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     So I'm going to continue in the vein of school-related topics for this week's blogs. I started thinking way back to my long-gone middle school days, remembering the dreaded uniforms: We had to wear either blue or white polos with khaki or navy blue bottoms. Eggh an EYESORE even the best of fashionistas at that age couldn't make look good. I certainly couldn't make it look good. It brought me to ponder the question: are uniforms bad or good for schools?

Here are some common top arguments:

 

PROS

1. Peer pressure to look good is eliminated because everyone will be wearing the same thing.

 

2. Kids from financially disadvantaged backgrounds won't have to worry about being singled out for wearing old-looking or hand-me-down clothes.

 

3. It leads to a better learning environment.

 

4. It leads to school pride.

 

5. It reduces gang violence/bullying

 

CONS

1. Kids will find other (sometimes drastic) ways to make their looks stand out from the rest.

 

2. Buying uniforms is an unfair expense for low-income families

 

3. Students will act out if they want, regardless of what they're wearing.

 

4. Forcing uniforms on students may lead them to resent the school rather than feel proud about it.

 

5. Students are denied self-expression through their clothing.

 

     I personally am against them, mainly because they are an additional expense families must make. Even if a family isn't necessarily at a financial disadvantage, it's still an extra expense! As if back-to-school shopping isn't expensive already.

 

     In addition, I don't know WHO came up with the whole "it reduces bullying/violence" thing, but they must've never gone to a uniform-wearing school! As someone who went to a public middle school that enforced uniforms, I can tell you, the uniforms didn't work! I got bullied a lot in middle school, and not once did my uniform help me "blend in"  with the "cool kids"  or help me not be singled out. Bullies will bully, regardless of what you're wearing.

 

     Besides, even if the bullying were clothing related, uniforms still wouldn't help. Any petty bully could make uniform-specific comments, like "OMG your polo makes you look SO flat chested!" , or "my Ralph Lauren polo is so much cooler than your Wal Mart potato sack of a shirt", or even "khaki is SO not your color...ick!". See the problem here?

 

     I don't get the whole it "reduces gang violence argument". My view is that the bad apples at school will form gangs if they want to, and a few horrible khaki pants and blue polos aren't going to stop em!

 

     I have a hard time believing that enforcing a uniform upon students is going to make them love their school. You know what I disliked the most about middle school besides the uniforms? THE UNIFORMS! I couldn't wait to finish middle school because I hated wearing such ugly colors in such unflattering silhouettes. You can't force school pride on a kid! It may (or may not) naturally occur in them as a by-product of them doing something they love at school, like joining a drama club or playing a sport.

 

     School is not just a place of learning. It's also a place of socialization, especially during the lunch hour. When we socialize, we want to express who we are, and part of that expression comes through our clothing! Some students like to show off their new cute top to their friends, or even decide to wear pink on a certain day for fun. It's all part of growing up, because in the real world, that's how it's gonna be. How can students engage in developmentally normal and healthy clothing-related activities if they're confined to a uniform?

 

ANYWAYS, that was my counter-argument against uniforms. I'd like to hear the opinions of those who are currently going to a uniform school, or went to one in the past. Even more, if there are any girls out there who are pro-uniform, drop me a comment! It's always interesting to hear both sides of an issue :)
I'm not hating on those students who liked uniforms, we all have our reasons and that's cool.

With more school-related blogs coming your way,

 

Coral

 

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