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School Uniforms


Woody
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School uniforms are the norm in this country, for public and private schools. Personally I think they are a great convenience especially for parents. Some are expensive, others use a kind of upmarket tracksuit which at the least is practical and comfortable.

I have heard some people feel it is forcing too much conformity on the students. In my observation there is still plenty of scope for the expression of individualism.

So the opinions you get on this issue will probably reflect the location of the writers.

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I am not passionate about it one way or the other. I do favor uniforms. I think it helps reduce the class distinctions, help create school pride and have seen studies that have shown it helps with discipline in the classroom. Our local Adventist school uses uniforms and I am happy about that.

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Nan ... I am with you on this issue.

When I was on our Church School Board ... I was opposed to uniforms. But as my son was working through the academy ... I became more and more convinced of the need.

And like you say ... there are plenty of ways to express individuality. But having the pressure of what clothing to wear when they really need to be focusing on what their brains wear ... is just to much for young mush filled brains.

OK ... I'm sorry. For those opposed to HUMOR ... just ignore the last comment relating to our precious youngins.

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What I am really opposed to is the lack of standards on what our kids wear. If they can't have uniforms ... then please make sure they are prepared for the workplace where you are not allowed to wear just whatever you please.

I've noticed in some of our schools that the students wear shorts. To me shorts are for playing. Our students should wear attire that is befitting "learning" ... not playing. Shorts just encourage bad behavior and they do not display respect for what they are there for ... Learning.

Besides ... I don't know of many employers who allow shorts.

And please ... I am referring to Academy aged students here.

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One problem I have with uniforms is the expense. If you buy a true "uniform," it gets really expensive. I would have to pay 3 times more for a pair of shorts or pants than I normally would, and probably that much for shirts, as well. And then 2 weeks after I bought it, the knees have holes in them or the kid has a growth spurt. So many parents are struggling just to make tuition that I can't see adding to their burden w/o a really good reason.

If they go with a "dress code" instead, then the expense depends on how strict it is. Some dress codes are pretty close to uniforms, and others are pretty lax to none. I nearly went insane one year going from store to store to find just the right pants in my son's size. I greatly resented the huge inconvenience to ME, as well as to him, and it was particularly maddening when I kept thinking of the perfectly good and appropriate clothes he had at home but couldn't wear because they weren't according to the guidelines of the day.

At the elementary level, the kids DO play, so they need to wear something comfortable, which most uniforms are not. And really, do we expect adults to run around the playground in their "work" clothes? So...not sure how much sense uniforms make there. And for those who believe what EW says about kids running free like lambs till they are age 10 or so, I don't see uniforms fitting into that picture real well.

Some teachers like uniforms because then they don't have to go around policing what the kids wear. I totally agree they have more important things to spend their time on. But I've noticed they still have to keep reminding the kids to tuck in their shirts after recess and throughout the day. And some of the uniform skirts are astonishingly short. So I'm not sure uniforms really help much with the policing. I've seen teachers interrupt kids who are sitting quietly doing their work to tell them to tuck in their shirt. O-k-a-ay. Interesting priorities.

A big question I've always had is, why don't the teachers have to wear the uniforms? I mean, if uniforms are so important to instill life skills or whatever, why aren't the teachers being examples of this? Of course, we know why. Because they wouldn't be caught dead in most of the uniforms out there. So...we make kids wear uniforms to teach them how to dress, but a great number of the adults in their lives don't wear uniforms. Hmmm.

It's pretty much impossible to find a uniform that suits or flatters all body types (another reason why the teachers don't want to wear them). Uniforms can help with self esteem due to financial disparities, but uniforms can hurt the self esteem of those whose bodies are grossly unflattered by their style.

Another reason I have heard in support of uniforms is that they help protect against gang activity. I can fully understand that idea in areas where that is a problem. But I have noticed with interest that the percentage of students wearing uniforms goes down significantly the older they get. So there are more kids in preK/K and elementary grades wearing uniforms, then less in middle school, and even less in high school, and forget college. But, wait a minute....at what age is gang activity the worst -- in preK?! Hmmm. Somewhere the logic has failed.

As far a preparation for life, I can tell you that I'm reasonably certain my son will never wear a polo shirt in his entire adult life, if it can be helped. He has been turned off by having to wear them every day for years. So...not sure how effective that "training" was.

It's true that uniforms basically eliminate any arguing or deciding what to wear each day. I have to admit, that's not too bad, and I can't argue with it at all.

