The institution of education has always had a continual battle on both sides of the spectrum as to whether mandatory uniform policies are beneficial more to one side than the other. There are many individuals who would argue that this is an infringement on their constitutional rights of freedom of expression, while others argue that there is a valid argument that if a student is not wearing the latest fads there is less propensity for violence and distraction by other students, as well as curbing violence directed against young females. Although there is no proven formula constructed as to whether or not school uniforms enhance educational standings; but, regardless of what study cites which statistic it is important to realize that if a student is spending more time on studying and less time being attracted by popular opinion regarding his or her clothing choices of the day.
One of the main goals of this paper is to provide the advantages regarding why school uniform imposition by a governing school district is beneficial to both the student and their parent(s). As with many educators, there are pros cited with a mandatory uniform policy that has great positive outcomes such as academic, behavioral, social and cost.
One of the more important outcomes related to mandatory uniform policy is of the message that if there are no distractions in the classroom, improvement in student attention leads to improved student performance. There is also the belief that “school uniforms improve student attendance. Many parents report that their children spend a great deal of time planning and choosing their daily clothing, and that uniforms allow students to use this time to sleep or study” (Pros and Cons of School Uniforms).
As with many great debates, there are repercussions to every decision; but there is an important discussion element to why school uniforms are both beneficial to the school environment and social interaction. Although school uniforms tend to infringe on what may be considered amendment rights, the perspective that needs to be expressed is that “experts believe that the mandatory use of standardized dress reduces violence within the school” (Pros and Cons of School Uniforms).
There is already great conflict in the school system where every individual child is trying to fit in to their surroundings as well as being accepted within cliques, whether they are good or bad. “Some experts believe that, more than in any other area, school uniforms improve the social outcomes in a school environment. Clothing and fashion are often at the root of social conflict. Children are often ridiculed by other children because of the way they dress”. (Pros and Cons of School Uniforms) As such is the case, social interaction and self-expression when relying on street clothing is often drastically reduced when there is no value placed on a student’s physical appearance which leads to the final positive outcome for mandatory school uniforms.
Many parents and experts are of the opinion that mandatory school uniforms decreases the heavy reliance on expensive clothing, which, at many times, proves an unnecessary hardship on many families. Uniforms are a welcome financial relief as they are made to last, can be washed frequently and easily; as well, there is legislation in many States that provide funding to those families that cannot afford school uniforms that will provide school uniforms where they are deemed mandatory.
There is evidence on both sides of the debate relative to whether mandatory school uniform policies are beneficial or are detrimental to individual freedoms of expression. Although many will argue against this implementation, there is no empirical evidence in support of this argument. On the other hand, evidence on the positive implementation of mandatory school uniform policy provides greater empirical evidence that does support the implementation.