High school is a hard time for students everywhere. Teens have concerns over friends, boyfriends, grades, and most of all fitting in. Some believe that forcing students in public schools to wear school uniforms would create better academic outcomes, better behavioral outcomes, and a sense of belonging to their peer around them. However, wearing school uniforms have many important cons. It inhibits creativity and individuality, stifles self-expression, not to mention they are expensive for many families. An important part of growing up is learning to think for yourself and make your own decisions.
Enforcing school uniforms make such learning harder for students in high school society. The wearing of school uniforms greatly inhibits creativity and individuality. School is a place where students are trained and learn to become the next actors, artists, politicians, inventors, or designers. Enforcing school uniforms sends a message to students that conformity is important rather than creativity. Students learn that their opinions and individuality is unimportant and that authority is allowed to constrain personal rights of self expression.
High school is where students are prepared for the real world. In the real world, every person doesn’t wear the same uniform and students should be able to decide what clothes to put on and in what image to present themselves. No society wants to create students who all look alike and think alike. High schools want to produce students who are encouraged to be themselves and express their individuality not only through the way they dress, but also in the ideas students come up with the make the world a better place.
Uniforms also take away the freedom of choice and teach students to conform and teach bad values to children such as they need to look like they belong to fit in. They will only talk to and socialize with those who look like them as adults. This is not an admirable quality in society. Enforcing school uniforms prohibit self-expression. Many sociology experts believe that requiring children to wear a common school uniform harms their self-expression. Self-expression is very important for a student’s development. Experts believe that when students are forced to wear uniforms, hey will find other less appropriate ways of showing their self-expression. A main goal of enforcing school uniforms is to cut down on violence in schools. However, violence will still continue, just not over what a student is wearing. Inappropriate jewelry, makeup, and hair styles will simply become the new topic to pick on others for and start conflicts over. Studies have shown that even preschoolers should have input into their wardrobe, and the need to encourage personality confidence and independence grows as the student becomes older.
All of these traits are enforced through choosing personal clothing choices. When students are denied self-expression, their belief in a sub-culture is hindered. Whether that culture is punk, jock, hippy, preppy, or hip-hop, it is an important aspect in transitioning into adulthood. Controlling this socialization process could harm the student as an adult because they will not be prepared for the real world in which they will, in fact, be judged on their appearance. The cost of school uniforms is a big issue for many families.
When families have to buy school uniforms, it takes away the concept of free public education. Free public education is a right in our country, and no costs are required for attendance to the school. Forcing those to families who can’t afford the uniforms to buy them is completely infringing on their right to free public education. Uniforms can cost more than some families may be able to afford. Cost is the main that cons of school uniforms become so popular. When students have to buy uniforms for school, they also need clothing for outside of school in the evening and on weekends.
This is double the amount of clothes that a normal person would need and double the amount of money a family would spend than if they didn’t need school uniforms. If the whole point of enforcing school uniforms is to create equality, this surely won’t happen. Those families who cannot afford uniforms will have to be buying theirs second-hand, which will still show differences and inequalities between the have and have-nots. The main reason for certain people in society to support school uniforms is that they feel as if their students won’t be bullied and uniforms will create a sense of equality.
People say that when everyone wears the same thing that most students won’t feel the pressure and need to dress in expensive clothing or styles as all the other students in their school. It will limit the amount of bullying. However, this is not the case. As I pointed out before, high school students will simply find other things to pick on each other for. It will become hair styles, jewelry, or make up instead of clothing. Students should not just fit in because of what they are wearing. Are these the kinds of friends that parents want their students to have?
Instead, parents should honor their student’s individuality and allow them to dress in a way which they feel best represents themselves. There are friends for everyone, and each student should look to others like them to fit in, not just fit in with everyone because of their matching outfits. This is not realistic. School uniforms aren’t enforced in public schools for a reason. They inhibit creativity and individuality, cost a lot of money, and violate student’s right to a free education.
Not to mention, bullying will occur over factors besides what a student is wearing to school. Students should be allowed to express themselves freely through their clothing and get used to looking at others who aren’t exactly like them. This is how it is in the real world, and how can students be prepared for life after high school if they have none of these experiences? The best way for students to learn from others and learn how to make their own decisions and express themselves in a proper way is to allow them to dress freely without having to wear school uniforms.