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George_Bonanza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:08 AM
Original message
School uniforms
This probably belongs in the Education forum, but it's a ghost world there, so this place is better.

What's your opinion on it? Personally, I don't really care. Clothes were never a problem for me. However, I don't think uniforms are so bad as some people claim. Some cool, stylish uniforms like khaki pants to match white or blue shirts is a big departure from the classic English style ones with coarse grey clothing, or what Harry Potter called "elephant skin". What's so wrong about this? Some claim that it marginalizes individuality. I question how much clothing at school has to do with individuality, as opposed to following the most acceptable trend. Some odd one out may truly want to express themselves through clothing (whatever that means), but there's every non school hour to do so. And if you're so adamant about being allowed to wear political messages on t-shirts (which I have yet to see one fellow student of mine do, must be a big minority), wouldn't it be a far more intelligent thing to do to express it through discussion in class, rather than wearing some slogan or one-liner on a shirt and acting as if that makes such a compelling statement?

I don't really see the need for a sweeping reform of school uniforms in America. The real problem is unqualified and underpaid teachers, not student fashions. England's schools seem to use uniforms a lot, same with Japan. I don't know about any other developed nations. And they seem to be doing fine. So I don't see school uniforms as some kind of assault on personal liberty, which I think is a bit of fanatical devotion to fashion, but whatever. What are your opinions?
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jiacinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. I think it should be left up to each individual schools
At schools where kids are shooting and killing each other over clothes then I think school uniforms are a good idea. If clothing isn't a problem at a certain school I don't see a reason to have them.
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IranianDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree.
Take each school case by case.
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Yeah, that happens alot, doesn't it.
I also think we should do away with public transportation, so nobody can attach a bomb to a bus that makes it explode if it goes slower than fifty miles per hour.
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juajen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. In this time of a sinking economy, school uniforms make sense
They are cheaper than outfitting your child in new clothes every six weeks or so; they help to even out the "have not" kids with the "have" kids. I wish they had been in my schools as a kid. I was a disadvantaged kid (read that "poor") and always felt inadequate socially because my parents didn't have money to idulge me. Fortunately, I was pretty and smart, so didn't fare as poorly as others.

Additionally, handing down uniforms is easy. The second-time-around shops are usually full of uniforms and some charitable organizations collect unused uniforms for the poor.

It is, also, much easier to keep up with kids and it makes for a much neater appearing school. Our experiment here with uniforms has been pretty positive. Kids are not fighting with their parents about what they wear to school and it is much cheaper for parents to clothe their children. Obviously, I vote YES to uniforms.
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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. every six weeks?
Holy crap. It isn't hard to buy new clothes in the fall and have them last the whole year. Seasonal clothes (winter/summer stuff) are worn less frequently and don't need to be replaced every year unless they're outgrown.

I'm a sophomore in college wearing some (read a couple sweaters and t-shirts) of the same clothes I had in middle school, partly because I haven't gotten taller since 8th grade, and partly because they aren't out of fashion enough that I care.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
35. We had a couple of rich girls at my school
They did not wear the same clothes twice and bragged about this. It was also embarassing at my school to be seen wearing the same shirt twice in the same week. Many students, especially richer, did not wear the same clothes for more than one year. This was considered status.
I have clothes that I've had for years too. I really wasn't much into fashion, but I got made fun of for my clothes sometimes. There wasn't much I could do about it. For a lot of my childhood, we were poor. When my mother married my richer evil stepfather, he bought frequent new outfits for my baby half sister (I don't mean just clothes she outgrew) but none for us. In college, I wore my better high school clothes and bought many outfits on clearance at a downtown, high end department store to disguise my relative poverty (Although fashion didn't seem to be quite as important in college).
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
30. I don't know anyone who buys new clothes every six weeks
I just wear whatever I find in my drawers that fits.
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BigDaddyLove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
36. I went to a private school.............
though not a pricey one; essentially it was open to anyone who could score high enough on the entrance exams. We had to wear uniforms, for very much the same reasons you listed, so that the kids from less economically advantaged families wouldn't look any worse than those who had the means to dress nicely. I think it's a good idea (though at the time, I saw little reason for a nine year old to be able to tie a tie), but mostly because we all looked better and more 'uniform' than we would have otherwise. Thumbs up.
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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm against them
One of the many reasons that I'm against school uniforms is that it gives students something to rebel against. Face it, the adolescent and teenage students look for things in their lives to rebel against. A lot don't find anything siginificant to rebel against, but mandating what they wear? It's giving them the opportunity.

