and love for their school, an element uniting a crowd of teenagers into a unanimous team. Diligent learners are especially proud of their study place if there is a logo on a jacket or a vest.
3. No need to choose wardrobe
Some people struggle to pick up clothes for each new day, may stand for hours in front of a mirror and remain unsatisfied with their appearance, try to create good mixes from trousers and shirts, blouses and skirts, seek unique personal style. Sometimes, they are afraid to be judged by peers for a bad outfit. With uniforms, this problem disappears and young people can dress up much faster.
4. Better behavior
It is difficult to imagine bullies in a uniform. Statistics showed that behavioral incidents take place mostly in educational institutions without dress-code. Young people in school garments are usually calmer, more diligent and friendly, prefer to follow regulations established by administration. This may be explained by an increased discipline level maintained by uniforms.
At middle and high school, learners are usually divided into subcultures (goths, emos, sports fans, hippies, rappers, etc.) opposing each other. Differences in what they wear become a reason for conflicts and hate. But if everyone wears the same outfits, unusual attributes do not cause surrounding people’s irritation. Students may discuss their preferences and worldview only with close friends without attracting passersby’s attention and causing aggression. Creating a neutral zone simplifies social relationships.
5. Saving money
Young trendies often ask moms and dads to buy fashionable clothes after seeing the same garments on their classmates. Refusal to visit a closing store may turn into a tragedy for a young person. One gets offended and behaves capriciously until receiving a desired wardrobe item.
Adults like uniforms because standard outfits help to avoid such situations, maintain good relationships with kids without spending much money to satisfy their whims. School clothing is much cheaper, and it is not necessary to spend time on shopping.
Disadvantages of school uniforms
1. Fashion hindrance
For some teenagers, fashion is a hobby making their lives brighter, bringing vivid emotions to everyday routine. The necessity to wear the same outfit every day upsets them very much. Young people experience less positive emotions. Life becomes dull and grey. As many students are sure that school outfits do not suit them, this gives an additional reason to worry about one’s appearance.
2. Inability to be oneself
Observations have shown that strict clothing blocks creativity. It is more difficult for young people to come up with original ideas, think outside the box, look at things from an unusual perspective. Such students learn to perform orders, cannot take independent decisions and undertake responsibility. If a person matures without a freedom to choose clothes, how will one choose a workplace, a hobby, a house and a spouse?
Schools and colleges usually do not think about educating independent, self-sufficient, responsible persons. They need humble learners who will not break rules. However, there are situations in life when rules should be broken to succeed. Obeying the system is the easiest and the safest way. But only those people who are ready to leave their comfort zone can become prominent personalities.
3. Care for a uniform
Professors usually require students to keep their outfits in a tidy, neat state. A person just cannot wear a uniform in the morning and go to a school. Clothes should be ironed to eliminate crumples, which is the time-consuming procedure hated by many young people.
4. Intolerance of culture
Children cannot support religious and ethnic traditions of their families, are forced to discard their beliefs and blend in because of a strict school dress-code. Some people are ready to fight for the right to express their life values through clothing. School administrations’ refusal to take their wishes into consideration may result in a conflict or even in a lawsuit. The important question is whether LGBT persons can dress in accordance with their sexual orientation and internal gender.
If a school uniform is rather expensive, low-income parents may be not able to afford it. Financial support system may be a reasonable way out. But many educational institutions have the following position: “This is our school, our rights. Find a new school if our regulations do not suit you”.
Designers not always think about students’ comfort. Sometimes, there are not enough size options, and young people receive way too loose or tight garments. If a fabric causes itchiness, a person constantly distracts from lecture material to scratch one’s skin. In addition, a uniform may be perceived as something alien if learners wear it only due to the fear of punishment.
Therefore, school outfits have both positive and negative sides. Whether you like or hate rules adopted at your educational institution, it is definitely not worth trying to fight the system. If you do not want to wear a uniform, it is better to come to terms with administration’s requirements or look for a new study place.