Against School Uniforms

Last Updated: 25 May 2020
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All around the United States more and more schools and switching to the idea of school uniforms. Schools think that this uniform policy will help bring down crime rates, gangs, improve the schools over all academic achievement, and level out social discriminations among students. Although this theory may become true to someone who wants it to be true, other skeptics looking into this are finding that these positive influences from uniforms are merely misconceptions. Schools’ academic achievements are not influenced by the clothes that students have on their backs. Neither is the crime rate in that school.

There were theories that gang members could sneak into schools by wearing that schools uniform and blending in with everyone. Some students are even saying that uniforms will not stop them from discriminating other kids since they still know who is rich and who is poor. Although our society thinks that forcing students to wear uniforms to school will cure all problems, they better think twice. School uniforms should not be allowed in public schools because they are not cost effective, they deprive students’ rights to express themselves, and lastly, they do not increase the status of the school who adopted the uniform policy.

One of the reasons that school uniforms should not be allowed in schools because they are not cost effective. One reason why they are not cost effective is because some families cannot afford multiple uniforms, plus the clothes that students wear outside of school (Pakhare 1). Unlike the students who can afford three, four, or five uniforms, the poorer students’ one uniform will look worn out and used by mid-semester compared to everyone else (Stainburn 1). It will be easier to pick out the kids who cannot afford much. The social boundaries that uniforms were trying to get rid of will still occur with or without them (Cruz 47).

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The second reason behind why school uniforms are not cost effective is because schools think that having uniforms will cover up the fact that all students have a different amount of wealth, yet students still know who is rich and who is poor. Uniform pieces differ from one another. There are expensive pieces, and there are basic pieces (Chaika 1). The uniforms that students buy can set them apart on the social ladder at school; just as well as normal clothing can (1). Schools do not want kids “killing each other over designer jackets,” which is why they take in the uniform policy in the first place (1).

Students who switch to different schools with uniforms frequently can be majorly impacted financially (1). Constantly buying new uniforms for those different schools can definitely drain that person’s money, thus not making school uniforms cost effective. In addition to school uniforms not being cost effective, they also deprive students of their right to freedom of expression. The first reason is that it violates the First Amendment. The First Amendment gives all citizens the right to freedom of expression and when schools make students all dress a certain way, then that takes away their right.

It is unlawful to take away individuals’ freedoms since they have a right to those freedoms (“Current Events” 3). Any student who gets expelled or suspended for violating the dress code, say that it is blockading their right of free public education (Cook 1). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said, “We think ordering school uniforms violates the First Amendment because it impacts on the freedom of expression” (3). Teachers also can be affected by this issue. They are the ones who have to put up with penalizing the students who break the dress code.

A student in San Diego complained that “Teachers say they want us to be different, and then we all have to dress the same way” (3). Parents think that this policy is not a good idea, either. A parent in San Diego stated, “They have no right to make it mandatory. It’s against the rights of students and kids” (3). The second reason that school uniforms deprive students of their freedom of expression is that they make it harder for kids to find their identity in our modern society when they look exactly like everyone else (Cruz 46).

As children grow up, they are supposed to make their own decisions while they learn from the mistakes they make, but the uniforms that the schools slap on kids is not a choice that they can decide on their own (47). The ACLU once stated, “Ban every individual expression and what you have left are not students, but soldiers” (47-48). This proves that each and every student’s right to freedom of expression is snatched away from them. The third and final reason why school uniforms should not be allowed in schools is that they do not improve the standards of a school.

Some call it the ‘band-aid’ approach because instead of actually trying to solve the deeper issues in the school, they just mask all the problems by forcing students to wear uniforms (Cruz 43). One reason is that schools think that they will decrease the violence. They are mistaken because fights and other acts of misconduct will always happen in schools no matter what kind of clothes they wear (45). Students will always have grudges against other students and that will never change depending on the type of clothing they choose to wear.

Uniforms cannot transform a bad student into a good one, they just dress them up to look like a good one (44). A student that created a problem before, will continue to create problems regardless of what they are wearing (Pakhare 1). Schools have socioeconomic groups that they want to break up in order to level out the social standards. One of those groups is gangs (2). Gangs are a growing problem in schools these days, but the clothes they wear in schools without uniform policies, can help others distinguish them from other students.

If a school with gangs starts up the school uniform policy, it would be easier for gang members that are outside of the school, to sneak into that school to create some violence and mischief. Since everyone matches, you would not be able to distinguish a gang member from and actual student (Cruz 44). Another reason that school uniforms do not improve the standards of schools is that they do not improve school’s academic achievements. Studies have shown that uniforms had absolutely no correlation to test scores (Stainburn 1).

Schools think that the sameness of everybody, because of the uniforms, will help students focus more on their studies, rather then what they look like. Although kids still find ways to discriminate one another, with or without uniforms, it still makes focusing on studies one hundred percent of the time difficult (1). Even in uniforms were in order, students will still stay distracted and will have to deal with daily discriminations (2). Schools have still found ways to improve academic achievements, which will incidentally improve their status, without the aid of uniforms (2).

Because of the fact that school uniforms cost too much money, take away students’ rights, and do not increase a school’s reputation, they should not be required in schools. They do not have a useful purpose and there is no point of forcing students to wear them when they do not want to in the first place. It is only a matter of time before school districts realize how useless uniforms have become. Children that are forced to wear these uniforms do not like them, and neither to the parents that have to buy extra clothes that their kids only wear to school (Pakhare 1).

It has been proven that there is little evidence to suggest a cause and effect relationship between the violence in school and the clothes that students wear (Cruz 45). Also, each and every student who is forced to wear a school uniform gets their right of freedom of expression taken away, which is consequently unconstitutional (“Current Events” 3). In conclusion to being against school uniforms being mandatory, they should be outlawed to all public schools since it has been proven that they are a tremendously horrible idea.

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Against School Uniforms. (2017, Mar 21). Retrieved from

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