School uniforms force to conform

Avery Hamlin, Memorial Staff Writer

One of the most drastic differences between private and public schools is freedom of expression through dress in regards to school uniforms. Uniforms give a sense of unity and belonging, but is the tradition as old as time finally going out of date? Now more than ever students take pride in their unique qualities and express that through how they dress.

Some argue that school uniforms improve test scores, however there is no research to back that up. Private schools hold a high standard for admission and most only accept students with higher grades which could result in the higher test scores rather than the idea that school uniforms have any effect.

Bullying is a problem occurring within both public and private schools. Students are pressured to fit in and have the latest trends. There is this assumption that bullying is wrapped around that. In most cases, bullying has nothing to do with they way one person dresses and a school uniform doesn’t eliminate the problem. A study from Texas Southern University found that bullying rose by 12 percent after introducing school uniforms. Even with the a “level playing field” caused by uniformity, there will still be the students with Ralph Lauren polos and students with Walmart polos.

Private schools use the uniforms to prevent distractions, but the distraction comes more from when a child is pulled from class and sent home for not wearing the correct outfit. This disruption takes away time that could have been spent learning.

It’s important for students to express themselves through clothing and feel comfortable in a public environment. The teenage years in an individual’s life are all about finding themselves and what they like. Students need the freedom that school uniforms restrict in order to grow. According to a survey in Florida, most students oppose the idea of school uniforms and feel they are “unflattering” and “expensive.”

Uniforms are no longer relevant and overall show no evidence of improvement in a child’s education. No child wants to wake up in the morning to dress in a forced skirt or slacks where they do not feel like themselves. It wears down the enthusiasm for learning and escalates rebellion. School’s should be focusing on a student’s growth and education not what they wear uniformly.

Contact Avery Hamlin at [email protected].