School Uniforms Friend Or Foe Essay

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School Uniforms:
Friend or Foe ? Discussions abound about the direction in which our school systems are leading our children and if they are truly providing what is best for them. Countless debates can be found ranging from what to include in school lunches, to what types of drinks can be found in vending machines, to the variety of extracurricular activities that should be offered, to what books should be taught, to what types of assessments should be used to truly gauge student learning. One current hotly contested issue in the United States is the debate centering on whether or not schools should be allowed to require school uniforms, and, if such uniforms are allowed, whether or not they truly benefit the students who are required to
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The time spent in school can be trying and turbulent, especially in the adolescent years. When the natural and normal insecurities that accompany childhood and the adolescent years are compounded by feelings of inadequacy due to an inability to afford the latest fashions, school can be a particularly harrowing time. Luckily, the inclusion of school uniforms in public schools can help to make all students appear equal in forms of dress . Clearly, this is a fact that people can get behind. A study was conducted in 2000 in New York City after uniforms had been instituted in the New York City Public School System for one year. This study revealed that "84 percent of parents say uniforms promote equality between boys and girls and 88 percent thought they reduced boy/girl teasing... 89 percent of guidance counselors say uniforms teach children to be more accepting of less fortunate kids... and 63 percent of teens age 14 and over thought uniforms reduced teasing" (Newstream ). These numbers are very telling. The fact that such high percentages of parents, guidance counselors, and teens all believed that uniforms could make students appear more equal and suffer from less bullying is a step in the right direction towards the inclusion of uniforms in schools. When uniforms are used, there is no longer such a clear cut distinction between the "haves and the have-nots". Since all students are required to wear similar styles of clothing, ostracizing one student for wearing the same outfit every day or for wearing an outfit that is not "fashionable" becomes a moot point and this stressor is removed from the school environment. Thus, the inclusion of school uniforms is a positive component because it helps to promote equality in methods of dress and appearance for students in public schools

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