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Pros and Cons of School Uniforms

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There is an ongoing debate over whether or not schools should require uniforms based on the advantages and disadvantages they impose on students, parents, educators, and the school. School uniforms diminish the amount of discipline problems that occur at school, however, they are more expensive for families, especially for those families who have low incomes.

The greatest advantage of schools requiring uniforms is that they greatly diminish the amount of discipline problems that occur in school. Grace Chen, educational researcher and writer, agrees that schools should require all students to participate in wearing uniforms. She said, “according to the Long Beach School District, within one year after implementation of uniforms, the fights and muggings decreased by 50%, while committed sexual offenses were reduced by 74%.”

Hannah Boyd, associate at Jones Day Law Practices, is also a supporter of school uniforms. She believes, “uniforms prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia to school, and make it easier for security to spot intruders.” According to research done by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, in 2008, 10% of all public schools had accepted some type of school uniform policy. (Chen)

The greatest disadvantage of schools requiring uniforms is that they are more expensive for families, especially for those who have low incomes. Even though some schools will provide each student with their first uniform, the uniform policies still put stress on the parents’ finances. After the school gives the students their first uniform the parents will be responsible to provide the other sets and they must replace any lost, damaged or stolen items. Jayashree Pakhare, a post graduate and freelance writer, is completely against schools requiring uniforms.

She says, “Uniforms may be cheaper than branded or designer clothing, but they are no way cheaper than street clothing.” Pakhare also says, “Along with school uniforms, you need to buy clothes to wear after school and on weekends.” Parents cannot just find uniforms anywhere, they have to go to a specific store that sells uniforms and most likely they will be forced to pay a fixed price. These unnecessary costs could easily put a family in debt. (Pakhare)

Uniforms can be beneficial to some and also have a negative impact on others. Uniforms are beneficial to educators and families who aren’t struggling financially. Uniforms dramatically decrease the amount of violence that the students are exposed to at school, they make everyone look the same so, it is easy for security guards to identify intruders, and they also help eliminate gangs from forming.

Uniforms have a negative impact on low income families who have financial problems. These types of families cannot afford to buy two different wardrobes: one for school and one for after school and weekends. Also, not every clothing store carries uniforms. Pakhare says, “Uniforms are only found at select stores, with a fixed price, which can be a real pain for low income families with multiple kids.”

The debate over school uniforms does not seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. Uniforms have both several advantages and disadvantages that they impose on students, parents, educators, and the school. Although uniforms decrease disciplinary problems at schools, they also put a strain on low income families’ finances.

Work Cited
Boyd, Hannah. “School Uniforms.” Education.com. 1 June 2007. Web. 10 October 2012. Chen, Grace. “Public School Uniforms: The Pros and Cons for Your Child.” Publicschoolreview.com. 23 April 2008. Web. 10 October 2012. Pakhar, Jayashree. “Facts Against School Uniforms.” Buzzle.com. 12 December 2011. Web.

10 October 2012.

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