Caroline Hayes – Pro
Many private schools across the nation, including our very own Wesleyan, requires their students to wear uniforms to school every single day. Uniforms allow peace of mind when choosing an outfit and they are more time and cost efficient. School uniforms allow a sense of unity and community between the students and represents the school as a whole. By having a mandatory uniform dress code it poses less of a bullying risk and a higher sense of equality between students.
Uniforms are something that I personally love. In the morning or the night before school there is no stressing about what you are going to wear. If you pick out something that is considered ugly or weird there is a risk of bullying from other students, thus bringing down the students’ self-esteem and confidence. However, with uniforms there is no hassle of picking out an outfit. You wear the same thing every day and there is no one to judge you. If everyone is wearing the same thing there is less of a risk of bullying based on clothing choices. Uniforms also allow getting ready for school easier which means more time to sleep in, which is something everyone wants. Having uniforms creates a level playing field among students. There is no pre-determined judgement based on the type of clothes you wear, unless you decided to add some unique pieces to spice things up.
Having school uniforms also saves people an exorbitant amount of money. We all know the craze of back-to-school shopping and how crazy and expensive it can get. Everyone wants to show off their new, expensive clothing to their classmates on the first day of school. Clothing does not come cheap, especially for the latest and greatest things that every kid wants. These pieces eventually add up into hundreds and hundreds of dollars. But with the use of school uniforms, you buy a few skirts or pants and a couple shirts and you are set for the entire year.
With the focus off what you are wearing, there is more of a focus on education. The National Association of Secondary School Principals states “When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork.” With everyone wearing similar clothing there is less of a distraction and it creates more of a professional feel.
Uniforms also do not totally take the sense of expression from the student. Students, even with uniforms, are allowed to express themselves through jewelry, ties, and hair styles. The Seventeen and TeenVogue websites list numerous suggestions for students on how to add their personal style to school uniforms. These include hairstyle options, nail polish options, and the addition of colorful accessories such as scarves and socks. Accoring to TeenVogue “there are tons of ways to amp up your standard issue getup.”
Junior Bishop Bryant said, “I like the peace of mind uniforms give me when trying to find and outfit for school. It allows getting ready for school in the morning so much easier.” With having mandatory uniforms comes a lack of expression that other schools have, but the pros outweigh the cons. Uniforms save money, time in the morning, the risk of bullying, and gives a sense of unity that is incomparable.
Payton Kaloper – Against
Uniforms are the worst for two reasons: people cannot express their own opinions through clothing and it is so annoying to do something or wear something if you are forced to do so. I love to wear my own clothing, whether that be something super casual or something on the more fancy side. I always like to dress to impress. Wearing uniforms hinders that ability for me because I am restricted to wear a certain set of clothes every single day, due to Wesleyan uniform policy. Often times, I will want to wear a really cute item from my closet, but then I remember that I cannot do that because I have school and must abide by the policy and not wear that said clothing item. It really frustrates me! The First Amendment states that all individuals have the right to express themselves freely, but how can people do so if they are restricted and held to such high standards of uniforms? During the late 1960s, there was a popular court case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which prohibited the children to express themselves with their clothing as a form of protest of the Vietnam War, stated that expressing support or protest for various causes, like the Vietnam War, is inappropriate in school settings.
Many times there is a stereotype, specifically in Hollywood Films, that if you dressed a certain way you were either popular, nerdy, athletic or so-on and if you did not meet that stereotype, then you were bullied. This needs to stop because study can still get bullied. Bullying is at a rather high risk because if you are not up to par with sports or academics, it is more noticed and therefore you can get bullied. No uniforms helps people establish themselves, the stereotype can be broken and the common misconception of regular clothes at school can be very beneficial.
As well as bullying, the economics of a school are higher when the school has a uniform policy. Many of the big named uniform companies are completely thriving off of sales coming from schools with uniforms. People pay for the uniforms because in order to attend the school, people must go and spend more money to boost the economy of the school and of the partnership schools have with the big named uniform companies, such as Lands’ End. The fact that uniforms are so expensive is a huge barricade to people from wanting to go to certain schools strictly because they do not want to spend more money on clothes.
Uniforms in private and public schools do not allow the students to express themselves through their induvial rights. People are more likely willing to go to schools without the uniform policy because of money or individuality. Do not let economics or America’s First Amendment yield the number of students at your school! Cancel uniforms and all will be well.