What is your opinion of school uniforms?

Cheryl HanniganAugust 12, 2001

My son (14) goes to a school where a new uniform policy has recently been implemented. beforehand there was simply a dresscode which was only loosley adhered to. Then a new headmaster took over and introduced his new policy.

We assumed it must be a joke when we received a letter stating that all boys upto the age of 15 would have to wear blazers, caps and short trousers, however ... we dutifully complied and to our great surprise so did all the other boys. we recently asked our son what he thought of his new uniform ... HE LOVES IT.

I must admit that I certainly think he and his schoolmates look so much smarter in school uniform and it is so nice to see young boys looking like young boys again.

I say ... School uniforms are a good idea, school uniforms with short trousers are a superb idea, I only wish more schools would give it a try.

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Cheryl, perhaps it is a cultural thing, or perhaps you are pulling our collective leg, but I hardly consider a 14 year old a young boy. My 14 year old, beginning high school this year, has a moustache and shaves, is 6 feet tall, and looks like he is 17. Short pants, blazer and cap would be laughable on him! He would look like he was playing dress-up for a joke for Halloween.

I think uniforms are a panacea for adults, to pretend that it is that simple to ensure behavior by putting all the students in like clothing. Perhaps it is necessary where your son attends school. It is not a problem here.

If it works for your son, and it helps his academics and behavior, then I say good for him. Luckily, my son is a high honors student with no history of behavior issues, no desire to wear "labels" or freaky clothing, and is mature beyond his years.

In all honesty, I would not even consider the uniform you describe as suitable for my 5th grader, either. Perhaps for young kids (up to about 7 years old). But, again, it may be a cultural difference. Here shorts would be considered casual, and completely foolish in our sub-zero winter weather.

Best wishes to your son for a successful academic career!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2001 at 12:24AM
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My son's public elementary school requires uniforms now. This is the third year. Nothing like blazers and caps though. I don't think that would go over around here either, I know people would think that was going too far and would simply not comply. His uniform is tan or navy shorts or pants, button/collared shirt in navy, white, yellow or orange. School tshirts are permitted on p.e. days. There are always a few who complain, but everyone does it anyway.

Only a few of the middle schools, kids ages 11-13, around here have uniform dress codes. Even fewer high schools. But it is still relatively new to the elementary schools, so maybe these kids will be used to it and it will follow them through high school. Getting a 16 y/o to wear a uniform for the first time in 10 years would probably be more of a struggle than it is worth.

I just don't care either way, not enough to fight for it or against it. If the school has a policy like ours does, I support it. If not, I would require my son to dress appropriately anyhow (no tshirts, collared shirts, etc). However, if the policy required short trousers, blazers and a cap I think I would resist that, no one dresses like that around here, they would overdressed for our 95 degree weather most of the year. It's a little old fashioned, such clothes would probably be hard to find around here, too.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2001 at 4:44PM
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As a teacher I think all students and staff should be wearing uniforms in the public school system. It eliminates so much of the judging people based on the "outer shell" and allows more time for looking "inward" I only wish all boards would implement this ruling!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2001 at 8:24PM
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My kids go to a charter school where there is a uniform policy. It is really easy for me, but I do not understand the point of forcing the kids to dress alike. The uniforms consist of blue or white shirts with the school logo on them and khaki shorts, pants or skorts. The weather is warm all year here in S. Florida. I accept the dress code because I agreed to it. If I did not agree to it then my kids wouldn't go to the school. However, I still do not understand what uniforms are supposed to do for kids.

What is the benefit of all the kids looking alike? Some say it promotes discipline. I ask how? Why do you think taking a kid with a behavior problem and dressing him(her) in a uniform will all of a sudden make the kid well behaved?

I think a dress code that is structured, but still allows a variety of choices is a much better learning experience for kids. They learn how to choose clothes that are appropriate for school and how to make choices within a variety of parameters. I think uniforms are a way for schools to make parents think there is discipline when in reality discipline has nothing to do with uniforms.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2001 at 12:56PM
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We're also in a Florida Charter School and wear uniforms - red, white or navy tops/khaki or navy bottoms with absolutely no logos.

I do not mind my daughter (5th grade) wearing the uniform, but she does. It was also harder than I thought it would be to find clothes that conform to the dress requirements - unless you order standard uniforms, which she will not wear.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2001 at 10:02AM
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I completely agree with sealegs. Trouble is, what would it do to the economy if suddenly kids didn't need those $100.00 sneakers to go to school in?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2001 at 1:06AM
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HUmmmmm.... sealegs didn't post here and this has nothing to do with sneakers.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2001 at 12:23PM
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Karen(sealegs) did post and expensive sneakers are part of the idea that some kids are the 'haves' and others are the 'have-nots'.

