An examination of education in today’s world reveals many issues under research to determine their effects on school climate. Such issues have come to be known collectively as hot button issues. Hot button issues include religious issues, gender issues, racial issues, school violence, legal issues, and a host of other matters. Included in these is the issue of school dress code. The original research hypothesis concerned the influence of school uniforms on behavior among students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The research would evaluate the influence based on the incidence of discipline reports during the school day. The independent variable was school uniforms or prescribed dress codes, and the dependent variable was
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Other dress codes may be less restrictive offering students greater choice in styles and colors. At Stephen Decatur Middle School, the dress code policy khaki slacks and specific colors of polo style shirts rather than a set uniform allowing students a degree of choice (Viadero, 2005). The school administration, the students, the parents, or a combination thereof typically determine the varying degrees of dress code. The make up of the deciding team will have a distinct bearing on the acceptance level of the uniform. Students are more concerned with current style for acceptance where administrators and parents are more interested in conservative and economical styles. The cost of the uniform is of considerable interest to the parents especially in today’s economy. The Department of Justice Manual on School Uniforms in Washington, D.C., (1996) cites three important guidelines for parents, teachers, and school administrators who may consider adopting a school dress code. Parents must be involved in the decision making process; students religious expression and other rights must be protected; and the policy should be part of the school safety program.
Advocates of the policy contend that the implementation of the school uniform can be effective in decreasing violence and theft among students, decrease gang influence among students, improve