An Argument Against School Uniforms | Teen Ink

An Argument Against School Uniforms

November 12, 2008
By Anonymous

There is an ongoing discussion in this nation about school uniforms, whether or not they help with behavior problems, and increase test scores. As an eighth grade student at Delta Middle School, I do not want school uniforms. In this paper I will present the argument against wearing school uniforms. I will include, personal opinion and will also site research.

Kade A., a sixth grade student, when asked about school uniforms said, “No, I don’t like them, because they are uncomfortable, and make you feel like you are in your church clothes all the time.” Daycen J., another student said, “I don’t like school uniforms because they take away student’s individuality.”

Dr. Alan Hilfer, senior psychologist in Brooklyn’s Children’s and Adolescent Unit at Maimonides Medical Center states:

"Clothes are a source of expression for children, and as kids get older, they become increasingly resentful of uniforms….By instituting a uniform policy, schools are taking away kids’ individuality--- schools need to decide if that sacrifice is worth making.”

Dr. Hilfer is talking about whether taking away student’s individuality is worth the payoff of decreased behavior problems, and increased test scores. A study done by David L. Brunsma , University of Alabama and Kerry A. Rockquemore of Notre Dame, entitled Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Abuse, and Academic Achievement, showed that uniforms did not lead to an improvement in these areas. Their conclusion was:

“Student uniform use was not significantly correlated with any of the school commitment variables such as absenteeism, behavior, or substance use (drugs). In addition, students wearing uniforms did not appear to have any significantly different academic preparedness, proschool attitudes, or peer group structures with proschool attitudes than other students.”

One area that might be of concern is the lessening of gang related problems, and fashion wars. A study published in 1995, by Lillian O. Holloman, a clothing and textiles professor at Virginia Polytechic Institute and State University, entitled Violence and Other Antisocial Behaviors in Public Schools: Can Dress Codes Help Solve the Problem? explores the problems the students can get into because of the way they dress. The study says:
“Gang colors and insignias, whether worn intentionally or unintentionally, can get a student jumped or worse. Status clothes, such as team jackets of professional sports teams, leather coats and designer sneakers, have led to thefts, sometimes by knife or at gunpoint.”
This may be true in some areas of the country, such as low-income, inner city areas, but I do not believe this to be true in the Millard County School District. I cannot recall any accounts of violence against students caused by a student’s clothing selection. I believe that before you put into action a school uniform policy based on such fears, you need to take into account the area the school is in, the economic level of the population, the number of people involved in gangs and the amount of gang related activity in the community.

Most of the articles that I have read about whether wearing school uniforms changes behavior and increases test scores, are inconclusive. Most of the time other rules are put into place along with the school uniforms, which may lead to a desired behavior. However, the uniform itself cannot be entirely responsible for the change.

Middle School/ Junior High is a time of maturing, physically, mentally, academically, and emotionally. Schools need to create an environment that encourages students individuality and motivate them to challenge themselves and inspire self confidence. I feel that school uniforms diminish creativity and self expression.


School Uniforms: Pros and Cons. Ann Svensen.

A Mixed Bag of Uniform Research. American associations of School Administrator.

Scientific School Uniform Research. http:/

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This article has 129 comments.

thomas brown said...
on May. 21 2012 at 5:50 pm

we got a same last name but i dont have an opinion:)lolz


coololder said...
on May. 21 2012 at 12:34 pm
I didn't like wearing my uniform at the time. I had to wear it untill I was 16. Socks not pantyhose. Hated it. But it kept me in a school frame of mind. I can't imagin wearin clothes that I wore at the club to school. I would still be in the club frame of mind. It does take the pressure off of thinking about what to wear everyday. You can't take away a childs expression of individualism by wearing a uniform. It allso helps to remind  them that they are not adults yet. Just like one of the comment made about wearing church clothes. Exactly

marvin said...
on Apr. 26 2012 at 11:05 am
go brewers

Lola2145 said...
on Apr. 2 2012 at 7:22 pm
Lola2145, Delda, Utah
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
\" \'What\'s going on?\' he (Adrian Ivashkov) asked, looking from face to face. \'I was having a good dream.\'

\'I need you,\' said Lissa.

