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Mandatory School Uniforms Essay

1462 words - 6 pages

Some people feels that mandatory school uniforms may teach students a negative lesson about community while some believe that students should base life choices on their own internal values such as their life choices. Such an argument touches directly upon the rights of freedom of expression for all U.S citizens especially the parents and the students involved. While some parents and teachers seek to ensure the safety and security of their school children, some believe adopting a mandatory school uniform is not appropriate method for ensuring such safety, two groups opposing mandatory school uniform are civil libertarians and older students.

Uniforms are becoming a fast moving trend that started in Long Beach, California in 1994. The schools there have seen a change in the way students act, and for the better. The Long Beach California Unified School District- comprising 56 elementary schools, 14 Middle schools and nearly 60,000 students was the first large urban school district in the United States to require school uniforms for all students, according to Keith King in his article, He notes that the district officials have found that violence and discipline problems to be dramatically decreased: In the first year, overall school crime decreased by a huge percentage.
In addition, King mentioned that the style of clothing popular among children today arose from the clothing of inner-city gangs, who have worn baggy pants and oversized shirts that could hide weapons and drugs from law enforcement officials.
He states that such clothing can become a means of transporting weapons or drugs into school and thus indirectly increase school violence. However, King also argues that while some believe that students should base life choices on their own internal values, rather than on rules and regulations arbitrarily set for them, and that this is vitally important to their future health and discipline, While Long Beach Unified School District claims that mandatory school uniform resulted in decreased school crime and violence. King argues that “No empirical studies show that uniform consistently produce positive changes in student behavior over time”.
Another argument against implementing school uniforms involves using student clothing as an indicator for possible personal problems, such as drug use, gang involvement, or sexual abuse. King quotes that student uniforms may cover up such problems that their clothing might otherwise reveal while some also argue that a mandatory uniform policy tends to penalize everyone as opposed to addressing the children who cause the majority of problems.
Also the ACLU(American Civil Liberties Union) stresses that, instead of being directed toward uniforms, resources should be directed toward creating attractive, clean and safe school buildings; smaller classes; well stocked libraries, easily accessed computers, more elective courses, more elective courses such as music, drama and...

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