Sounding Off: School Uniforms

One of my roommates and I were talking about this topic this morning, and it seemed like perfect fodder for a blog post.  School uniforms and abortion are the two topics most teachers ban from argument papers, as they have been said in as many ways as humanly possible.  They have not, however, been said on this blog.  I’ll not deal with the abortion issue, as I don’t feel like sifting through a load of angry comments.  My views on school uniforms are simple, though: require them.

Growing up in England, I always wore school uniforms.  I know that it isn’t a requirement in all state schools now, but in my day it would have been hard to find a school-aged child in ‘street clothes.’  To me, uniforms are somewhat of an equaliser.  Students are not teased for their clothing if uniforms are required; everyone is wearing relatively the same outfit.  Yes, teasing will still happen one way or another.  Having school uniforms cuts down on the opportunities, though.

A common counterargument is that requiring uniforms stifles a child’s individuality.  This is disturbing, particularly since it seems to say we measure individuality almost entirely based on clothing.  Children *are* individuals.  Even identical twins retain individuality, and they are…well…identical.  Our children emerge as athletes, thinkers artists, et c.  People in their own right.  What they are wearing should be only a small consideration of individuality.

Uniforms stop the majority of teasing about a student’s clothing, and they can allow for individuality to shine in many other ways.  We have no issues with adults wearing uniforms at their work, so why do we get so put off about the idea of children wearing uniforms at school?


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