In President Bill Clinton's state of the union address on January 23, 1996 he issued the following challenge to public schools across the nation:
I challenge all our schools to teach character education: to teach good values and good citizenship. And if that means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require the students to wear uniforms. (Silva)
With this quote in mind, I challenge the public schools and President Bill Clinton
to show me concrete data that proves that uniforms will decrease or eliminate violence and killings at school. In my research, the data is simply not out there to support this idea. First off, all of the studies that have been conducted have been at the elementary level, not necessarily at the secondary level where the majority of the violence and gang activity lies. In the Long Beach Unified District a study was conducted, however it was done at the elementary and middle school level.
In a Long Beach Unified District, a study was conducted and the research showed that suspensions decreased by 28% comparing the 1993-1994 school year (no uniforms required) to the 1994-1995 school year when uniforms were required. (Tamuk) This data is far from convincing me that the reduction was solely attributed to uniforms. I say that violence and gang activity is not a result of the school environment but results from a number of other factors that include home life, parental influence, substance/physical abuse, family values, and cultural tradition.
Another compelling point that political leaders and school officials make, is that uniforms will eliminate the social status that is attributed to wearing high-priced, designer clothes. They campaign that there would be an economic benefit to the parents, and the children will feel as...