Implementing Uniforms Into Schools Essay

1761 words - 7 pages

Implementing Uniforms into Schools

The argument whether uniforms should be implemented in school has been debated over the last few decades. By implementing a uniform policy within schools would help reduce the rise of violent crimes. In today’s high schools, too many innocent youths become fatalities due to gang warfare that has spread into the school system. Many parents feel that if a uniform policy was implemented , the spread of gang warfare and the idea that children have to have name brand clothing would decrease drastically. However others are worried that this policy would infringe on students First Amendment Rights with expressing themselves. Many parents are worried that the uniforms will cost too much and they will only burden their economic status. Uniforms will either give the school strength or separate the students and parents from the administration.

Proponents of uniforms argue that the widespread violence in schools is due largely to gangs. They believe that the distinctive gang colors and symbols are used it intimidate non-gang members and reinforce gang allegiance. Gang members are often found wearing clothing with professional sports team logos on them. Children who wear this type of clothing do so only because they like it or because everyone else is wearing it. Jim Steinberg of the San Diego Examiner believes that, “They have become a fashion statement and sometimes a gang statement”(Sauewein 1). This is why so many parents want the schools to go to a mandatory uniform policy. Many parents believe that if children wear uniforms, the violence in schools would drop significantly. Long Beach Unified School District was the first large school district in the United States to implement a mandatory uniform policy. “In 1994, the Long Beach Unified School District in California became the nation’s first, large urban district to require all it’s elementary and middle school students to wear uniforms. School crime has plunged 76 percent since, says spokesman Dick Van Der Laan. Attendance is the highest it’s been since 1980. Can the uniform policy take this credit? “Very definitely,” Van Der Laan says.

“Uniforms sets a message of ‘You are in the business of learning” (Merchant 3). “In the first year following implication, overall school crime decreased by 36%, sex offenses by 74%, physical flight to point students by 51%, weapon offenses by 50%, assault and battery by 34%, school suspensions by 32%, and vandalism by 18%” (Merchant 2). According to statistics, the majority of the population supports implementing school uniforms.

Parents all over the United States fear that their children might be attacked inadvertently for wearing the wrong color scarf or hat that might provoke rivalry among local gangs. Many parents of children victims of gang warfare would like to see uniforms instituted in all schools. According to Dale Stover, “In gang-ravaged Los Angeles, as well as other communities with gang...

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