Advantages of School Uniforms
Equality among students- this has got to be by far the strongest reason as to why some schools prefer their students to wear uniforms. It is a fact that not all students that go to a school will be of the same socio-economic standing. Some have parents who do not find it hard giving their kids what they want while there are some parents who might be struggling to make ends meet. Students from economically stable families would be able to dress as they want and change wardrobes as they please, or at least have the capability to do so. In turn this may affect students who cannot afford to update their wardrobe every now and then. This has a chain reaction in that they will feel inferior to other students and their self esteem will be low, subsequently in an attempt to fit in they may do less than pleasant things to gain access to money that they believe will help them acquire the clothes that will make them fit in. By wearing the same uniform it shows that all students are equal and it does not give grounds as to distinguishing that a student may have something better or different than another.
Simplicity- with a school uniform you are less than likely to see dress codes that could be considered obscene or distracting. Vagueness as to what is appropriate or not is avoided and clashes between school authorities and the students, and at times, their parents is also minimized.
Security- it is much easier to spot an outsider during school activities and events, especially if they are on field trips and outside the campus. In addition, it helps the community notice if children in school uniforms are outside school grounds during class hours. In worst-case scenarios such as child abduction, it makes it easy to describe what a missing child is wearing, and for eyewitnesses to notice also once an alert has been issued for everyone to be on the look-out for a missing or abducted child.
Disadvantages of School Uniforms
Lack of self-expression- it has been mentioned before that clothes are an extension of one’s personality. It is true because one individual may prefer to dress in an eclectic sense of style while another may prefer classic. The different personalities and styles that may be displayed in a school help one appreciate students’ individuality and their differences.
Expenses- it is true that some uniforms can be expensive especially if they are unique and need to be acquired from only one school outfitter.
Ineffective in bringing equality- though uniforms are meant to bring equality among students it does not rule out the fact that gangs and social groups are still likely to be formed whether or not students are in uniform or regular attire. In some instances, uniforms might also breed some form of elitism within the students in relation to students from other schools.
Uniforms make students uncomfortable- a student’s self-esteem is raised if they know that the attire they are wearing makes them look good. However because most uniforms are standard there are some that may be unflattering on some students which in turn could lower their self-confidence.
As can be seen, there are arguments on both sides that could support either view. I’d be interested to hear what people think and experienced on this issue.