It is this writer's belief that the introduction of mandatory school uniforms would make our schools a safer, healthier environment, and would be a good step towards eliminating some of the serious problems that we continue to see throughout our academic institutions.
Seeking to limit or ban insignai such as team jackets, bandannas, hats, jewelry, religious symbols and immodest clothing, many schools throughout the US have, or are trying, to introduce stricter rules concerning the way their students dress. However, the question over whether school uniforms or dress codes really does make a difference to the comportment of students in the areas of behaviour and academic achievements, continues to be hot debate. On the one side we see those who believe their presence steers the student towards a healthier, safer environment that is free from ridicule; and on the other side we see those who believe such enforcement destroys the freedom of self-expression and denies civil rights.
Therefore, in order to support the above thesis, we will be considering the viewpoints of those who are both for and against school uniforms, basing our arguments on trained professionals within the education field, who have the expertise and experience to give informed views; and we will also be regarding schools who have introduced such measures, considering whether, in their opinion, the presence of school uniforms really does make a difference.
What Education Are Our Kids Really Receiving
School kids are usually ridiculed if they aren't wearing the right brand of peer-approved clothes. In some cases, this rejection can lead to aggressive evil acts or suicide, (Kendrick, Carleton, Online Article, August 2000).
Educators, parents, students and the general public, continue to be concerned over escalating violence in American schools, which continues to be a serious threat to student's safety and well-being. Statistics published in a survey on crime and safety in American schools, concerning all public elementary and secondary schools, shows that during the school year 1999-2000, 71 percent experienced at least one violent incident. There were some 1,466,000 acts of aggression reported by public school principles, of which 20 percent, 61,700 were 'incidents of serious violence.' (US Department of Education, 2005, p.iv). And, according to The National School Board Association, approximately '135,000 guns are estimated to be brought to America's 85,000 public schools on a daily basis' (Max J. Madrid et als, p.1, 1999).
With these sorts of figures at hand it is simple to see the environment that our children have to study in, and the violence that they have to face on a daily basis. It is also worth noting that these statistics do not include other forms of assault, such as verbal abuse, ridicule and intimidation.
Most of the violence that occurs throughout the public schooling system is due to peer pressure, with the majority occurring because of racism, gangs, clothing issues, cultural and economic differences (Stanley, 1996, 424-435). For example, children from poorer families suffer