Position Paper

Position Paper - Educ 3010 Are School Uniforms Helpful in a...

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April 29, 2007 Educ 3010 Are School Uniforms Helpful in a School Setting? Our school system in the United States seeks for different ways to improve the learning environment for our students. One of the ways that has been recently been put forth is school uniforms, which has brought controversy. In the United States Department of Education Manual on School Uniforms, it states “young people who are safe and secure, who learn basic American values and the essentials of good citizenship, are better students,”(U.S. Department of Education, 1996). Proponents believe that by placing a school uniform policy in our schools this will help to provide a safe environment for our students. Yet opponents disagree believing that school uniforms are not the answer. There are many reasons many others believe in the implementation of school uniforms in public schools. The proponent’s of school uniforms believe that school uniforms have decreased crime and gang activities, decreased clothing costs, increased self-confidence and esteem of students, improved discipline in the school and increased academic performance. “Uniforms can instill a sense of pride and discipline, save parents money and spare students the distraction and potential danger of competition over clothing” (“Cracking the Dress Code,” 1998). Over all proponents believe that by implementing a uniform policy in public schools around the nation, the environment in schools will be better for all students. A large reason school uniforms have started to spread through out the United States, is to decrease the level of violence in schools, making it a safer place. This behavior also has been proven to decrease the gang activity in schools. In fact, gang violence is one of the major reasons for adopting uniform policies, or adding strict dress
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codes. “In urban schools, fashion trends are often characterized by gang-related clothing. In theory, then, school uniforms would prevent gang activity by not allowing students to wear gang colors or gang insignia.”(Kalkstein-Konheim, 26). By implementing a uniform policy and not allowing “gang clothing”, research has found a decrease in gang activity in certain schools. In a 1999 Education World article by Glori Chaika, it was reported that there was a large drop in gang violence in Chicago schools, which had adopted school uniforms (Kalkstein-Konheim, 27). Proponents see the decrease in violence to be a huge positive aspect of school uniforms, but not the only one. Proponents see that by implementing a new uniform, spending on clothing is decreased for families. Buying a few uniforms is considerably less then buying a full wardrobe for the entire year. Some districts supply uniforms for their students, where others charge their students for them, and even some let the students pick out the set uniform on their own. School districts who have a set policy of a school uniform have also put into effect ways of helping people afford the uniforms if unaffordable. Therefore
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Position Paper - Educ 3010 Are School Uniforms Helpful in a...

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