Exactly how important is school uniform for students today; does it still act as an equaliser which prevents bullying or does it only fuel conformity and suppress self expression?
by Emma Videan
Wearing a school uniform is a normal part of most children’s lives. At the time, I definitely was not a fan, however in retrospect I do think that they are necessary. My main reason for this is that young people can be very cruel and if uniforms didn’t exist then there would be additional fuel to pick on people, or make fun of what they are wearing. If all students are made to wear the same clothes, then it makes it that little bit more difficult to single somebody out as being different.
Despite me complaining about wearing my uniform, a non-uniform day was definitely not an occasion that my friends and I looked forward to. The judgment that you would receive as you walked through the classroom door was a little bit too much pressure for me. The chosen outfit would take hours of planning and never really seemed worth it. In addition to this, it was always very clear who was ‘cool’ by what they chose to wear. The ‘cool’ people would be wearing designer clothes. By ensuring that children wear a uniform, there is no way to tell who has more money, and I believe that this can save the embarrassment of some children who perhaps feel bad that they can’t afford expensive brands with those all important logos.
Another good reason for uniforms is that it marks a difference between students and teachers. I think this is important as it shows who is in charge. Particularly with young teachers, it might be hard for them to gain the respect of their students, but because of uniforms there is a clear difference between the adults and adolescents and so may be easier to form a teacher-student relationship.
In my opinion, we should keep school uniforms because not only does it show the difference between the teachers and the students, but also it can prevent some forms of bullying. By making sure everybody dresses the same; there is one less thing that young people can be bullied for. As long as uniforms are reasonable, and not designed to be ugly (perhaps just a normal skirt/trousers, white shirt with jumper) there is no reason why there should be any objections.
by Phoebe Grinter
Once again, the argument over school uniform has surfaced and people are discussing its purpose in modern society.
A popular opinion is that school uniform is an infringement on the basic human right to be able to be your own individual person and express this to the world through your clothing and style. This infringement comes at a time when young people are discovering who they are and how they want to show this to the world. Uniform encourages everyone to be the same, which is contradictory to everything we believe in; about being an individual, and expressing ourselves the way we want to.
In addition, uniforms stifle another basic right of religious freedom. Often young people must choose between following the dress code of their school or the rules of their faith. In many schools today, young people risk being sent home if they breech the school’s dress code. It’s hard to understand how we are happy to let a student lose a full day of education solely because they are not seen to be “dressed to learn”.
There is the idea that a uniform decreases the risk of bullying and increases academic achievement, when the sad fact is that no matter what we wear we will be judged by someone! Uniforms can highlight socioeconomic disparities among peers because they are very expensive, and understandably, families will often use hand-me-downs. The beauty of not having a uniform is that students can buy cheaper clothes for school, that can be worn during weekends and holidays too.
Many students are against uniform for simple reason that it is just not comfy or practical. Many schools do not like girls wearing trousers, when many girls would prefer to do so for practicality and comfort reasons. If in assemblies students are forced to sit on the floor, why should girls have to feel uncomfortable in there rigid skirts, when if they were no uniform, they could choose to wear trousers and feel better?
Not only is uniform encouraging a generation of unique individuals to be the same, it is expensive, impractical and uncomfortable, and should be a thing of the past.