Many schools around the country, from grade school through high school (K-12,) have or are in the process of implementing restrictions on the dress of their students. In some schools the restrictions are very basic - no gang related symbols, no vulgarity/profanity, and of course no revealing clothing. The latter two constantly is evolving from the older days when revealing clothing and profanity were viewed quite differently from today's standards. .
On the other side of the spectrum, some schools enforce very strict dress codes with school uniforms and know allowance for self-expression at all. It seems that almost all schools have some sort of rules regarding the attire of the student body that fit somewhere in between these two extremes. .
In this essay, I will give some of the positive and negative implications associated with mandating school dress codes. .
According to Kenneth Cole, author of "School Uniform Debate: Can students dress for success and safety," "In recent years, stories of Metro Detroit youths beaten up and even killed for their trendy apparel, particularly jackets and gym shoes, have become commonplace." Malchom X Academy, on Detroit's westside has a conventional school uniform policy. At least one student there, 12 year old Marcus Sheffield likes wearing the uniform. "It's safer," he said. "We don't have to worry about somebody stealing our clothes. And it also forces us to concentrate more on our school work than on what everybody else is wearing." .
Other proponents of school uniform policies agree that an increase in school safety would be one of the main benefits. In "When Cool Creates Conflicts," by Patty Rhule, Neil Richmond, principal of Holly's Midland School in Texas, states that the dress code helps him identify non- students on campus. Many also believe that uniforms can and do improve academic achievement. "It would enhance students" grades, and discipline, especially among poorer students," believes Senator Glenn Steil, Grand Rapids, Michigan.