Eureka Monette Writing I Argument Essay 19 February 2013 School Uniforms School is a place to learn, not to flaunt fashion, wealth, or privilege. Unfortunately as it stands now kids spend so much time being stressed out about popularity and social standing that they hardly have the energy to learn anything valuable.
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Students are harassed physically, verbally, and socially by their peers. Often, the cause of bullying stems from people being different for not wearing the “right” clothes. If someone looks richer, most people feel like they have a higher social status or more power. To the contrary, uniforms allow children to learn on a more level playing field as far as image and dress is concerned, with less judgment about clothing choices, brands of clothing, or physical appearance.
Marian Wilde notes that President Clinton provided momentum to the school uniform movement when he said in his 1996 State of the Union speech, “If wearing an uniform means that the school rooms will be more orderly and more disciplined, and that our young people will learn to evaluate themselves by what they are on the inside, instead of what they’re wearing on the outside, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear uniforms” (Wilde).
According to David Brunsma’s The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us about American Education: A Symbolic Crusade: By the end of the 1996-1997 school years the media had quoted individuals stating that half of the urban school districts in the United States had adopted and implemented school uniform policies. More than 60 percent of Miami public schools, 66 percent of Cleveland’s public schools, 80 percent of the schools in the Chicago area, 50 percent in the
Boston, Massachusetts, area, and between 10 and 25 percent of the public schools in New York City, the largest district in the nation, claimed to have adopted policies of standardized dress (Lewin 1997). That it was largely an urban phenomenon seemed unmistakable, yet in 1996-1997 schools in places like Zion, Illinois, and Greenville, Mississippi, had such policies as well. The majority of these policies were in elementary schools, followed by middle and high schools. (Brunsma pg 20).
One of the many advantages of wearing a uniform to school is the time wasted in choosing what to wear on day to day bases. Students are usually worried about what they will wear the next day. Having experienced this process personally, I can attest to Stubsbll’s account that this time wasted in searching and assimilating apparel and attire on a day to day bases can be used in other productive areas. Stubsbll states that “on average, a student usually spends anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour trying to find something to wear the next day.
In this amount of time, the student could have spent thirty minutes studying or gone to bed that much earlier. In addition to saving time, there would be less of an acceptance problem between peers because name brands and styles would no longer matter” (Stubsbll). The financial aspect of wearing school uniforms can be rewarding as well. When it comes to the topic of back-to-school, a major concern centers around finding ways to save, because when it comes to today’s financially challenged economy not all styles are affordable.
According to Children’s World, “With fashions constantly changing from year to year, and season, parents have always felt the pressure (from their children) to provide them with the latest peer-pleasing designs. Uniforms reduce the cost of keeping up since they remain the same-day after day, year after year. The use of uniforms at school, as opposed to the latest fashions, also may help the child avoid ridicule, embarrassment, or abuse from others the ‘have and have not’ stigma.
Uniforms assist in avoiding such conflicts by removing the chance for confrontation over clothing, at least during the child’s at-school time” (World). School is a place to learn, not to flaunt fashion, wealth, or privilege. Unfortunately as it stands now kids spend so much time being stressed out about popularity and social standing that they hardly have the energy to learn anything valuable. I believe uniforms help unite us in a common goal: to do well in school
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