What Are Some Bad Things About School Uniforms?

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Approximately 18 percent of public schools required students to wear school uniforms in the 2007-08 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Supporters of school uniforms argue that uniforms help students concentrate on schoolwork and reduce peer pressure, theft, gang activity and violence. However, there are several arguments against school uniforms.

School uniforms discourage creative, adaptive thinking.

School uniforms discourage creative, adaptive thinking. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Financial BurdenPurchasing school uniforms places a financial strain on parents, especially low-income families. In addition, opponents of school uniforms argue that it’s unfair to force parents who already pay taxes to support schools to also purchase school uniforms. And although school uniforms may be less expensive than casual clothes, students will still need casual clothes for weekend socializing and other activities.

School uniform are an added expense.

School uniform are an added expense. (David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Encouraging ConformitySchool uniforms encourage conformity instead of adaptive thinking. Proponents of school uniforms argue that school uniforms teach students to dress appropriately for a job interview or professional career, but opponents counter that adaptive and creative thinking is more important. Companies vary widely in their dress codes, so students need to know how to adapt to different situations and environments.

Uniforms can be seen to help students know how to dress professionally.

Uniforms can be seen to help students know how to dress professionally. (DAJ/amana images/Getty Images)

Avoiding Real SolutionsSpending time and resources developing and enforcing a school uniform plan may distract schools from pursuing real solutions to common school problems, such as bullying, violence or academic under-achievement. In addition, school uniform plans can be difficult to implement and enforce, wasting more time and resources.

Real problems are still an issue with school uniforms.

Real problems are still an issue with school uniforms. (Hongqi Zhang/iStock/Getty Images)

Interfering with Student RightsSchool uniforms interfere with students’ right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression, according to some opponents of school uniforms. Many students are also concerned that school uniforms will interfere with their right to wear religious clothing, such as head scarves or yarmulkes, although many school uniform policies permit these items.

School uniforms do not support self expression.

School uniforms do not support self expression. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Double StandardSchool uniforms support a double standard, according to some opponents, because teachers and administrators are usually only required to conform to a dress code instead of wearing a uniform.

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