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> School Uniforms in Public Schools, For or Against?
Victoria Silverw...
post Mar 28 2003, 07:30 AM
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There seems to be a growing trend towards requiring school uniforms in public schools. (I avoid private schools here; I suppose they can require any rules they like. I do wonder, however, why private girls' schools often seem to make the students wear sexy miniskirts . . . I also avoid the issue of whether there should be public schools at all.)

Is this a helpful thing? Does it reduce conflict among students based on their ability to wear the latest fashions? Does it allow them to concentrate on school work?

Or is it a useless restriction on individuality? Does it create an atmosphere of regimentation and repression?

I always went to public schools and never had a uniform, so I cannot speak from experience. My feeling is that I would greatly resent such a policy. Reasonable "dress codes" (no clothing which creates an obvious disruption of the classroom) seem to be enough. (I never saw anybody who did not wear perfectly acceptable clothing to school, in my experience.)
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Mar 29 2003, 06:52 PM
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I think that student uniforms are a great idea, personally.
It is a LOT cheaper for the parents, and eliminates the economic appearance disparity (I can't think of a better phraseology).
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GoAmerica
post Mar 29 2003, 11:04 PM
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I'm against it because it is against Freedom of Expression
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quarkhead
post Mar 29 2003, 11:38 PM
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QUOTE(goamerica @ Mar 29 2003, 03:04 PM)
I'm against it because it is against Freedom of Expression

Are you also against work-based dress codes?

Most public schools also have dress codes anyway. There are things you can't wear to school. What about the kid who wore the "Bush in the crosshairs" Tshirt? A lot of schools ban suggestive clothing. Should we get rid of all those standards as well? Or is abrogating the freedom of expression ok in some ways, but not in others? Why can't I wear a thong to work? Why can't I go to school naked for that matter? It's freedom of expression.

I think that sometimes we get so caught up in the veneer of our freedoms that we lose sight of their roots. People will argue a point like this to death, and meanwhile ignore many of the more serious abrogations of liberty being enacted in the White House and in the Corporate board rooms. Remember the kid who was suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt on the school Coca Cola picture day? Now that is a real problem in regards to fredom of expression. The school had signed a contract with Coca Cola. So a kid gets suspended for not displaying brand loyalty (everyone else was wearing Coca Cola shirts).

Blech.
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nighttimer
post Mar 30 2003, 06:56 AM
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sleep.gif My son attends a junior high school that requires a school uniform.

Personally, I like it. It's a lot easier and cheaper to buy white, blue and grey shirts and black or blue slacks than have to worry about the latest Sean Jean and FUBU gear.

School should be about academics and education. I could care less about the fashion aspect.

Conformity and uniformity in dress in no way threatens the individuality of a kid. They just have to find another way to express it than stylin' and profilin' in designer clothes.
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Adrian
post Apr 2 2003, 06:25 AM
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What about the 1st amendment?
Freedom of expression?
...lack of conformity...
Uniforms are all about making all the kids the same... Hey, why don't we just get rid of names? Numbers are easier. We'll give them numbers.
Geez! I go to a public high school... If they made us wear uniforms I would fight it tooth and nail. I'd be getting suspenstions (and fighting those too, since courts have ruled due process is required to give out suspension) left and right but I would not wear the uniform. And since I have no behaviour record (although I'm sure they're monitoring.my.politics) that would be puzzling for them, would't it? It's not ok and it's not right. It's just another step... towards throwing individuality out the window...

This post has been edited by Adrian: Apr 2 2003, 06:27 AM
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Abs like Jesus
post Apr 2 2003, 07:41 AM
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I went to private school for 12 years (with exception of one semester)... and endured dress codes for every one of them.

I won't necessarily say they are a bad thing, but I don't think they really serve any greater purpose. In my experience, the students I went to school with and the friends I had from public school didn't behave any differently in school because of the way they dressed. We certainly didn't pay any more attention in class just because we were dressed to match.

Some kids don't have a problem with dress codes while others feel stifled. I don't personally know of any kids who just want to have one. If I had to choose I would go without a strict dress code, though maintaining perhaps some code of decency (read: no underwear or nudity) while in class. I'd like to see a degree of objectionable material allowed ("Bush in the crosshairs," whatever), too. I think situations like that don't disrupt class but provide an able teacher with a wonderful chance to teach and shape our youth.

