September 3, 2009
Imagine being able to wake up every morning, roll out of bed, put on the same thing you wore the day before, and head off to school. Not only would you be able to do such a thing, but all of your friends were doing it, too! Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s becoming more common in our society as school uniforms have gone beyond private schools to public schools. Uniforms have a positive effect on students’ self-esteem, attendance, discipline, and test scores. They have also been proven to decrease the rate of crime and violence in public schools.
Most students and even parents will argue that school uniforms stifle individualism. The teenage years are a time when adolescents try out different personas, often experimenting with different styles of clothing during this phase. Opponents argue that uniforms take away an individual’s freedom of expression. However, the clothes that people wear, or can afford to wear, often define the group by which they are accepted. As a result, many teens are outcast due to the fact that they cannot afford the top-of-the-line, name-brand clothing. This rejection can lead to several problems for the outcast teen: depression, inability to concentrate on schoolwork, or just a general feeling of inferiority. School uniforms put everyone on the same level because no outfit is more stylish or expensive than another. Linda Moore, principal at Will Rogers Middle School in Long Beach, California, states, “Uniforms reduce the differences between the haves and have-nots” (Ritter, 1). Uniforms allow students to interact with one another without experiencing the socioeconomic barrier that non-uniform schools create. More importantly, children are not judged on how much they spent on clothes or how stylish they look, but rather for their talents and personalities.
School uniforms not only break down socioeconomic barriers, but they also increase the safety of the students. In 1996, President Bill Clinton encouraged the use of school uniforms as part of an education program that sought to improve safety and discipline (Hoffman, 1). If students are all wearing the same type of outfit, it becomes much easier to spot outsiders who may wander onto the campus. In addition, uniforms decrease the number of incidences of students being attacked or beaten for items of clothing such as shoes and jackets. Also, members of gangs frequently have a color or style of clothing used to identify themselves. Unsuspecting students who wear gang colors or gang-related attire might be threatened or intimidated by members of opposing gangs, students wearing expensive or fashionable clothes might become victims of theft, or certain fashion accessories or attire may be used as a means of concealing weapons, or even as weapons (Paliokas, 1). At a school in Long Beach, California, after only the first year that uniforms were implemented, overall school crime decreased 36 percent, fights decreased 51 percent, sex offenses decreased 74 percent, weapons offenses decreased 50 percent, assault and battery offenses decreased 34 percent, and vandalism decreased 18 percent (Manual, 3).
Schools with uniform-clad students are also proven to have fewer disciplinary problems and increased attendance than non-uniform schools. Dr. John German, principal of South Shore, located in Seattle, Washington, reports, “This year the demeanor in the school has improved 98 percent, truancy and tardies are down, and we have not had one reported incident of theft” (Manual,4). Ruffner Middle School, located in Norfolk, Virginia, reports a 47 percent decrease in students leaving class without permission (Manual,5).
With the implementation of uniforms, students no longer spend hours deciding what they are going to wear to school. This fear of looking “uncool” will often cause kids to decide that they do not feel well enough to go to school because they can’t find anything to wear. Uniforms allow students to focus more on their academics, and less on what everyone else is wearing. According to Long Beach police chief William Ellis, “Students concentrate more on education, not on who’s wearing $100 shoes or gang attire” (Manual, 3). Elementary Guidance Counselor Sharon Carter of Memphis, Tennessee states, “The tone of the school is different. There’s not the competitiveness… about who’s wearing what” (Manual, 5).
