The primary focus of this district is the education of our students. However, it would be irresponsible to overlook the fact that school also plays a crucial role in the social and emotional development of our district’s children. Because of this, any decisions that directly affect the students must be examined very carefully. The issue at had is that of school uniforms. Would our students benefit from the adoption of a school uniform policy or would this be an intrusion on their personal freedoms?
The case for school uniforms can be successfully argued, citing a number of benefits to the school, students, and parents. First, wearing mandated uniforms reduces distractions for students. Students are more able to concentrate on their schoolwork if they are not sidetracked by the outlandish or attention-getting apparel of other students. Along these same lines, teachers are more able to concentrate on the lessons at hand rather than sacrificing instructional time for the sake of policing student clothing. Uniforms will also help students focus on their schoolwork, as they will not feel pressure by their peers to be fashionable or being concerned with whether or not they “fit in”. Secondly, wearing school uniforms instills a sense of discipline among students. Students who are required and expected to present themselves in a certain manner are in turn required to demonstrate self discipline when it comes to their appearance. Uniforms also increase the safety in schools. Students, teachers, and administrators will be more able to recognize when an outsider is in their building, as they will not be wearing the set uniform. Along these same lines, violence in schools is said to decrease, as there are fewer instances of theft and weapons or drugs being concealed in baggy clothing or outerwear. Finally, having the student body wear uniforms instills a sense of community within the school. Students often only identify with their peers who have the same sense of style or the same socioeconomic status as they do. By having students uniformly wearing the same thing, they are more likely to accept one another and build friendships based on values and personality rather than superficial standards. If the whole student body is wearing a shirt with the school logo, school pride and a sense of unity will follow.
School Uniforms Currently in America an on going debate continues regarding a uniform policy suggested to public and private schools. This develops into a controversial issue because valid argument exist on both sides. Giving this issue much thought has lead me to believe that making school uniforms mandatory would help the school systems. School uniforms would help unruly classrooms, also ...
On the other hand, there are some valid arguments against school uniforms. Students and parents argue that uniforms violate their freedom of expression. In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School (1969), the court said that a student’s freedom of expression in school must be protected unless it would seriously interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline. In this case, mandating school uniforms is an effort to maintain appropriate discipline. In order to assure our students’ civil liberties are not compromised, schools must make provisions to protect them. For example, as suggested by the Federal Manual on School Uniforms (1995), students will not be prohibited from wearing socially conscious or political buttons as long as they are appropriate for school and do not undermine the uniforms themselves.
Secondly, some families may be concerned about the cost of the uniforms. Although school uniforms generally cost less than other types of clothing, this concern must be addressed to alleviate the possibility that the school may be accused of discrimination. In October 1995, working on behalf of low-income families, the ACLU of Southern California filed a lawsuit against the Long Beach Unified School District. The lawsuit claimed that the district fails to help low-income students purchase uniforms and has punished students who do not wear them. This case was resolved by the district providing assistance to these families. Assisting these families is essential in promoting the success of a school uniform policy. This assistance can come in many forms. One, schools can solicit donations from businesses in order to provide students with these clothes. Second, the school board can provide students who meet the criteria for financial need with the uniforms themselves. Another possibility is having graduated students donate their old uniforms, which can be distributed as needed. Finally, schools can ask their families to sponsor a child and donate the funds or the uniforms themselves for them.
... believe adoption of school uniform policies will lead to increased school safety, student discipline, and student learning. More specifically, many have argued that school uniforms assist in reducing ... not adequately inform parents about their rights to request exemption from the program. ACLU attorneys assert that low socioeconomic families are going ...
A final concern is that mandating school uniforms might interfere with religious clothing. A school uniform policy must accommodate students whose religious beliefs are substantially burdened by a uniform requirement. Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, schools generally may not prohibit the wearing of religious messages. In addition, in an effort to assure that students’ religions remain their freedom, schools must provide an opt-out program for families whose religions require specific types of dress.
After considering all of the pros and cons, it would be my recommendation to the board to institute a mandatory school uniforms policy, with the only opt-out being for religious purposes. The policy proposal would read:
After careful deliberation, it has been determined that the school district would greatly benefit from a mandatory uniform policy. Currently, we are dealing with disciplinary infractions on a daily basis that are severely affecting the educational merit of our program. In order for our educational program to maintain its integrity, promote student unity, and improve the safety of our school, I propose that the school uniform code read as follows:
The purpose of the School Uniform Policy is to provide our students with increased school safety, to encourage our students to experience a greater sense of school identity and belonging, to encourage an improvement in student behavior, to reduce school clothing costs, and to encourage academic excellence.
Argumentation/Persuasion research School Uniforms Media stories about a nationwide school epidemic, in which assaults on teachers are frequent and students are routinely killed over designer clothing, have been constant over the past few years. These reports have placed pressure on schools and politicians to act quickly, before the situation gets out of control. In these post-Columbine days, ...
SCHOOL UNIFORM POLICY
A School Uniform Committee, comprised of two parents, two students, two teachers, and an administrator, will be established. This committee shall:
• Select a specific uniform for all items of clothing, with the exception of outerwear and footwear. Their recommendation is to be sent to the Superintendent for approval. Upon approval, the school will provide students and parents with the opportunity to become familiar with the uniform as soon as possible. The committee shall also provide methods for the recycling of uniforms.
• Inform and address all parental and student concerns by means of surveys and, if necessary, meetings.
• Mail parents of enrolled students a description of the proposed uniform, as well as a survey.
• Adopt procedures that address the financial hardship that some families may feel as a result of their compliance with the program.
The school uniform committee will adopt procedures that address the financial hardship that some families may feel as a result of their compliance with the program.
These procedures shall be disseminated in detail to the parents or guardians through special bulletins, school newsletters, and parent meetings .
PROCEDURES FOR EXEMPTION
Parents or guardians may request an exemption from a mandatory school uniform program by submitting a written request to the school principal, prior to the beginning of each year. Upon receipt of this request, a hearing will be held to determine whether or not the request has merit.
CONCERNS ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
The right of school systems to require the mandatory wearing of uniforms has been determined not to be in violation of students or their parents or guardians constitutional rights.
The mandatory uniform policy of the school is not aimed at the promotion or restriction of any particular student’s, parent’s or guardian’s exercise of their constitutional rights, but for the benefit of all.
Speech Pattern: Topical Do you remember what your wardrobe was like during high school? Maybe you wore the latest in brand name clothing, anything that wasn't associated with gang signs, or whatever hand me downs you could get. The reality is physical violence is common between children because of the name brand on a jacket or a pair of jeans. Children are being ridiculed because their families ...
The following instances do not constitute non-compliance of the dress code:
1. When a student wears religious garb.
2. When a student wears the uniform of a nationally recognized youth organization such as Boy Scouts or Girls Scouts on regular meeting days.
3. When a student’s parent or guardian has secured an exemption from the uniform program.
4. When a student is on campus outside of normal school hours.
5. The school principal shall have freedom on special occasions to allow students/student organizations to have special dress-up days.
Students who do not comply with the uniform code will be subject to detention. Chronic offenders will be subject to additional penalties including suspension and expulsion.
Education Commision for the States Website. (2006) Manual on School Uniforms
Retrieved January 24, 2006, from
Education Law Center Website. (2005) Retrieved January 24, 2006, from
FindLaw for Legal Professionals website.(n.d.) Case Summaries and Codes. Retrieved
Jan 24, 2006 from http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=393&invol=503
Religious Freedom HomePage. (n.d) Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Retrieved
January 25, 2006, from http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/nfs-regs/rfra-