What are the pros and cons of having a school uniform?

Even though I may be biased I believe that uniforms should be compulsory, whether or not there are pros or cons. During elementary, middle and high school, students’ focus should not be centered on how they look but instead they should be focused on either school or adjusting to life as decent human beings. I will expound on this later however this conclusion is not based on a strict, rigid, old-fashioned view of schools and students as studying machines.

Uniforms, ironically, are a form of freedom for students. What I mean by this is that they provide the freedom of responsibility and freedom of judgment for things outside of their control. Many students come from varying social and economic backgrounds, family life and life experiences. Without the shield of a uniform, students of middle or lower class backgrounds, students in difficult family situations or those students who are experiencing a hard time in life would be left vulnerable to the judgment of others. This judgment would be simply visual and is a product of basic human nature. So long as one can see, your first mental note will be a visual one. This especially holds true for children as they start to develop critical thinking skills and empathy only later on in life.

Just because a student wears a uniform does not mean that they are free or guaranteed from being bullied. However, it is one less reason for, or one factor to reduce the chance of them, getting bullied. Take for example the following situation: if there are no uniforms, a poor student may never be able to afford the newest or most trendy clothes and be taunted for it at school, which may very well affect their overall performance at school. It also works in the reverse where others may taunt a student (out of jealousy), who is well off, for having the newest and trendiest clothes that others cannot afford.

How about a situation in which a student’s family suffers from an accident such as a fire or flood and therefore what clothes they have is all that they have. Uniforms can help to supplement the lack of those basic needs. Even a situation in which a student’s parents or family are neglectful or workaholics, students can then be freed of the responsibility to purchase new clothes, pick a suitable outfit everyday or maintain a high level of grooming which comes from experience they simply don’t have. A simple uniform can prove to be extremely beneficial for students as it is cheap, durable, readily available and low maintenance.

In terms of the cons, uniforms do not provide much leeway for self-expression nor individualism through clothing choices. Uniforms will have limits on styles, colors and clothing types. This may prove to be challenging for some students who would like to choose different colors and styles that vary greatly from the uniform rules. However, this is countered by the ability of students to express themselves without being judged solely based on appearance.

Lori




Vocabulary

expound (verb) - explain in detail
rigid (adjective) - not easily changed or bent; not flexible
vulnerable (adjective) - exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally
durable (adjective) – able to withstand wear and damage, etc.; long-lasting

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