Many families worry about not having enough money to buy uniforms. Due to the fact that no child can be denied an education because of economic disadvantage, all schools requiring uniforms must include provisions to assist low-income families. For example, the Long Beach School District solved this problem by setting up a boutique shop, funded by private donors, where needy students can shop (Paliokas, 5). In addition, community and business leaders provide or contribute financial support for uniforms, and students who have graduated often donate their used uniforms to incoming students (Manual, 3). However, uniforms are considerably cheaper to buy than non-uniform clothes, and the students can wear them every day and it isn’t considered unusual. Parents can buy a few pairs of pants, shirts, or other variations of a uniform for under $100, while parents of non-uniform-wearing students can spend from several hundreds up to $1,000 a year on clothing. Parents find that buying two or three uniforms is ultimately cheaper than buying clothes to follow the fads, and it stops arguments at home in the mornings about what to wear (Oland, 1).
Pop culture increasingly sends young girls the message that the smaller and tighter the clothes, the more readily they will be accepted. These outfits, which flaunt navels and bra straps, are not only distracting, but detract from teaching time as teachers argue with students about what is considered acceptable attire. With uniforms, there are only a few acceptable variations of the outfit, no questions asked.
A less well-known theory concerning the pros of school uniforms is the “halo effect.” According to researcher Marc Posner, the “halo effect” refers to the idea that while uniforms may not change student behavior, the uniforms may change the way teachers and other adults perceive the students who wear them. In a study of the correlation of student clothing and teacher and student perceptions, Dorothy Behling of Bowling Green University found that students and teachers alike believe that uniform-clad students not only behave better, but also do better academically than those who don’t wear uniforms. While this may be an illusion, these positive perceptions can help create a self-fulfilling prophecy that teachers and administrators raise their discipline and grading standards to reflect their more positive image of students, who, in turn, behave better. (School Discipline, 1).
While research on the effectiveness of uniforms is still ongoing, they have been proven to raise test scores, boost self-esteem, reduce violence and crime, and create a sense of newfound pride in students. They help children to focus on learning and schoolwork, not on what everyone else is wearing or whether or not they fit in. Uniforms are not the solution to all of the problems that teens, teachers, and schools face today, but research and statistics suggest that they may be a step in the right direction.
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Argumentative Essay: School Uniform
The idea of school uniforms seems like an antiquated concept for many North Americans. Unless a child attends private school, it is not normally practiced by children and families. Yet around the world, wearing school uniforms is the norm. Students studying in schools requiring school uniforms generally perform very well academically and seem happy wearing the same outfit every day. There are many benefits to wearing school uniforms that schools in Canada and the United States should incorporate into their public schools.
One of the biggest concerns in schools these days is bullying. Students are harassed physically, verbally, and socially. The latest trend in bullying is cyberbullying. Often, the cause of bullying stems from people being different for not wearing the “right” clothes. If someone looks richer, most people feel like they have a higher social status or more power. To the contrary, uniforms allow children to learn on a more level playing field, with less judgment about clothing choices, brands of clothing, or physical appearance.
A lot of students who wear uniforms claim that they feel more proud of their school. Wearing school colors gives students a feeling of being more connected to their school and classmates. If there is a sense of community and connectedness among the students, the use of foul language, gang behavior, and crimes like vandalism are largely eliminated. Wearing school uniforms can also help people gain more self-confidence because they know they are a part of something bigger.
One of the main concerns people have about wearing school uniforms is conformity. People fear that by making children look the same, their individuality will be suppressed. However, this is not the case. Accessories, such as bracelets and hair clips, can jazz up a school uniform. Besides, students can wear their own clothing after school and during weekends. An individual’s personality is not wholly expressed by fashion alone. Personality is determined by the way a person moves, feels, thinks, and talks. Wearing a school uniform neither defines a child’s personality nor erases it.
