Individuality is "The aggregate of qualities and characteristics that distinguish one person or thing from others", as in "Monotonous towns lacking in individuality." or "She was so absorbed by the movement that she lost all sense of individuality." This quality of being an individual is exactly what schools, as havens of self-discovery and development, should be encouraging most. The schools, however, are now attempting to limit students' self-expression by implementing a uniform, an action based on questionable studies. The problems caused by uniforms outweigh the proposed benefits. In addition, outfitting a student body in uniforms is a very laborious administrative process, facing strong opposition and requiring much time and effort to be spent. Valuable resources should not be spent on such a trivial issue. Finally, clothing often reflects the personality of the student, but a uniform is unlikely to change someone's behavior. If a student's attire does not infringe on the learning or rights of another person, then there is not reason to confine freedom of dress.
Advocates of uniforms claim that when everyone is wearing outfitted uniformly, students' focus on appearance diminishes. This is absurd, for several reasons. Primarily, students will spend much more time and effort on their appearance, attempting to distinguish or express themselves, while staying within the confines of the dress code. Furthermore, peoples' differences should be celebrated, not disguised with uniforms.
Promoted as the ultimate solution to problems such as gangs and violence, uniforms are only a temporary resolution. If violence is such a large problem that it is necessary to take away the freedom of students, the problem should be targeted at its root. Perhaps a lower student/teacher ratio is needed, or severer penalties for transgressions. The school can change the way students look, they can implement mandatory uniforms, but this will...