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School uniforms

            Quality education is critical to the future of America's children. However, we cannot educate our children in schools where weapons, gang violence, and drugs, threaten their safety. Many local school districts have made uniforms an important part of an overall program to improve school safety and discipline. Students resort to violence and theft simply to obtain designer clothes or name brand shoes. This instills a fear among the students and teachers. It is no secret that violent behavior has become a problem in public schools. For this reason more and more public schools are entertaining the idea of uniforms to get the minds of their students off of fashion and onto their education. Many parents and students support the uniform issue because they feel it makes all the students equal in the eyes of their peers and teachers. However, many parents feel that just like installing metal detectors, uniforms are a simplistic solution to a far greater problem. Some experts believe uniforms promise to cut down crime and reduce violence, but only if we take away that students individuality and freedom of expression. What does this promise? Uniforms have been used in an effort to try an reduce crime, and at the same time, remove peer pressure amongst students to try to "fit in" so they can concentrate on their school work. President William Clinton agrees with this saying "If uniforms can help deter school violence, promote discipline, and foster a better learning environment, then we should show strong support to the parents that try them".(21) By mandating uniforms in public school, school officials hope to see a reduction in crime and violence. According to statistics, there are notable decreases in school violence and illegal offenses after the enactment of a school uniform or standardized dress code policy.(Lewis) Can uniforms really help in deterring violence and crime? Many parents and teachers say yes.

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