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school uniforms for boys, girls, staff, parents

Dress Codes
The Pros and Cons of
Mandatory School Uniforms in Public Schools

Taking Dress Codes Beyond the Student Body

     In a world where casual has become the chosen attire in professional settings, it appears that Casual Fridays began on Mondays in our public schools.  T-shirts, jeans, shorts, sneakers, and sandals have become acceptable  attire in the teaching profession. 

     If we were living in a perfect world ... this probably wouldn't be an issue, but since the perfect world continues to elude mankind, educators need to take a closer look at their faculties and staff as well as their student populations when it comes to proper attire.   Is it really any wonder that school age children are stretching the limits of appropriate dress?  Or,... are students simply following the examples set by their teachers? 

The Pros ...


Eliminates opportunities for the ridicule of less popular or less fortunate students based on attire.


Decreases theft and violence - even life-threatening situations- among students over designer clothing or expensive sneakers.


Helping prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school.


Instilling students with discipline.


Helping parents and students resist peer pressure.


Helping students concentrate on their school work.


helping school officials recognize intruders who come to school

Love to

Self Expression
Many educators and sociology experts believe that requiring children to wear standardized uniforms stifles their self-expression. Self-expression is an important part of child development and some experts believe that curbing it with uniforms can be detrimental to a child. Experts also believe that students who are forced to wear uniforms will only find other, less appropriate ways to express themselves, possibly through inappropriate use of makeup and jewelry.

Some experts believe that public education attempts to strip children of their individuality. They believe that public education does not meet the needs of children who do not fall in the norm, and that uniforms attempt to force every student into one mold. They see standard dress as another way for public educators to remove student individuality where they should be embracing and celebrating diversity. Some experts believe it is not in the best interest of the child to try to control socialization which is a part of human nature. They believe that such use of school uniforms does not prepare children from the real world in which they will continue to be judged by appearances.


There are just as many experts who believe that the cost of school uniforms is a negative factor as those who see it as a positive factor. Some experts believe that it increases the amount of clothing parents will have to buy for their children because the children will still want and need clothing for the hours they are not in school. Uniforms can be more expensive for a family who buys from second-hand stores or who relies on hand-me-down clothing from friends and family. Some experts believe cost is a negative aspect of school uniforms because there is no use for them outside of school.

Many experts argue that different types of clothing feel comfortable to different people. Some children are more comfortable in a specific material or style of clothing. Uniforms reduce one’s ability to choose clothing that fits individual comfort needs. Experts believe that children need to feel comfortable in order to maximize learning, and that uniforms can therefore deter academic success.

Pros are not Pros
Many educators and experts believe that, although in theory uniforms should improve academic, behavioral, and social outcomes, in reality they do not. These experts argue that the studies of schools who initiate uniforms do not report improvement in any of these areas; therefore, if the desired outcomes are not reached, there is no valid reason to standardize student dress

The Albuquerque Tribune Online: 
Principal to ask for dress codes for teachers
(excerpt) Like the stringent dress code students must abide by this year, the board may also prohibit employees from "disruptive" attire such as short shorts, skimpy halter tops and body piercing.

School Uniforms: Quick Fix or Bad Call? 
A case for uniforms
No long-term, formal studies have been done on the effectiveness of school uniforms, but many schools have kept their own informal statistics. California's Long Beach Unified School District's records are probably cited most often. This urban district adopted a mandatory uniform policy in 1994. Since then, school crime has dropped by 76 percent, while attendance has reached an all-time high.

(excerpt) Pros and cons
Dr. Alan Hilfer, senior psychologist in the Children's and Adolescent Unit at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn says, "Uniforms do eliminate competition, pressure, and assaults perpetrated by older kids on younger kids for their sneakers and other possessions. They also allow some kids to focus better, especially in the lower grades." But Dr. Hilfer says there is a downside: "Clothes are a source of expression for children, and as kids get older, they become increasingly resentful of uniforms."              

Dress Codes and School Uniforms 
A comprehensive review of several articles addressing trends, controversies, and litigations.










Administrative Accountability

After School Care
Class Size
Discipline Policies
Dress Codes
Grade Retention

Teacher Quality
Teacher Misconduct
Transportation Issues
State Board of Ed Links
Year Round Schools



Education Commission
for States:
School Uniforms
and Dress Codes -
State Policies

US Dept of Manual on
School Uniforms-
Where They Are
and Why They Work

Sam Houston State University:
Dress Code Study
shows numerous 
positive effects

National Association
of Elementary School
Backgrounder of Public School Uniforms

American Association
of School Administrators: Research of the
affects of school
uniforms inconclusive

DKNY, Esprit, and
Bugle Boy design
School Uniforms.

Education World: 
Can Uniforms
Save our Schools



Education Week on the Web: 
Litigating School
Dress Codes

Equal Opportunity Commission: 
School Uniforms:  Frequently
Asked Questions

Atlanta Journal and Constitution - Access Atlanta:  
Requiring Uniforms Won't Help Schools

American Association
of School Administrators:
Research of the
affects of school uniforms inconclusive.

ACLU:  Public School

Hearsay and Myths
Regarding Effectiveness
of Uniforms

Education Commission for States: 
School Uniforms
and Dress Codes
State Policies

First Amendment 
Student Expression



















































































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