There are even more advantages to wearing school uniforms in public schools in addition to those previously mentioned. It means lower costs for parents during back-to-school shopping. However, the idea that bullying might be alleviated is the leading reason why schools should implement the wearing of uniforms. The other is the fostering of school pride. Students will not lose their personality but will merely learn new ways to express themselves.
parents don’t agree with the enforcement with school uniforms; stating that
uniforms take away the right of self-expression. School uniforms are not a negative thing
to have. Yes, uniforms limit what the students have to choose to wear to school
every day, but it doesn’t limit them from learning; the only reason they are in
school. Student treat school as a fashion show, so eliminating that puts the
students’ full focus on schoolwork. Although requiring students to wear school
uniforms may violate their self-expression in some ways, a uniform are supposed
to be looked upon as a positive thing, because they eliminate bullying, combine
social classes and gives the school campus a professional
the students right to self- expression. Yes, school uniforms limit what the
students have to wear, but he/she can still have their own ways of
self-expression. Students can
still express their style of choice by the way he/she styles their hair and what
accessories they choose to wear. Their shoe choice is also a form of
self-expression. Students can make the uniforms their own style without breaking
the dress code. Just because a student can’t wear the most fashionable jeans to
school doesn’t mean that his/her rights are taken away. School is a place to
learn. Outside of school, kids can wear and express themselves any way they
usually pick on kids based on what they wear. What happens when they are wearing
the same thing? Everyone will be dressed the same, leaving less room to get
picked on. Bullies won’t have the
need to pick on someone as much as he/she would if uniforms were not required,
because everyone would pretty much look the same, including the bullies. When
people all look the same, there is really nothing for other kids to point out
and make fun of. Uniforms provide a more bully- free environment for the
classes. Usually, popular kids in the higher social classes would only be
wearing the trendiest clothing. The poor, lower social classes would only be
wearing the latest shipment from the nearest Wal-Mart. School uniforms bring the
social classes together. Everyone would be wearing the same brand of clothes
from the same few stores that sell school uniforms. Nobody would be able to
determine what social class a person is in just by looking at what the other
person is wearing. Everyone would all blend together and be at the same level;
no upper or lower classes dividing the
Schools that don’t require uniforms have those few kids who don’t care how they
dress, or dress sloppy. There are kids walking around with pants sagging to the
ground and underwear showing. Some kids will even be wearing inappropriate logos
on shirts or jackets. That gives the school a bad look and reputation. Schools
with uniforms have all the students dressed nicely in the assigned uniforms. The
school looks well put together and well maintained. Students who don’t have to
focus on what to wear to school are going to focus more on academics, which
leads to improved grades. The school will look better presentation wise and
argument whether or not school uniforms violates the students right to self-
expression will be never ending. There seems to be more positive outlooks than
negative on schools that require school uniforms. Having school uniforms be
required for the students to wear gets rid of the bullies who pick on other
students based on what they are wearing. Uniforms eliminate the separation of
social classes, especially when that is mainly determined by what brands of
clothing a person wears. Last but not least, school districts that require
their students to wear school uniform have more of a formal look to the school.
School uniforms are a positive thing, because they take away bullying
opportunities, judging of social class and make the school look more
Argumentative Essay On School Uniform, Writing Guide
How to Write Argumentative Essay on School Uniform
An essay presents the author’s argument in a structured format, strong argumentative essay needs to present adequate evidence to support the stated argument to convince the audience to incline towards the author’s viewpoint. Argumentative essays present an elaborative process of an argument to provoke the audience to think differently about the subject of discussion. Unlike other essays, the argumentative presents an overview of the topic and all the components at the same time tries to persuade the audience to accept the author’s view.
A typical structure of an argumentative paper starts with an introduction which describes the issues followed by the body. The body contains well structured paragraphs that present reasons and evidence for the authors claim. The last paragraph contains concluding sentences that provide the audience with a resolution.
Writing an argumentative essay against school uniforms, the author needs to develop an argument that will persuade its audience to support his position. In most cases, the tutor will clarify the position students need to take when developing an assignment. If not, students are free to choose their positions. Students need to arrange their arguments in an orderly manner for the audience to follow through the essay. Writing an argument requires students to conduct in-depth research on the topic. Students need to collect relevant information about issues surrounding school uniforms, present all these evidence to support his argument. The author should develop a systematic process of presenting his topic in an attempt persuade its audience using attractive language. Argumentative topic should be about a topic that would generate strong argument from both sides.
