Against School Dress Codes And Uniforms

2387 words - 10 pages

The Debate Between School Dress Codes and Uniforms

The debate over school uniforms and dress codes has been going on for years and is still widely debated and talked about in the education system. Each side of the argument has many supporters. There are many pros and cons to each side so it is hard to really know what the right choice is. In Three Cups of Tea written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin education is the main focus of the book. Although most of the book takes place half way across the world many topics are relevant to the school systems today in America. In the book the girls received, “crisp new school uniforms neatly folded inside its cellophane wrapper” and they are completely overjoyed to hold their first set of new clothes ever (194). The history of the topic helps bring light to the decisions that are being made in schools, as well as discussing pros and cons associated with the implementing uniforms or not. Both sides to the argument bring valid points to the table and must be heard by educators, parents, students and government officials in order to come to the correct decision on whether school uniforms and dress codes should be implemented in Americas school systems. School uniforms and dress codes should not be placed the school system because it violates the first amendment and uses funding that the school systems do not have available to them.
Many people think that school uniforms are a thing of the past, however this is only partially true. According to Wendell Anderson research analyst and writer for the ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, says that in the 1950s and 60s “dress codes prohibited girls from wearing slacks [and] stipulated the length of girls’ skirts. Blue jeans, motorcycle boots, and black leather jackets were considered dangerous attire on boys and linked to gangs” (par 9). With the gang activity growing throughout the 80’s school officials realized that implementing uniforms or strict dress codes may help combat the problem with gang apparel in schools. Previously dress codes have been seen in the form of uniforms or strict rules in parochial, private and public school systems across the country. In private schools, uniforms were first implemented to mark a student’s social status (Motsinger par 8). Many people, according to Alfie Kohn, author of What to Look for in a Classroom…and Other Essays most people associate uniforms with, “the good ole days [when uniforms] symbolized [. . .] obedience.” Uniforms were a sign of respect, children respected their elders and presented themselves well while wearing them. As stated by Anderson in “School Dress Codes and Uniform Policies,” “[t]he first public school known to have adopted uniforms was Cherry Hill Elementary in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1987. In 1994, Long Beach (CA) Unified School District (LBUSD) was the first school district to adopt a districtwide uniform dress code policy” (par 11). During the Clinton...

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