A safe and disciplined learning environment should be the number one priority for any public school. However, throughout the country with respect to various cultures, kids are being corralled into social classes, distracted, and victimized. So what's new? Social differences and bullying have been around since the beginning of time. Nonetheless, most would agree that an attempt needs to be made to improve the overall school environment for the sake of student achievement. .
This having been said, authorities from agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education and even a former President of the United States, believe that they may have found a quick and easy solution to this growing problem in our public school systems. The before mentioned, along with numerous other proponents, believe that the implementation of school uniforms would "promote school safety, improve discipline, and enhance the learning environment- (manual 1). However, opponents to the implementation of school uniforms feel that at this time there is no "empirical evidence to support the numerous and varied claims of uniform proponents- (LaPointe, Holoman, and Alleyne, 20-6). I feel that while it is important to implement new ideas and try new methods, it is even more imperative to question why the old methods failed. When a poor solution to an existing problem is implemented it often creates a whole new problem, as is the case with school uniforms. Though uniforms may be pleasing to the eye, they are simply an inadequate solution. Some people believe that making kids wear uniforms in order to reform schools is the equivalent of painting the walls of a crumbling building -- merely cosmetic (Chaika 18). .
In 1995 President Bill Clinton visited Long Beach California and subsequently requested that all schools consider mandatory uniforms. Soon after, the president instructed the department of Education to distribute a Manual on School Uniforms to all school districts throughout the country.