Against Mandatory School Uniforms in Public School Essay

4389 Words 18 Pages
Imagine that you pick your seven-year-old child up from school. He is crying and wearing a different outfit than the one he wore to school. This is naturally upsetting but not as upsetting as your next discovery. His shirt, one you have never seen before, has a large "L" written on the sleeve in permanent marker; his shorts, also not his, are too large, stained and faded. Upon questioning your child, you discover that, despite your best efforts at compliance, your child’s clothing has violated the school’s uniform policy. Neither you nor your husband was called to bring your child a "compliant" change of clothing; rather a loaner uniform was forced upon your child. He was made to change into these alien clothes (McBride "Student" 1-2). …show more content…
The recent data does not support the claims made by uniform proponents. Also, if provision is not made to permit parents to opt out (exempt their children from these policies), the codes are vulnerable to legal challenge (United 3). Sadly, some districts in an attempt to have a successful uniform code are overzealous in their enforcement techniques, causing confusion and stress for school staff and parents and often humiliation for students. While requiring public school students to wear uniforms may sound like an attractive quick fix to some, actual implementation of these highly restrictive policies is often rife with difficulties.

Proponents of mandatory school uniforms claim that data and evidence support their assertions that uniforms improve discipline and reduce crime. While the positive reports emerging from some school districts with uniform policies seem to lend credence to this position, upon closer examination, flaws begin to appear. In Long Beach, California, the first district to have a widespread mandatory uniform policy in the public schools, the initial reports concerning drops in crime and discipline were astonishing. Assault dropped by sixty-seven percent, vandalism by eighty-two percent, and robbery by thirty-five percent. Overall crime was reduced by seventy-three percent the first year the policy was in place…