The campaign for individualism has never been stronger. The youth, most especially, are keen on finding their voices and identities. One’s views and opinions can be expressed in almost everything a person does--in one’s actions, manner of speaking, and in the way a person dresses. For as long as there have been schools that require their students to report to class in school uniforms, there have been countless issues surrounding whether or not uniforms should be mandatory.
Uniforms, be it for school or for work, keep a semblance of order and consistency. The regularity certainly makes the classroom environment more conducive to learning. Furthermore, the implementation of uniforms in school campuses promotes better interpersonal relationships among the student population, thus eliminating jealousy and unwarranted competition. Subconsciously, school uniforms teach them values as early as their formative years, as they are taught to follow simple rules and regulations that will eventually allow them to become better individuals in the future. Here's how to learn more advantages that were identified by experts, in addition to those mentioned above:
- Uniforms provide a mindset of professionalism among the student body. With the implementation of uniforms, students get the feeling of going to school to work, which helps in the student’s maturation.
- Elimination of gangs, and the like. It was reported that since uniforms were implemented in some schools, there have been dramatic decreases in gang formation.
- The end of jealousy crimes. When students wear designer shoes, clothes, and bags to school, jealousy cannot be avoided. There are others who take jealousy to the next level, and resort to theft. Since the implementation of uniforms, a decrease in theft cases has been noted.
- Keeping outsiders out. Since the implementation of uniforms, schools have been able to monitor who goes in and out of their school, which, in turn, promotes safety.
- Decrease in harassment. There are female students who dress provocatively, and imposing uniforms can decrease crimes of sexual harassment, especially with girls.
- Easy identification. School uniforms make it easy for the school to monitor their students’ whereabouts after school hours. Furthermore, uniforms deter them from going where they’re not supposed to.
- Uniforms are practical. It has been proven that requiring students to be in school uniforms is cheaper than having students report in civilian clothing every day. Also, there are places that provide cheap materials for uniforms at a discounted price.
On the other hand, students feel that school uniforms are meant to restrict their ability to convey personalized images of themselves. They feel that dressing like everyone else suppresses their individualism, and their freedom of expression. This proves to be true especially among high school students, who are in the process of finding themselves, and are keen to express their distinctiveness in every possible way they can. Some students feel that a dress code is enough to regulate what students wear in school.
Parents and school officials feel that, although a dress code may regulate what students wear, it will not solve the problem of gangs and jealousy within the student population. Also, experts feel that students are still capable of expressing themselves in other ways, and that self-expression is not restricted to clothing and appearance. They feel that there are other ways for students to effectively express their thoughts and feelings through different mediums such as art, literary works, music, and the like.