In many schools around the world, students are required to wear school uniforms. However, other educational institutions do not implement this rule as part of the decision reached by their boards and the parents. On your end, do you think if wearing school uniforms is good? This has become a subject of some arguments between proponents and critics. To come up with a well-informed idea about this, let us look at its advantages and disadvantages.
List of Advantages of School Uniforms
One of the most obvious advantages of wearing school uniforms is the fact that all students would look the same. Those who do not have sufficient means to buy fashionable and expensive clothing can surely benefit from this, and parents can also save a bit of money from not having to buy trendy clothes for their children. Aside from these perks, school uniforms shows a form of unity at the school, wherein students wear the same outfits that give them a single identity that distinguishes them from other schools.
2. Less Stress from Choosing Wardrobe.
One aspect that many researchers agree upon is that introducing a school uniform policy can lower the stress among students who are struggling with choosing what to wear each day—some of them strive to look in a different way, while others worry about being judged. Though sometimes this problem goes unnoticed, implementing uniforms can effectively eliminate it.
3. Feeling of Pride.
By wearing a school uniform, a student may feel proud that he/she belongs to a certain school. Just doing this (especially if it is with a logo) will allow him/her to talk about his/her education with peers and even with other people.
4. Reduced Behavioral Issues.
Reports by K-12 experts and sociologists show that students in uniform are behaving more appropriately in their respective learning environments. Their findings came from the fact that uniforms dictate a stricter atmosphere that encourages students to follow school rules and regulations. Plus, it is also found that violence in uniform schools is lower than that of other schools.
5. Saved Time in Changing Clothes.
Wearing school uniform is very helpful for children to saving time when changing outfits, where it takes long for them to figure out the right mix of shirt and pants or blouse and skirt. But with uniforms, it will be quicker for them to dress up.
6. Saved Time and Money in the Shopping Sense.
People (particularly parents), who are in favor of school uniforms, argue that they save time and money when it comes to shopping for school clothing. According to a national survey of school leaders that was published on the National Association of Elementary School Principals website, the average costs of school uniforms just range up to USD150, so they are just economical.
7. No Competition.
Schoolchildren do not have to compete with their classmates, as everybody is wearing the same outfit. Take note that one common issue among high school and college students is the difficulty to fit in the school crowd because they are poorly gifted with expensive clothing that others have.
8. Improved Social Outcomes.
Research found that fashion and clothing often act as the root of social conflict in non-uniform schools. There is segregation among students based on what they wear: the goths, the jocks, the nerds and the emos. But in schools with uniforms, everyone is brought into a neutral zone, making social relationships easier.
List of Disadvantages of School Uniforms
1. Fashion Hindrance.
For fashionistas, wearing a school uniform will suppress their freedom and passion to express themselves—this clothing prevents them from wearing the clothes they want. Some students are also uncomfortable with uniforms, as they cannot just pick them up from their closets. Usually, they need to iron them to get rid of crumples, which will require more of their time just to prepare for the next day. Moreover, children often dislike school uniforms because they feel that these pieces of clothing are not as flattering as other garments, which can make them more conscious about their image.
2. Inability to Show Your Personality.
One huge disadvantage of school uniforms is that students will not be able to show their personality through clothing. Directly connected to the first mentioned disadvantage, children and teens cannot (or will have difficulties to) demonstrate their personal sense of style.
3. Intolerance of Culture.
It will be difficult for the concerned individuals to deciding on a school uniform design that would represent all participating cultures in the campus. Remember that specific groups of people would like to have their inputs in a school uniform policy considered, and the failure to count them in can lead to conflicts and even lawsuits. Another issue to tackle is whether LGBT students should be allowed to dress up according to their external or internal gender or their sexual orientations. Moreover, uniform policies might be seen as insensitive to low-income families, especially if the school is not able to provide a financial support system for such need.
Like a classmate in an appropriate shirt who is sitting next to your child, a school uniform could prove as an academic distraction, especially when your child is dealing with things, such as garment rigidness, tightness and itchiness. Also, students do not feel right in their own skin when they are forcefully instructed to wear something they do not like.
5. Extra Expense and Effort.
If a student is attending school 6 days a week, he/she would need more sets of uniforms. And if he/she does not have enough money to buy them, he/she would need to wash his/her existing uniform every day to prepare for the next day.
What About The Aesthetics?
The aspect of aesthetics is ultimately subjective, so it can apply equally to both sides of this argument. While some students view wearing school uniforms to be advantageous in way that they look good in them, others might loathe the look entirely. Nonetheless, both these opinions are valid.
All in all, wearing school uniform could be a requirement of your school that you should comply. However you detest doing it, it is imperative to follow your school’s policies and regulations.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.