Should Mnadatory School Uniforms be implemented in public schools?

Essay by lioness1327University, Master's May 2004

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Should Mandatory School Uniforms Be Implemented In Public Schools?

This question is one that comes up often. In some countries, especially in the Caribbean, uniforms in public school is standard practice. Even in New York, there are some school districts that use uniforms in public schools. Another question that goes along with this one, "What are the benefits, if any, of wearing uniforms?" After all, if there is no perceivable benefit, why bother?

It seems to be experienced that when uniforms are worn, there are indeed benefits to it. For one, it has been cited that school performance is improved. Second, it has been seen that behavior is also improved. There can be psychological explanations for this. Indeed, it can be postulated that the reason for these increases is that the mind is put more into a proper "frame", one more conducive to learning. After all, is this not the same effect observed in dress codes in other contexts, such as work, or even sleep, for that matter? When someone puts on pajamas, for example, is that not getting the mind in to the right "frame" for sleep? On the job, are not dress codes used to help put employees in the frame of mind for work? If this is so, and it has been observed quite often, then would it not be logical to use this same line of thought to using dress code, namely, school uniforms, in public schools.

One of the arguments against mandatory school uniforms that were used during the voting in New York was the cost. After all, uniforms can be somewhat expensive. However, is really that much more expensive than the designer clothes many students wear to school now? Also, there could be put in place a "clothing allowance" or...