Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Have Or Not To Have

A fellow teacher and I were discussing the pro's and con's of school uniforms. Some schools have them, some don't. At times, teachers are subject to wearing them or it's delegated to just students. What makes uniforms great.....or unbearable?

For the first four years of my schooling I wore whatever what I wanted (actually, whatever my mom put me in:) because I was in a public school. Except for the few school pictures, I really don't remember what I wore. After my fourth year of school, my parents switched my siblings and I to a Christian academy. I'm not sure how long I had attended before the faculty changed the clothing guidelines and had uniforms as a stipulation. And of course, not having anything to do with administration, I was not informed why they decided to change. In hindsight, I have formed my own opinions of why some schools have uniforms. It is by no means comprehensive, but rather some thoughts I had on the subject.

Uniforms do not define who you are--they do not offer any creative outlet (except for socks :). If a group of students were all lined up, would you be able to tell who was rich? poor? troublemaker? sweet? Of course, clothes just cover the body--one's personality can still shine through and you can tell a lot from body/facial language. But, still, would you be able to tell? Do uniforms just lump a group of students in the same category with no room for free expression? Are they really necessary? Some students will go to the extreme with accessories: hairstyles, jewelery, socks. In a school where uniforms is the rule, do students who have less feel more accepted?

On the other hand, uniforms bring uniformity to a group of people--professionalism, if you will. On the outside, everyone looks the same; blending the students to be one. Rich students wouldn't be able to flaunt their wealth; poor students wouldn't be left without dignity. Principals would have few worries of addressing immodest apparel. Students would not have to vie for the vainly coveted position of being the 'coolest kid' at school; instead, they can concentrate on furthering their education which is the whole point of them being at school in the first place.

Like I said earlier, I had to wear a uniform from 6th? grade to my senior year. I loved it. I liked the fact that I didn't have to waste time in the morning to decide what to wear. I liked that I did not have to spend money to try to fit in. Because Christian school or not, you will always find vain people in all walks of life. Of course, not everyone likes uniforms, but for me--it was great.

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