Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shall we Uniform our Children?


“Shall we Uniform our Children?”

                There is a great debate between parents and the school systems that has been ongoing for generations. This debate is the fact questioning if our children should in fact have to wear school uniforms. Though this debate has been around for generations and some schools do require their students to wear such things, it has yet to sweep across the nation to be something that is in fact enforced in the school districts. There was a child that grew up in the 90s generation who had grown  up not having to follow a uniform wardrobe which in turn produced a woman of creativity and a self-thinking individual in the society. This child who was a straight A student in her early high school career, but in the  later years when  the uniform became a requirement after moving to another state this all American girl became an ant in an ant colony of the high school in which she  attended . Her grades had slipped; she in fact had become just another number. How is that a good way to go with our children, and our future generations; making them blend in with their surroundings and not allowing them to become the people they are meant to be?

                These are in fact some of the issues that the school districts have to look at when it comes to the major decision of what to do with our youth and their school attire. They have to gather the pros and the cons and weight them out and see if what they think is right is in fact actually what is best for the future generations at hand. The people for the uniforms in our schools have a strong back in their corner. Thanks to President Clinton’s speech in 1996 where he stated “I challenge all our schools to teach character education, to teach good values and good citizenship. And if it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.”  This debate has been heated back up and school districts are looking in to what to do.

                Though some do not agree with the ex-president and statistics show that the cons of the situation out weigh the pros at this point in the debate. Some cons of uniform-ing our children where plainly stated by Marian Wilde:

 “Opponents contend that school uniforms:

 •Violate a student's right to freedom of expression

•Are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence

•Make students a target for bullies from other schools

•Are a financial burden for poor families

•Are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes for a free public education

•Are difficult to enforce in public schools” These are just some of the concerns that the parents have for their children and our future generations. There were many websites and resources that repeatedly stated that if there was a national disaster that spotting your child in the crowed school or identifying them would be almost impossible. As a mother you cannot help but think about the what-ifs and the fact that you cannot find your child in a sea of children because they are all dressed alike would be a nightmare coming to life.  The debate on them is in fact one that many people should research and have educated opinions on. It was stated on Buzzle.com that “School uniforms are often unsafe and highly impractical. It is unfair to make School uniforms are often unsafe and highly impractical. It is unfair to make kindergarten students wear button down shirts and ties, both of which could be unsafe for them. Besides, uniforms are rarely comfortable in all seasons.  This should be a major focus, the safety of these children, and the effects the uniform have on them. Buzzle.com also said that “Uniforms restrict the ability of kids to accommodate those who do not have same style, taste as them. This can be problematic during adult life, where you have to work with people with diverse personal tastes and styles. Implementing uniform policy may not be the answer to resolve the issues at schools. Instead, students should be made aware of the issues and encouraged to find the solutions on their own. They should be taught to be proud of what they are and also respect others who do not share their style. By Jayashree Pakhare” Another point well made. In the “real world” people are not made to wear uniforms in all jobs and yet they expect the future generations to be taught everyone will look the same. These are the differences that the United States are built on. We are in fact the “melting pot” country because of the fact we have many cultures and types of people here and the foundations of this country are to embrace differences and not hid them and cover them up like the school uniform is intended for.

            With all great debates there is always another side of things. Not that any of these are in fact true and unbiast but when making a life altering decision they are in fact issues that need to be uncovered and examined by many people, specialist and communities in order to make a good educated decision when things like this arise.  So of course there are also a lot of pro’s listed in this debate but with each one there is a simple solution or answer to these on why the uniform requirement is still not needed in the districts. A few of these pros where listed on “School Uniform Debate and Poll” Website. It was stated on this web site that the pros are as follows: “PRO 1: School uniforms would save parents money.”  The real answer is that it in fact doesn’t save money. Now parents are required to buy school uniforms and street clothes for weekends and breaks and even if the clothing is purchased on sale, hand me downs etc. There is now twice as much laundry to do since the children will now not wear one but two outfits in a day. The next pro was “School uniforms would save parents time. Kids in the morning would not have to make up their minds on what to wear.” Solution: Have children lay out their clothes the night before, that way all fighting is not done in the morning and time is still saved.  One other pro that was listed was “Uniforms make it easy to identify kids who belong in the school and those that don't.”  Though some may agree with this point it may in fact be easier to notice who does and doesn’t belong but the fact is that there are solutions to this fact as well. Some ideas are have the students and staff members wear something identifiable on them like a “VIP” card or ID card around their necks while walking on campus.

            All of these offers an easy solution to these so called “pros” can be found if it is what the people and the school districts truly wanted to do. If they wanted to keep the children in a creative state and allow them to learn in comfort and understanding there would be ways to allow them this. Someone would just have to stand up and fight for the future and our survival in the world. Uniforms should not be allowed in our schools since the benefits do not out weight the cons and if they have not after so many years of debating and wasting time and money, now they will not later in the near future, there are problems in our schools, no doubt about it but if the people of the school districts and the parents of these children would find logical solutions and not “Band-Aids” to cover them up, then we could concentrate on getting the children to graduate and be our future leaders. The money wasted in the debates and the time that is taken for these can be used in areas in the schools that will not only better benefit the children in the generation but will in the long run better benefit this country and the American people in the future. The student body is probably thinking to themselves “All they are worried about are our clothes and not about us.” What kind of message does that send to our future leaders? Is that what we want? To be worried more about clothes than if we can get graduation statistics back up? There is too much at risk her to be worried about Guchi and Baby Phat. This is the future we are talking about and this is our lives. Though some may say that the two have no relation but is it really that far of a fetch? Some will say no that they are in fact tied together in the long run and while some want to sit there and battle out something that doesn’t need to be battled at this point. Since we do live in America and have the right to be individuals and think on our own accord, think of this and only this. The choice is ours and ours alone.











Works Cited:

Wilde, Marian. "Do Uniforms Make Schools Better?" GreatSchools. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://www.greatschools.org/find-a-school/defining-your-ideal/121-school-uniforms.gs>.

“School Uniform Debate and Poll." Political Debates and Polls Forum. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://www.youdebate.com/DEBATES/school_uniforms.HTM>.

Pakhare, Jayashree. "Facts against School Uniforms." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 12 Dec. 2011. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/facts-against-school-uniforms.html>.

Clinton, William. "President Clinton's 1996 State of the Union Address as Delivered." Welcome To The White House. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/New/other/sotu.html>.