And what's to be done if a student shows up without the 'proper' attire? They're disciplined. Sent home to change and/or given detention. My high school went to ID tags after Columbine (for bullshit reasons), and if you forgot your ID one day, you had to get a replacement, and with the replacement, you got detention and replacement fines.

It hardened me, as well as the rest of the student body against the policy.

There's no better way to make a teenager hate something than by forcing it on them.

Dress codes on the other hand aren't necessarily a bad thing. Banning certain clothing for legitimate reasons makes sense and usually has few or no complaints because it's almost always within reason. They're usually along the lines of
no trenchcoats--prevent hidden weapons
no mini skirts or other excessively revealing clothing--guys are easily distracted.
no 'offensive logos' which generally means no sex, drugs, alcohol, or hate speech--extension of standard school censorship.
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FireHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:56 AM
Response to Original message
7. It depends on the options.
When young women are forced to wear skirts so the dirty old men can gaze up them, it's wrong. If they have the option to wear pants (lately a rare occasion) it's not so bad. But the option to expose themselves or not should remain in their hands, not in the hands of a controlling influence that cares only for it's own gratification.

Sorry, but my daughter and a LOT of her friends have fought this issue as far as they could go. When our local school board insisted that girls *always* wear skirts with the school blazer, we fought it tooth and nail. And won.

Options must be given freely and without coercion. If not, then it's a one-sided issue that has no justification.

Yeah...I'm on a rant tonight.

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oldcoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. The uniform should be practical
I remember when I was in high school, members of the "pep club" (all female) were required to wear very short skirts. I was happy that I was not in pep club because I would have insisted on wearing pants because a) our high school was located in a cold climate and b) I would have felt uncomfortable wearing such a short skirt. I could not imagine requiring all female students to wear those uniforms.

If schools require students to wear uniforms, then the uniforms should be practical. Schools should consider comfort, modesty, and the fact that students come in all shapes and sizes when choosing uniforms. There are many reasons why girls may feel more comfortable wearing pants than skirts. An overweight student may not feel comfortable wearing a skirt. A physically active student might feel that skirts limit her activities. Schools should require that both male and female students wear pants or allow female students to choose between wearing skirts or pants.
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Racenut20 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:32 AM
Response to Original message
8. It will prepare them to
1. Work in Japanese owned factories where it is required.

2. Serve in Rumnmies army (or is that "Rommie")

etc etc.

Though it may make economic sense, it also takes away the individualism that our education system is supposed to be teaching.
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DEMActivist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. So you think...
that the alternative - dragging the kids out of class, lining them all up against the lockers in the hallway and inspecting their clothing is a better alternative, do you?

The girls (and ONLY the girls) are told to raise their arms and if ANY skin shows, they are immediately sent home.

