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School Uniforms Debate

            For many years parents, teachers, administrators, and students have argued over the pros, cons, and benefits of school uniform policies. Most realize there are both pros and cons to enforcing uniform policies in schools. There are social and safety related pros to having mandatory uniform policies in schools. There are legal, financial, and questionable effectiveness cons to the uniform policies. The debate lies in whether or not the pros do in fact make a difference in students’ lives. .
             A socially related pro is that it puts everyone on a level ground in term of socioeconomic status. When children get their choice of school clothes depending on how much money their parents make it leads to self-esteem issues. If all children have to wear the same outfit in school then it’s not so obvious as to whose family can afford Gap and who can only afford Walmart. There have been school systems that have noted an increase in school pride and spirit, and a feeling of oneness or sense of belonging by students.
             Another argument that has been made in favor of uniforms is that it restores order and discipline in schools. Private schools are known to be more disciplined and if public schools enforce a school uniform policy it makes the school seem like a private school. Children go to school dressed in uniform and it gives the teachers a greater sense of control. Students feel more intimidated into acting better. There have been many studies, including Caruso’s study in Long Beach California, that have shown student absenteeism and suspension rates lower when students are in uniform. With everyone wearing the same thing it helps to identify any trespassers. It also lowers cult and gang violence, such as the “trench coat mafia” in Columbine. Some schools have even noted a decrease in substance abuse since enforcing a school uniform policy.
             Uniforms have been said to also allow students to concentrate more on school.