Our district went to uniforms in the public schools and I exercised my state right to opt out- and got a lot of pressure! We do still have some rights left in our personal lives- why throw more away? My kids and I are fully able to dress ourselves and choose our own clothing, thank you. When and if schools can provide a safe, effective place for learning and get those %@@!!!** test scores up, then maybe we'll talk about who wears what.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2001 at 12:16PM
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I believe school uniforms are GREAT!!! YOU GO TO SCHOOL FOR AN EDUCATION NOT A FASHION SHOW. Save that for after school. It does not matter if my daughter likes them or not. I send her to school for an education and I expect the best.
The only complaint I have is that school uniforms where I live are not really uniform. If they are going to use uniforms they should stick with it. They don't order them in a few styles and stores, same brands. You can wear almost any and every style thought of and buy it from Wal-Mart brand to JCPenny brand or GAP brand. Tell me that is uniforms. The only thing uniform is the color. That is not right. If you are going to do that then let them wear what they want instead of making them wear the color you choose.
Don't get me wrong I honestly believe SCHOOL UNIFORMS ARE BEST, if they are truly uniform.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2001 at 2:38PM
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Would you please elaborate on the pressure you received? My school board just implemented a uniform policy and I am planning to opt my twins out and want to know what to expect.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2002 at 4:30PM
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New to this forum. My kids have been in every version of dress code and uniform. In one private school, my son wore a uniform which really was a uniform and all clothing supposed to be purchased from the same company. In reality, only the sweater and any plaid items were really necessary. They were very strict about the condition of the uniform on a daily basis. Kids were given "demerits" for missing buttons, not wearing a belt, etc. Shoes had to be dress shoes, no sneakers. Boys above 6th grade were required to wear ties (this is where the older boys really expressed themselves!). Girls below 7th grade wore jumpers in a certain plaid. Older girls wore skirts. All blouses/shirts were white and the same style. Button down for boys. Peter Pan collar for younger girls. Older girls wore button down collars. They changed for P.E.

At another private school, only the colors were critical. They needed to be solids and were navy, white, khaki, and red. Most families played pretty fast and loose with the clothing, I found.

In one of the public schools, the kids were instructed to wear navy or khaki bottoms or jumpers with light blue or white tops. Navy tops and khaki bottoms were also accepted. This color dress code was all over the map in its application. My daughter was at a different elementary school in the same district (my son was in a different school because he was in the gifted program) which did not employ a uniform code. Apparently the uniform code was implemented on an individual school basis and is voted on by the PTA from time to time.

I have to confess, it was easy. I like any kind of uniform system. My kids were not in love with the idea at first but when they saw everyone else dressed the same way, they were fine. The only problem I ever had was keeping up with the laundry. I was picky about the quality of the clothes and bought items from Lands' End, Nordstrom, and other better clothiers. The clothing looked better longer and required less ironing than the stuff I found at Target or Penneys.

I wish the public school here would continue the uniform code through middle school. This is the period when it would be useful in diverting kids' attention away from labels, pricey sneakers, and "hoochie" outfits. Fortunately my kids are not extremely brand conscious. My son will wear anything on his body that I choose but becomes very particular about shoes. My daughter hasn't reached the age yet where she is very concerned about labels.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2002 at 4:20PM
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Here is an article from the New York Times indicating that many schools are eliminating their mandatory uniform policies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plaid's Out, Again, as Schools Give Up Requiring Uniforms

    Bookmark   September 19, 2002 at 11:59AM
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I think shool uniforms are great! Some of my childrens friends complain that it takes away there individuality. I feel that you can by, picking out what close. My child who is a girl, also loves knowing what to already wear in the morning, so she gets more sleep. She use to spend 30 mi. picking oiut her outfit. SHe doesn't feel pressured to wear a certian brand, or look a special way.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 10:47AM
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As A Pupil in Year Eleven, i have to write an opinion abput school iniform and well Dress codes always used to drive me nuts but I think wearing a uniform can give a child a sense of self-respect and belonging. At school in the Uk a uniform might have helped me feel less of an outsider. I like the idea of a Uniform Because Its Smart And Also if there was no uniform people who might struggle to afford the new trends and fashion styles might get bullied so the unifrom helps preventing this from happening.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 5:55AM
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I am 13 years old and I dont wear uniforms at my school. I think that uniforms are bad but they can be better for students not to be judge on who they are and who they want to be, and thats another problem but if the students are being bullyed the school needs to do somthing about it and not have uniforms so kids can be who they are.

I feel that uniforms are good but the thing is that the parents are spending money on clothes the students never get to wear

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:22PM
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