The debate on school uniforms – whether or not to wear them – is a long ongoing matter. As a former teacher I often had to deal with this question, and these are my findings.
Those who are for wearing a school uniform often claim that the uniform makes all children equal in appearance. This is true in a way that indeed, all the students will be wearing the same blouse, skirt or trousers, the same tie, … but these only don’t cipher out the difference between them. Depending on the person, he or she will have a different hair style, a different hair color, another height and weight, will wear other accessories, walks differently, … Or are you going to standardize these too?
What a good school (and of course, the parents) should do is to teach the student who attend it that you have to accept the differences in people. That someone should not stand out because he or she is very tall, a big short, has carrot orange hair. Teach the kids not to judge people upon superficial criteria.
Also a big argument for the school uniform is that it will save money. A student only needs two sets of school uniforms. When one is dirty, they’ll wear the other one. A cheap solution?
Not really, because when your kid wears a uniform at school, he or she will also need clothes to wear at home and in the spare time. Double costs, right? The same goes for designer labels. Even when your kid wears a uniform at school, he or she will still want a Nike shirt (or any other item) for at home. This wouldn’t even be an issue if all the parents taught their kids not to choose their friends based upon what logos they wear. If no accent is placed on the importance (?) of logos, the kids would grow up and not look at them.
Some also claim that school uniforms will insure security at the school. Outsiders to the school will stand out because their dress code is different and hence there will be more security and safety. Well, I don’t know. I can well imagine that even uniformed kids will cary out mischief during their breaks and that no outsider is really needed to create it. And thinking of outsiders, if they really intend to do some mischievous or even criminal, they will find a uniform that looks close enough to that of the school and will be able to enter unnoticed….
From my teaching experiences I have also found out that uniforms teach children that everyone must conform to the same standards. I think this is completely wrong. A child must be allowed to have its own identity, which is always a special one. It should be permitted to show diversity, creativity. When imposing a uniform on people, you will inevitably create violations. Some people refuse to be pushed into one specific corner, and they will revolt against it. If you don’t impose a uniform, there will be no need for this.