Some public schools in North Eastern Pennsylvania have taken the fun out of back-to-school fashion shopping by implementing the use of uniform dress. Students in some Elementary Schools will no longer be able to wear trendy clothing, blue jeans or clothes with popular cartoon characters like Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer or the comic book hero, Superman.
5 Reasons Back to School Uniforms in Public School are Bad
#1- Stifling Creativity and Creating Drones: Students express themselves by the clothing they wear. A young girl student might have an affinity for the color purple, a boy student might like the color blue, with uniforms (unless they are those colors) those students will not be able to wear their favorite colors. Nor will students be able to wear the latest comic book character, movie character or book characters. This stifles what could become creative discussion among the students by halting questions they are likely to ask each other such as, “Who is that?”, “What movie is he/she/it from?”, “Did you read the latest Harry Potter book?”.
#2- Unemployment Rates: How could unemployment rates have anything to do with back to school uniforms in public school? Consider this, Unemployment rates are at the highest they have ever been which means that the students attending public school may have one or more parent who is jobless and barely able to make ends meet. Now, those parents have to buy brand new uniforms because the school is not providing the uniform nor are they providing vouchers to buy the uniform. Many parents already struggle with buying back to school clothing and have had friends give hand-me-downs or visited stores like the Salvation Army to buy cheap clothing for their kids. Now parents will have to figure out a way to scrape money together to buy the public school uniform.
#3- What is Good for the Goose isn’t Good for the Gander: One example of this comes from Jim Thorpe Elementary School in Jim Thorpe, Pa where students for the 2010-2011 school year are being subject to public school uniforms for the first time. Guess who is not? The teachers, administration and principals. The adults of the school do not have to wear a uniform yet their subjects (the students) do. Beyond being unfair, especially to an elementary school students eyes, this teaches children the mentality of “Do as I say, Not as I do”.
#4- Instilling Fear: Children who are subject to public school uniforms have a new fear to deal with beyond making new friends, getting lost in a new school, and meeting new teachers for the first time. Now students will being dealing with a fear of not wearing the correct uniform or wearing the uniform wrong because if they wear it wrong or do not wear the correct clothing on the uniform guidelines they will be punished.
#5- Punishment Emphasizes Public School Uniform and Not Education: Students are in the school to learn. Yet, if they wear inappropriate attire (not the school uniform) their education will be punished. Using Jim Thorpe Elementary School’s new uniform policy as an example again, students of the school that do not wear the uniform or wear the wrong colors in their uniform will be sent to the principals office where they will remain until they change the inappropriate article of clothing and a phone call to parents is made. A second offense, will include the same discipline and also a detention. A third offense, In School Suspension plus the above. Four or more offenses will be treated as disruptive behaviour (source). Students will be taken away from learning and punished. This places more emphasis on the power of the uniform than it does on the power of education.