Not A Magic Solution To School Problems

1674 words - 7 pages

Not a Magic Solution to School Problems


School uniform policies are often referred to as a Band-Aid solution. They help hide more serious problems at the school by giving the school a nice look. Surveys of students and teachers show that in general people believe a well-dressed person is more intelligent and better behaved. Politicians like the look of school uniforms; many of them support this cause until the schools ask for more money. Uniforms are often implemented in schools that are overcrowded and have lower test scores. Many administrators think uniform create school pride; some even say that school pride increases test scores. There is a large amount of propaganda available about school uniforms; however, few articles provide hard evidence or statistics. The ACLU has disagreed with many dress codes and policies. Because most evidence about school uniforms is anecdotal, schools should only adopt uniforms in co-operation with other programs.

During the 1996 presidential elections, incumbent William Jefferson Clinton introduced an intriguing scenario to the public’s eye. His plan was to offer school uniforms as a tool for the principals and parents to use to help stop crime in their schools. He offered his plan in a way to get an immediate and emotional response by talking of the “murder” of innocent children. He gave three examples of so called children getting wounded or killed for their expensive clothes. Ironically, in each of these examples older teen were the victims. One boy in Detroit was shot for his expensive shoes; another, from Fort Lauderdale “was robbed of his jewelry.” The third was from a suburb of Washington D.C.; he, an honor roll student, was “caught in the cross-fire” during the robbery of another student’s jacket (Transcript). Notice all of the examples are from larger cities.

Former president Clinton continued his speech by urging the parents to take action. He had the Secretary of Education send the “Manual on School Uniforms” to each school district in the nation. Clinton wanted school uniforms to be a way for parents and schools to improve school safety and discipline, but he knew that uniforms wouldn’t solve the problems by themselves. He said uniform policies should be implemented at the same time as other programs to reduce truancy, drug use, gangs, gangs, and weapons in schools (Text). The need for other harmonious programs was not stressed in his speech.

People in general like uniforms, and Clinton knew this. All professionals wear uniforms; thus, people associate a uniform with authority and knowledge. Prodigy Online polled its users to find out how well the general public supports mandatory school uniforms. The results concluded a sixty-six percent support for school uniforms; thirty percent opposed uniforms (Collie). There are many reasons why people supported uniform policies. Some people like uniforms because they wore them as children. Others like uniforms because they create the...

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