Uniforms in Schools

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					Uniforms in
Eryn Frank
Casey Busch
Britta Hill
Elizabeth Bell
Are School Uniforms a
Positive or a Negative Thing
for Students?
Background of the Debate
   The introduction of school uniforms for public schools into
    the national debate is not a new subject. Private schools
    and uniforms have a long history, but not until the 1980’s
    has the subject of uniforms in public schools increasingly
    became a subject of implementation.

   President Clinton endorsed the use of uniforms during his
    State of the Union address in January of 1996. Support also
    came through a voice vote from the National Association
    of Secondary School Principals during their national
    conference in February, 1996.

   As part of his efforts, the Department of Education
    distributed a manual to all of the nation's 16,000 school
    districts with suggestions on how to make school uniforms
    mandatory and reviews of several 'model' programs
    currently in place in our public schools, and since 1996
    more than seven states have adopted uniform policies.
Background continued…
   In many countries, it is very common to wear school uniforms. Some
    of these include Britain, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore,
    Hong Kong, South Africa and many other African countries. Uniform
    is also required at almost all schools in Japan.
   In other countries, particularly in continental Europe, the USA and
    Canada, uniform is very rare in state-funded schools, although
    private schools may have one.
   Debates about school uniform have been going on for decades in
    different countries and districts, but during the 1990s state schools in
    the USA began to adopt uniforms.
   At first uniform rules were seen as a way of stopping children
    dressing in gang colors in troubled urban areas. Later, claims that
    introducing uniform leads to better discipline and educational results
    encouraged other school districts and schools to make a change.
   Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have been in favor of
    school uniforms.
   Other countries have picked up on this trend - for example, there
    has been talk of making German children wear uniforms. This topic
    looks at a very large number of arguments about uniforms.
Pros for Having Uniforms
   Uniforms make it easy to identify kids who belong in
    the school and those who don’t.
   They could save parents money and time when
    getting ready for school in the morning.
   Kids don’t get made fun of for the clothes they may
    chose to wear to school.
   The kid’s social standing would be based more on
    individual character and less on their economic
   Putting students in conservative clothing discourages
    many provocative
   Some students can use their baggier clothing to hide
    things they aren’t supposed to have at school.
   Some educators believe that students in uniforms are
    more likely to focus on academics.
   Students are unable to segregate themselves based
    on what they wear.
Cons of Having Uniforms
   They are expensive and have no use outside
    of school.
   They cut down on allowing the students to be
    individuals and can hurt their creative
   They can be uncomfortable.
   Students might not be exposed to diversity,
    and may face shock when they enter the
    world after uniforms.
   The issue of conformity.
   Some experts have found that uniforms do
    not improve academics, behavior, or social
   In 2007–08, about 18 percent of public school
    principals reported that their school required students
    to wear uniforms. In 1999–2000, the percentage of
    principals who reported that their school required
    students to wear uniforms was 12 percent.
   Also, in 2007–08, approximately 55 percent of public
    school principals reported that their school enforced
    a strict dress code, an increase from 47 percent in
   As of 2009 in the United States, there are 21 states
    with public school systems requiring their students to
    wear uniforms. A case study from 1999 conducted in
    Long Beach, California showed that instituting a
    uniform policy greatly reduced violence and other
    issues in the school. Crimes, suspensions and sex
    offenses were all reduced by at least 90 percent and
    vandalism dropped by almost 70 percent.
Statistics Continued…
   Schools in 21 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of
    uniform requirements.

   Some cities have widespread uniform use in their public schools:
    o 95% of New Orleans’ public schools require uniforms
    o 85% of Cleveland’s public schools require uniforms
    o 80% of Chicago’s public schools require uniforms
    o 65% of Boston’s public schools require uniforms
    o 60% of Miami’s public schools require uniforms
    o 50% of Cincinnati’s public schools require uniforms

   A case study of the effects of adopting school uniforms in Long
    Beach, CA which appeared in Psychology Today in September,
    1999, reported the following effects from the switch to uniforms in
    o Overall, the crime rate dropped by 91%
    o School suspensions dropped by 90%
    o Sex offenses were reduced by 96%
    o Incidents of vandalism went down 69%

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