Kids wear school uniforms because board members or administrators believe uniforms enhance cohesiveness, improve attendance and performance, reduce discipline problems, prevent social stratification and promote school spirit. While detractors debate these advantages, many politicians and community leaders, including former President Bill Clinton, have endorsed the use of school uniforms.
The word "uniformity" is an extension of uniform. While open dress policies allow students to project individuality in dress, uniforms compel students to act in a synchronous manner with their dress. Students may feel a closer connection and even a team attitude when peers wear similar clothes to school each day.
Uniforms also help with safety and discipline. Gangs often have their own uniforms. A school uniform code prevents gang members from dressing in gang-specific attire. Thus, uniforms may eliminate or mitigate gang activity on school grounds. Uniforms also allow school administrators and safety officers to recognize visitors or outsiders who enter without a uniform. A security guard has the chance to easily spot and stop a teenager on school grounds who does not have a uniform on.
Proponents of uniform policies note that attendance is higher because students do not worry as much about bullying and peer pressure for their fashion. Higher attendance puts students in a better position to succeed academically.