Whilst a few public schools in America had uniforms in the 1980’s it wasn’t until 1994 when Long Beach in California adopted a rule that all pupils in elementary and middle school would be required to wear school uniforms .
Statistics show that a higher percentage of city public schools than suburban public schools require that children wear uniform .As at the beginning of 2017, 23 % of public schools required students to wear uniforms with the cost to each parent being calculated at $ 249 per student .( Statistics Brains March 7 2017)
However the debate as to whether it should be mandatory for students to wear school uniforms continues . There are several points which can be considered which show the advantages .
After the dreadful shooting at Columbine School in 1999 many schools started to adjust their uniform policies ,using it as a way to help keep students safe and secure .
If students are wearing uniforms it helps to identify any intruders on school property .
It has been noted that wearing school uniforms helps to reduce the forming of gangs.Schools who do not have these policies find that gangs form and can dress to identify their group .I.e colors ,caps etc.
- Long Beach CA implemented a mandatory school uniform policy in 1995 . After a few years they found that overall the crime rate at schools dropped by 91 %.School suspensions dropped by 90% ,incidents of vandalism reduced by 69 % and assaults in the K-8 grades decreased 28 %.
- Statistics from Norfolk VA who also introduced mandatory school uniforms show a similar picture .They found that the incidence of students leaving class without permission dropped by 47% and fighting at school dropped by 38 %.
- These figures provided by Statistics Brains report March 2017 clearly show that the wearing of school uniforms can have a positive benefit in a school .
Sense of Community
It has been found that when students wear a uniform they develop a strong sense of community and pride in their schools .If a uniform is worn with pride then it usually means a deepened respect to both fellow classmates,teachers and the surrounding community .
Reduces Peer Pressure
The wearing of school uniforms can help unify a school no matter what their family income and upbringing . There is intense pressure on school going age children to conform .This way there is no competition as to who has the most expensive item of clothing or who is wearing clothes in fashion . In schools where there is no uniform policy many students feel picked on for having different clothes leading to poor self esteem .
Once the one time expense of school uniforms is managed, there is more money available to families . There is no pressure for parents to make sure that their child does not stand out from others with a particular item of fashion .It can add up to a lot of money .Students should be more focused on their education than their wardrobe .
Wearing school uniforms give a sense of belonging,takes away the pressure of what to wear and gives students an increased feeling of security .It may not be the most fashionable but the advantages of schools introducing a uniform cannot be denied.