\'I hear that from women a lot,\' said Adrian.

Christian made a gagging sound.

-Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy)

Hey Joel, this is for my Journalism essay on School Uniforms in Mr. R's class.  (I'm also Dana's friend Christi) and found this really helpful!  It made it easier for me to find out what I'm supposed to do.  Especially when it's due tomorrow.  Thanks!

mrkiwi2345 said...
on Mar. 20 2012 at 11:49 am
i hate school uniforms. they are worn every day, and that sounds yucky.

Thomas Brown said...
on Mar. 12 2012 at 8:22 pm
In my own opinion, uniforms are good in some manners not just in school but also at work. When I was working under a school they order at this site where the uniforms are being embroidered. The reason of the school is that it carries the name of the school and they can easily distinguish if the students from other school. I don't know about students but some of the opinion of my friends say that the ugliness of uniforms would depend on how to person wearing it would carry the uniforms which i think is also a good point of view. Anyways, uniforms has its own function and purposes. 
again this is only my own opinion and experience.

123Sesame said...
on Feb. 27 2012 at 7:42 pm
123Sesame, New York, New York
0 articles 0 photos 36 comments
My high school has uniforms. I don't particulary like them, but they do take away the stress of worrying about what to wear each day. We teens (girls especially) get so stressed about the way people think of the way we dress. Plus, some families (my family included) cannot afford to buy new fashionable clothing each year. Nope, that money is going towards my college education...Don't get me wrong, uniforms are a pain, but I believe they eliminate some amount of stress for teens, and they eliminates the amount of money families spend. Uniforms are for the better.

bla bla said...
on Jan. 23 2012 at 2:54 pm
loser i pooped in my pants

you stink! said...
on Jan. 13 2012 at 11:53 am

on Jan. 13 2012 at 7:25 am
TheFlyingtaccoMan, Columbus, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I agree to some degree. We shouldnt have uniforms but i do think we should have a stricter dress code

on Jan. 13 2012 at 7:12 am
emma_rogate14, Mcguire AFB, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I don't like school uniforms, but sometimes people wear inappropriate things, so that's why they even have uniforms. If you don't want them then don't try to break the dress code you already have.

dolly10 said...
on Jan. 9 2012 at 4:26 am
U R absolutely right Callie........ I agree with U.......

love said...
on Dec. 2 2011 at 8:53 am
i hate school uniformes they are soo stupid omg i dont even know im on here

poop said...
on Dec. 1 2011 at 8:49 am
i hate uniforms

aglenn13 said...
on Nov. 3 2011 at 10:48 am
You're completely right, uniforms to take away our right to express ourselves!

ghhh said...
on Oct. 17 2011 at 7:31 pm
to do school work

chloe12 said...
on Oct. 9 2011 at 1:41 pm
why do people chat on this thing plz reply to this comment 

on Aug. 3 2011 at 3:48 pm
callie15 BRONZE, North Plains, Oregon
3 articles 21 photos 424 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?"
-Chuang Tzu

"No man with a good car needs to be justified!"
-Wise Blood

And will people please comment on the article! This ain't a chat website...

on Aug. 3 2011 at 3:46 pm
callie15 BRONZE, North Plains, Oregon
3 articles 21 photos 424 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?"
-Chuang Tzu

"No man with a good car needs to be justified!"
-Wise Blood

I think that the only reason schools have school uniforms is so that the students follow the dress code. At my school, we don't have uniforms, and many of the students are wearing things that are not allowed, like tanks tops and vulger shirts. But great article, I agree that we shouldn't be forced to wear something we don't want to, but there's a reasoning behind it.

CHUPELO (; said...
on May. 20 2011 at 9:04 am
Hey Guys! Whats Up???? (;