Some of you have brought up what I feel might be one good defense of school uniforms: economic disparity. But parents, whether able or unable, shouldn't feel obliged to buy the latest designs and fashions. And unless we're to bring our children up materialistically and geared towards conformity (EVERYBODY wearing the same trend...), they shouldn't even want them.

At any rate, I'll stand against school uniforms. smile.gif
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Adrian
post Apr 2 2003, 12:27 PM
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In private schools, uniforms are fine.
You choose to go there.
But you can wear whatever the hell you want to a public school.
If you honestly feel the need to be up on the "latest trends," then you seriously need to grow up. A lot of my clothes ceme from thrift stores. Thrift stores are the best. wub.gif
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Jaime
post Apr 2 2003, 01:34 PM
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QUOTE(Adrian @ Apr 2 2003, 01:25 AM)
What about the 1st amendment?
Freedom of expression?
...lack of conformity...

It might help the debate if you read some of the posts in this thread before you post. The "freedom of expression" argument was made by goamerica and responded to by quarkhead. Do you have any rebuttal for that or were you looking to rehash what people have already said here? wink2.gif

(and yes, thrift shops ARE best - I still exclusively shop in them AND I have a dress code to adhere to at work biggrin.gif )
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Apr 3 2003, 12:49 AM
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QUOTE(Adrian @ Apr 2 2003, 12:27 PM)
In private schools, uniforms are fine.
You choose to go there.
But you can wear whatever the hell you want to a public school.
If you honestly feel the need to be up on the "latest trends," then you seriously need to grow up. A lot of my clothes ceme from thrift stores. Thrift stores are the best.  wub.gif

It's great you shop in thrift stores.

You know who doesn't think it's great to shop thrift? The kids who HAVE to, or should. One of the primary insults a student would say to another in the school I taught at (underprivileged, lower income) was 'You shop at Walmart'. Maybe they need to 'grow up', but that's part of the whole process of, well...growing up, isn't it?
Clothing- whether it's style, designer label, or quality, shouldn't be an issue at school.

This post has been edited by mrspigpen: Apr 3 2003, 01:27 AM
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Adrian
post Apr 3 2003, 01:28 AM
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Well, if you have the sort of friends who will make fun of you for where you shop, they aren't friends... Wal-mart is cool, they have the greatest belts. Anybody asks, my choice of store is the Salvation Army or Unique Thrift and I really couldn't care less what they have to say about that...
...If you're going to get made fun of for where you shop, and it DOES bother you, well, that sucks but hey, it's not the government's job to make sure that doesn't happen. It happens in the real world to, what if the government just gave everybody uniforms for all the time? Then nobody could judge anybody! We should wear masks to, so the uglier people don't feel bad about it. Kurt Vonnecut wrote a short story about what the world would be like if everybody was made truly, truly, equal. I forget the name of the story, but it's worth finding and reading, it was only about 10 pages long.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Apr 3 2003, 03:44 AM
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QUOTE(Adrian @ Apr 3 2003, 01:28 AM)
Well, if you have the sort of friends who will make fun of you for where you shop, they aren't friends... Wal-mart is cool, they have the greatest belts. Anybody asks, my choice of store is the Salvation Army or Unique Thrift and I really couldn't care less what they have to say about that...
...If you're going to get made fun of for where you shop, and it DOES bother you, well, that sucks but hey, it's not the government's job to make sure that doesn't happen. It happens in the real world to, what if the government just gave everybody uniforms for all the time? Then nobody could judge anybody! We should wear masks to, so the uglier people don't feel bad about it. Kurt Vonnecut wrote a short story about what the world would be like if everybody was made truly, truly, equal. I forget the name of the story, but it's worth finding and reading, it was only about 10 pages long.

Wow! You're right! I'll ditch those friends and find new ones! I'll also be sure to never work for the military, entertainment or recreation establishments, or transportation companies when I grow up because they'll make me wear a uniform too!
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Adrian
post Apr 3 2003, 03:56 AM
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For a libertarian, you sure don't speak like one. When you get a job, it is entirely different, as that is a volentarary thing you do for money. School is somewhere that you have to go, without a choice, until at least the age 16, and is government run. Public schools are wrong in the first place, but since we have them, they must be as free as any other government facility. It is not the government's decision what your or I wear at any time.
And, in all seriousness, WHY would anybody want a friend who gave any thought to where clothes are bought by somebody who is not themselves? These are the same people who go through High School thinking they're gods, and end up popping pills in the kitchen by 35, married to somebody they hate, with kids they don't take care of, and cheating at every chance they get. It would be ridiculus to say this happens to all of them, but it certainly does come from that materialistic personality that is that concerned about clothing that they will not be your friend or will humiliate you for what you wear.
I have plenty of friends. And (gasp!) none of them care how I dress and I respect how they dress.
Teenage years are cruel ones, people are greatly immature, but that's how life works. Personal Attack Removed You could never get me to wear a school uniform. The P.E. uniforms are bad enough! I would not do it, I'd let them throw whatever punishment at me that they want, but at a public school I will not dress how the government tells me to.

