School uniforms are a controversial topic for students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and even the general public. Bill Clinton was an outspoken fan, requiring in 1996 that every school in the nation receive manuals educating the community on the benefits of uniforms.
While you may not agree that uniforms are necessary or even welcome in public schools, you may be interested in learning what of these alleged benefits are.
Uniforms prevent students from dressing inappropriately
Young children are especially susceptible to media influences, and these days there is pressure on younger and younger preteen girls to dress in a sexualized manner. School uniforms remove distracting clothing from the classroom and spare teachers the embarrassment of having to tell girls and their parents that clothing is too revealing for school. School uniforms also prevent students from wearing clothing that has racist or sexist language on it, or clothing that advertises alcohol or illegal substances.
Uniforms prevent bullying
School uniforms prevent students from wearing very expensive things to school. On the one hand, this prevents theft and violence over designer goods. On the other, this spares poorer students whose families cannot afford to dress them in the latest designer labels from peer pressure and bullying. In theory, school uniforms will prevent the students from instantly recognizing each other’s economic backgrounds. In some school districts, it is important that school uniforms prevent students from wearing gang colors or insignia on their clothing, something that is a problem even in elementary schools.
Uniforms make students instantly recognizable
If all of the students in a school are wearing uniforms, school faculty members can immediately identify an intruder or someone who does not belong on campus. This benefit is particularly interesting to school faculties who are concerned about protecting their students from school shootings and violence. School uniforms also make it easy for police to identify truants or students who have left campus during school hours without their parents’ or teachers’ permission. On field trips, school uniforms make it easier for teachers to keep an eye on the whole group as well as for students who get separated to reunite with their classmates.
Uniforms make life easier for parents
Last but not least, school uniforms make mornings easier on parents. With uniforms, parents never have to worry about their students spending inordinate amounts of time picking out outfits every morning. Parents of younger students do not have to help their children match their clothing every day, and parents with children of all ages can save money on back to school clothes every year. Whether you are in favor of school uniforms or against them, you have to admit, shaving time off of your morning routine is a pretty attractive benefit.