Essay on Arguments for School Dress Codes

820 Words 4 Pages
Ensuing President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address in January of 1996, more and more public schools are implementing dress codes and uniform policies in their schools. As a result, there has been an increase in legal controversies dealing with the issue. The reason that dress codes are not conclusively enforced is due to the application of the First Amendment to juveniles in the public school setting. The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Should children in public …show more content…
For example, when a child that is less fortunate than others comes to school bearing ratty or `out of date' clothing, that child is viewed as an outcast and is tormented for reasons he or she does not have control over. In turn, this affects that child's ability to focus on schoolwork and puts a damper on his or her educational ability. Also, if the popular children with fashionable clothing are only worried about picking on those less fortunate than them, their minds are diverted away from their studies. Situations like these should not happen and can be easily avoided if kids in public school were all wearing the same articles of clothing.

Gang violence has also caused great concern in public schools today. Gangs today plague all areas of the country and achieve status and recognition through clothing, jewelry, hand signals, tattoos, and graffiti. Recently, the American public has seen an increase in gang related crimes over clothing, especially in the school environment. Stabbings, carrying weapons under clothing, threatening teachers and students, and selling drugs on school property have all become regular occurrences with gangs in the school setting. Many schools and administrators are beginning to enforce dress codes and uniforms in these schools as a way to divert the violence. In the court case of Jeglin v. San Jacinto Unified School District, a district court held that a…