Should students have to wear uniforms?


Quick Answer

There is significant debate about the effectiveness of school uniforms. Proponents argue that uniforms enforce discipline, make dressing for school more efficient, cut down on bullying and cost less overall. Opponents argue that uniforms stifle individuality, cost more initially and can be uncomfortable for students.

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Full Answer

One of the biggest arguments in favor of uniforms is that they bring an increased level of order and discipline to schools. Uniforms decrease school violence, increase attendance and make it easier to identify school intruders. They also cut down on the peer pressure students feel to wear the trendiest, most expensive clothing and help prevent bullying against students who can't afford expensive outfits. Supporters of uniforms argue that uniforms make dressing for school easier and faster, since students don't have to worry about what to wear each day. Uniforms are also less expensive than regular clothes overall.

Opponents of uniforms argue that uniforms curb student expression. Kids use their clothing to express their interests and identify with each other, and uniforms significantly hamper that ability. Critics argue that schools should celebrate diversity, which uniforms reduce. Opponents also argue that while uniforms may be cheaper overall, they cost more initially, since they typically must be purchased all at once when the school year starts. Uniforms may also be uncomfortable for students. For example, most girls' uniforms require skirts or dresses, which many girls are uncomfortable wearing.

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