This post has been edited by Jaime: Apr 3 2003, 04:18 AM
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Platypus
post Apr 3 2003, 04:05 AM
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I had to wear school uniforms for two years - all day and on weekends too, because it was a boarding school. I'm not exactly a conformist but I survived. The fact is, it really did eliminate clothing as one more thing to obsess about, or pick on people for. It didn't eliminate all teasing or bullying by any means, but it was still an improvement; of all the things that people use to determine status, clothes are one of the silliest. I'd rather see students distinguishing themselves by academic or athletic or other extracurricular performance - or even mere preference - than by what clothes they wear. The time and energy saved by precluding such meaningless competition is a positive thing too, not to mention easing the burden on parents' (or the students' own) wallets.
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Adrian
post Apr 3 2003, 04:32 AM
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Actually, that's fine... since you went to a private school...
...But when they do it at Public schools, it's just another step in that direction towards good old 1984.

I would also like to add that while I respect the mod's decision to remove my "personal attack" from my post, I feel the need to say that it was, in fact, not a personal attack. "You" is a generic term, and I am refering to anybody who may believe the view I was refering to. In other words, no personal attack was made. Was it a little out of line? Maybe. But I'm not familar with this board, and I'm use to comments like that not being considered as such. I'm going to type my words with extra caution then... lots of police around. shifty.gif whistling.gif
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xgeographyx
post Apr 3 2003, 04:48 AM
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Adrian, the story was Harrison Bergeron. smile.gif

As far as my opinion on the topic. If you are in middle school, junior high, high school, whatever, you are STILL A KID. I am not going to argue about the constitution and the implications of uniforms because really all it comes down to is that these are KIDS. Let them be kids while they still can. Of course you couldn't go to school in your underwear but when you grow up you have to conform to work attire.

Let them be comfortable and wear what they want while they still can! biggrin.gif
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Adrian
post Apr 3 2003, 04:54 AM
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Yes, that's right! Thanks, I should read that story again.
"Gee, that one must have been a doosey."
Was that the line? Something like that... yeah. Heh.

We might be "kids" but I don't remember age limits on the constitution. I'm not arguing with you, since I obviously agree with you, just adding to you point. biggrin.gif

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xgeographyx
post Apr 3 2003, 05:07 AM
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Well, I am only 19, so I am not trying to devalue you in any way by saying "kid" but as long as you are living at home and still a minor then let you act like it!

Also, I meant I wasn't going to bring the Constitution and the Great Implications of Uniforms ™ into it because I think when you just get down to it, they're just clothes. smile.gif
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Platypus
post Apr 4 2003, 03:02 AM
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QUOTE(Adrian @ Apr 2 2003, 11:32 PM)
Actually, that's fine... since you went to a private school...
...But when they do it at Public schools, it's just another step in that direction towards good old 1984.

A lot of your comments seem to indicate that you believe public schools are mandatory. They're not. If you don't like how the public schools teach, or how they enforce discipline, or that they require uniforms, you have a private-school option and a home-school option. If you do choose - and it is a choice to take advantage of public schools, though, you do it according to their conditions. It's not coercion when you can take your "business" elsewhere.
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JonBon
post Apr 14 2003, 11:02 AM
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QUOTE(quarkhead @ Mar 29 2003, 11:38 PM)
QUOTE(goamerica @ Mar 29 2003, 03:04 PM)
I'm against it because it is against Freedom of Expression

Are you also against work-based dress codes?

Yes, I am. I think that both school uniforms and the shirt-&-tie dress-code of work serve no purpose. All they do is pander to superficial appearance-based value judgements and denote that, as long as you wear that unform, your school or company owns you. These sort of dress-codes are little more than modern-day slave collars. What i wear makes no difference to who I am, what i can do or how I behave. Consequently, i fail to see why it should matter to anyone other than me.
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