In public and private schools, students are constantly being judged on what they wear and how they look. These judgments influence students to pick on others and induce bullying. If schools make uniforms mandatory, this cause of bullying would be eliminated, thus reducing the number of bullying incidents. Therefore, school uniforms should be required for all students because they will reduce bullying, relieve stress and make school a safer place. People are judged on what they say, where they go, and what they believe, but the main form of judgment is due to appearance.
With one look, we make inferences on the economic status and background of other people. It is no secret that less fortunate people generally do not have as nice clothing as those who are wealthy. But is the difference in one’s clothing a worthy reason for them to be treated differently? The answer is no, yet it still occurs each and every day for students who are without uniforms. Children should not be treated differently just because their parents are unable to buy them trendier clothes.
With the implementation of school uniforms, students can focus more on learning and building social connections based on interests and beliefs and not their societal status. School uniforms are the most effective way to eliminate social and economic differences among students. Because society is incredibly materialistic and money is a power issue, the judgments that are made on how someone appears become a main cause of bullying. Mandatory school uniforms would eliminate this problem and allow students to be judged on personality, not just what they wear.
Bullying in general is malevolent; it is not only an unnecessary barrier to learning, but has the potential to make students’ lives unbearable. This sort of torment may not be terminated, but it would surely be reduced with mandatory uniforms. With the new HIB (harassment, intimidation and bullying) laws that Governor Chris Christie passed in New Jersey, and the studies that signify the increased number of bullying incidents within the past few years, bullying has become a larger problem than ever.
Along with bullying, theft and gang activity can be reduced by wearing uniforms. In many areas, gangs are identified and encouraged through their clothing. Without the knowledge of who is in what gang, violence will be reduced and the school will be safer. If society insists on doing everything it can to prevent the mistreatment of other students, school uniforms should be made mandatory. There are other benefits of wearing uniforms as well.
First, students’ lives would be much easier and less stressful. A great amount of time is usually spent on choosing and worrying about outfits. If students were refunded this time, they could have more time for other daily requirements such as homework. Some students, especially girls, stress about what they are going to wear every day and how they are going to look compared to everyone else. School uniforms will eliminate this unnecessary cause of stress.
Having uniforms would not only eliminate stress put on students, but stress and pressure put on their parents as well. Some parents just cannot afford the in-style clothing items that other parents can provide. Every parent yearns for their children to fit in and be happy. As hard as they try to accommodate this for their young ones, some parents find this task impossible to accomplish. It must kill a parent to see their child mistreated or bullied because of something they could not provide for them.
Adversaries to this argument may dispute being able to choose what to wear is the student’s prerogative and is what allows them to express their individuality, but is what students wear what makes them individuals? What happened to individuality being based on personality, positive attributes and passion? It is not clothes that make us unique. Wearing hand-me-downs because that is all that a family can afford for their child does not allow them to express themselves; it is not what makes them an individual and it certainly does not reflect who they are inside.
What it does do is make that unfortunate child self conscious and ashamed. Many present conflicts within school systems can be easily solved or at least minimized with school uniforms. They can aid the prosperity of our schools and students, so why not take advantage of this simple answer to our problems? Action needs to be taken to make uniforms mandatory. They reduce the insecurities felt by children as well as their parents. Uniforms allow students to shine and excel for who they really are and not for whom they appear to be.
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