An argumentative topic needs to address real issues, for example, an argument against school uniforms is one of the common public debates scholars believe social inequality. When writing an argumentative paper against school uniforms, the author needs to present negative effects and the positive side to present a complete picture of his topic. A good essay need present all relevant ideas about the topic and also present counter arguments before finally refuting the claims from the opposing side. Writing argumentative essay topics have different requirements, but the author needs to prove his point by supporting his claim based on facts because there is no correct or wrong answer in an essay.
How to start an essay about uniform
Introducing the topic requires the writer to discuss who is concerned and what the main concern is. The author needs to provide a brief background of the topic argument. For example: the controversy surrounding students wearing school uniforms does not cease, students wearing school uniforms has become an endless debate, even though school uniforms are becoming a popular trend, students and parent do not agree with the policy enforcing school uniforms stating that school uniforms take away the students right of self-expression.
How to write a body paragraphs for a paper on school uniform
An argumentative essay body needs to be arranged in three parts, the first paragraph should present the claim and strong argument supporting the author’s viewpoint. For example, the first paragraph needs to explain why school uniforms take away students self-expression. For example, school uniforms limit student’s freedom of expression. Forcing students to wear school uniform limits students’ creativity. Teenagers prefer showcasing their inner feelings through their looks. School uniforms deny them their rights of expression hence students begin rebelling by engaging in the poor behavior.
The second paragraph of the body needs to present more evidence about the argument, the author needs to present detailed explanations. When arguing against school uniform the author needs to present the cost implications of forcing students to wear school uniforms. The author can state that parent is forced to buy different sets of uniforms which make school uniforms costly. Most parents with more than two children in school spend more money to buy different sets school uniforms because new uniforms are required every year.
School uniform promotes corruption, most school uniforms require unique identification like logos printed on shirts or school blazers. School prefers working with specific to sell its products. Selected suppliers take advantage of parents by selling these items at high prices. Suppliers collude with school administrators to exploit parents, this is a common occurrence in many countries. After presenting all the evidence against school uniform, the author needs to present an opposing view and refute this claim.
For example, one of the common reasons parents supporting school uniform state includes, students, can easily be identified hence promoting safety. However, school uniforms do not eliminate bullying or other crimes. Intruders still develop other ways of interacting with students by putting on school uniforms. In addition, students bullying has not reduced, students who want to bully their classmates will find other things to use apart from clothing. When presenting the counter argument the author needs to develop logic explanation refuting the opposing claims. When writing a good essay against school uniforms, the author should present both parents and students reaction and make the essay more engaging by highlighting recent events related to the topic.
How to conclude an essay on school uniform
Concluding an essay on school uniforms, the author needs to state the main points of the argument to present the significance of the topic. The author needs to convince the target audience by highlighting some of the consequences of supporting the author’s view. The concluding paragraph needs to convince the audience using sound language and catchy statements when closing the argument. The author can convince the audience by reviewing all the main points and develop better augment. For example: if there are not uniforms, students will enjoy their freedom of expression and will enjoy school life, it is true that uniform deprives student freedom.
Tips on final revision
After completing the essay, the author needs to take some time to edit his paper before submitting the final document. The author needs to re-read the essay to check for errors including spelling grammar, incomplete sentences and make corrections. When presenting the final document, the assignment should be well-structured with flowing sentences and logic explanations.
Outline example of argumentative essay on school uniform
- Thesis statement was stating the negative aspects of school uniforms.
- Supporting the thesis statement claim.
- Evidence 1. Limiting self-expression.
- Evidence 2. High cost for parents.
- Evidence 3. School uniforms promote corruption between suppliers and school administrators.
- Opposing claim. Reasons for supporting school uniform like to promote safety.
- Counterargument. School still face security challenges.
- Students will not enjoy their freedom and school life.
- Uniform limits student self-expression.
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