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School Uniforms: A Bad Idea Essay

1330 words - 5 pages

One of the greatest controversies that is spreading throughout high schools in the United States is parents and their children against the enforcement of their school’s uniform policy. More schools have been adopting uniform policies within the past decade. Rules contained in the policy that are implemented range from wearing certain types of tops (shirts) in specified colors to students being required to tuck in their shirts. In the past, uniforms were exclusively for students who attended private schools because they were “well-off”, but now uniforms are being seen more frequently in public schools on students of all economic levels. Having gone through a school system that considered adopting a uniform policy, I would have to press against the issue of mandated uniforms, because it is simply un-American and unjust.
In America, “The World’s Melting Pot”, we are all unique and should be seen as individuals. Wearing a uniform does not allow for students to demonstrate their individuality; they have to dress conforming to the school’s uniform policy. According to Akerlof and Kranton, “...with attempting to establish a sense of community might be the loss of student’s sense of identification with the school, which could in turn yield lowered outcomes in effort and skills”. These policies leave the students questioning themselves and wondering, “Who am I?”. A survey, of 100 random students, conducted at Zapata High School showed that 72% of students reviewed felt that wearing a uniform suppresses their ability to express themselves as individuals. Forcing students to wear a uniform is also going against the first amendment, which clearly prohibits Congress from making laws that violate freedom of speech; it includes freedom of expression regardless of what form of media is used to express the ideas or information. Although they may be minors, they are guaranteed these rights as well (through their parents). Even our forefathers years ago knew the importance of America and its inhabitants to be individuals; hence Freedom of Speech in the Bill of Rights.
Imagine picking up your child from school to find her in tears. Through her sobs she tells you that her day was spent in In-School-Suspension (ISS) for refusing to remove her head scarf, part of your family’s religious attire; I’m sure that you would be outraged. Your child’s uniform policy does not allow for any type of head gear to be worn, which left her stuck outside of the classroom and in ISS. In the words of the United States Department of Education, “A school uniform policy must accommodate students whose religious beliefs are substantially burdened by a uniform requirement (“Manual on School Uniforms”), this mandate is distributed to all public schools that want to implement or are currently utilizing a uniform policy. What the school did to your child is considered a violation of her religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. A school district in North...

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