In my ideal world, parents would have sense to not send their kids to school in clothes that are too tight, baggy, dirty, wrinkled, torn, etc. Or clothes that have words on them, or clothes that let skin show that should be covered. Beyond that, I think we are majoring in minors.

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What about UPS? Their drivers can wear shorts. I've seen them.

Gene

If you desire your kids to work for UPS then the exception can be made. But you would have to get a permission slip from the principal.

(Sorry ... just another snippet of humor brought to you by Redwood)

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Quote:
As far a preparation for life, I can tell you that I'm reasonably certain my son will never wear a polo shirt in his entire adult life, if it can be helped.

I don't feel I understand the polo shirt comment since I wear them ... so I had best leave that one alone.

But the "presentation for life" ... I would like to comment on. I found that the kids with shorts were more interested in playing than studying ... and thus ... their preparation for life was adversely affected.

I felt that there was a psychological impact with how the students felt and performed because of the clothes they wore. If they wore play clothes they were more interested in play.

Disclaimer ...

Quote:
And please ... I am referring to Academy aged students here.
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Well, we have to start out be deciding what is best for the children. Not on what is easiest and cheapest for parents. If we decide uniforms are best for the children, then we can look at ways to make them practical and less expensive. So we need to sort out the issues.

From what I have seen, there are some advantages to uniforms. Our school has rather inexpensive uniforms. Our uniforms are simple a polo shirt with the schools insignia on it to be worn with khaki pants or skirt. On Friday blue jeans can be worn with the uniform top or any shirt can be worn with the khaki bottom. The school sells the polos for $10 each which is reasonable and comparable to what the big box stores are selling polos for. All our local big box stores and even the dollar stores sell the khaki pants so there is little to no inconvenience.

I have not seen any studies showing an advantage to the children to have teachers wear uniforms. In fact, I would think there would be an advantage to having teachers not wear uniforms. The uniforms serve to distinguish who the students are and who the authorities are.

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Where I live, the local large SDA school has gone to uniforms. The kids say they "hate them" but they will also tell you it has cut down a lot on the stres of "being in style" and "keeping up with the fashions" and that it makes everyone "more equal" economically. The students look professional in their uniforms, they are comfortable and also not very expensive.

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Unless and until an entire society is required to wear uniforms, I never will agree with the principles behind requiring students to wear uniforms. It is the job of the parent and the teacher to train up a child the way he should go. Teaching them appropriate dressing habits is just one more thing they should already be teaching.

Could you imagine the outrage if everyone in church were required to wear the same clothes? Or the outrage at your place of employment?

If it's better that we all look alike, wouldn't it be better that we all just run around in the nude? Afterall, when it comes right down to it, nudity is the most uniform of all dress--and it certainly puts everyone on an "equal" playing field.

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Quote:
Could you imagine the outrage if everyone in church were required to wear the same clothes? Or the outrage at your place of employment?

For 20 years, I wore Army Green.

Uniforms are required in many places of employment.

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OK. We can make an exception for them if they bring a note from their mother.

Wait a minute. What century are you in? What draft? Are you daft? Or am I? Hold that thought.

Seriously though. Once they get to where they are being drafted? to ... they will be wearing uniforms. So why not now? Might as well get used to it.

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I don't feel I understand the polo shirt comment since I wear them ... so I had best leave that one alone.

If you HAD to wear a polo shirt every day for years, maybe you wouldn't wear one ever again, once you had a choice in the matter.

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Our school has rather inexpensive uniforms. Our uniforms are simple a polo shirt with the schools insignia on it to be worn with khaki pants or skirt. On Friday blue jeans can be worn with the uniform top or any shirt can be worn with the khaki bottom.

That is not a "uniform." It is a "dress code."

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Unless and until an entire society is required to wear uniforms, I never will agree with the principles behind requiring students to wear uniforms. It is the job of the parent and the teacher to train up a child the way he should go. Teaching them appropriate dressing habits is just one more thing they should already be teaching.

Could you imagine the outrage if everyone in church were required to wear the same clothes? Or the outrage at your place of employment?

If it's better that we all look alike, wouldn't it be better that we all just run around in the nude? Afterall, when it comes right down to it, nudity is the most uniform of all dress--and it certainly puts everyone on an "equal" playing field.

I agree with you totally - except for the nudity part. Some bodies definitely look better than others when nude.

teehe

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