You condone those gestapo tactics, I take it?
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. that's the alternative?
sorry, my school did neither, and I know of plenty others that also did neither.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. At my school the teachers stared at legs
By high school, we were allowed to wear shorts any time of year and many girls did at least occaiosionally wear dresses. Shorts could be no shorter than 3'' above the knee and skirts had to be no shorter than 2'' above the knee. As a reult, there were teachers that would stare at students legs as they came in. They would record names. They would wait a half hour. If the students had not been sent to the office by the home room teacher, the principle came to the classrooms and called the student out of class. If a teacher had too many students that were in violation that they did not send to the office earlier, they were in trouble as well.
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #38
45. proof that all the fuss about girls wearing short skirts
is much worse than actually wearing them. my school got along fine with it's ultra-lax dress code.
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the masses against the classes Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
9. uniform policy
knowing many teachers and the vice principal of a middle school, i would say that school uniforms are a good idea (but sweeping declarations that schools must use them is not the answer...nothing is 100%, 100% of the time and we should act accordingly). kids these days aren't the innocent and naive kind that were in school "back in the day." clothes now have gang-related meaning and i have to say i'm shocked by some of the clothes young girls are now wearing...our society loves to doll up our children as little adults even when it is clear they aren't adults and haven't reached a maturity level to be responsible for the repercussions of their actions (in this case dressing like one is sexually aware and active)...
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LosinIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:30 AM
Response to Original message
10. I would have HATED it as a kid, but as a mom I have to rethink that
Granted at the time I was in high school, the 70s, fashion wasn't such a big deal. We were just then able to wear jeans to school. But I see some major advantages to the situation, only if the girls would be allowed to wear pants also and not forced to wear skirts. It would 'level the playing field'.

It matters very much to these kids who has on the Abercrombie & Fitch and who is wearing K-Mart fashions. Kids can be downright cruel and if this one issue could be taken out of the mix, it would make it easier on the kids whose families can't afford to keep up with those who are better off.

Have you looked at girls' fashions lately? They are bordering on what a prostitute would wear. They did a segment on 20/20 the other night about this issue. Yesterday, we got a JC Penney sale catalog that features an 8 year oldish girl with her midriff exposed. The show brought out the point that one mother who was trying to buy shorts for her daughter to wear during those 1st hot weeks of school was unable to find any that were long enough to meet the school dress code. With uniforms, then parents don't have to battle with their budding Madonnas about what is acceptable at school.

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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
12. Having been raised in a family that went through financial problems
and in a country where school uniforms are the rule rather than the exception, I AM ALL FOR THEM. I could not have survived school without uniforms: could not afford decent clothing so I would have stuck out like a sore thumb and been the target of ridicule and shame.

Students at a school can get ways of making themselves different and individual but the focus is taken away from external appearances and ability to pay for nice clothing.

It does save a lot of money for parents.
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Blondie BaDass Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
14. reply
As a parent I object to school uniforms in a public school. The schools have no right to impose that added expense upon parents and as long as the students are following the written dress code they should be free to where what they want.
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. It is not an "added expense". You end up spending a lot less in
clothing than when you don't have uniforms.
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Trek234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Wrong
Do you wear uniforms when you are NOT in school? No - you wear street clothing.

With uniforms you must buy your regular street clothing AND uniforms.

It's added expense. To those of us living in reality anyway...
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
15. Uniforms SUCK. They're the WALMARTING of our KIDS. Making them
all kids look the same, stripping them of individuality.

Our schools are designed to force kids to be all the same, to think the same, to react to bells, to act the same... they're trying to instill UNIFORM behavior and thinking. Schools are designed to NOT make our kids thinkers or individuals, but to be little corporate drones. Uniforms are one more way to force conformity and sameness.

Personally I oppose massive brown box education to begin with, with these massive walmart style factory schools churning out little worker bees, so my solution is even further down the road... I want a return to the little red school house on every corner. I want neighborhood schools that work block to block. It would restore our communities in countless ways....

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Nobody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
16. I'm against them and always have been
I went to a school and had to wear a school uniform. I hated it and found small ways to get around the rules.

I was never a fashion conscious kid. I liked comfortable and durable clothing without accessories and frills. Some teens are like me and some are not. People vary widely.

During your teen years, you should have as many options open to you as is feasible. You've got all the time afterward to conform.

So Teen A is wearing what everyone else wears. So?

Teen B wears only jeans and sweatshirts. Big deal.

Teen C is a clothes horse. That's nice.

Teen D can't afford to wear the latest fashions. This is where the concept of mix and match and know what colors you look best in come in handy. And most kids if they want to make your life hell will never lack a reason to, so economic status is unimportant in the long run.

Teen E wants to show lots of skin. I do see a problem here, and general guidelines will come in handy. The same kind of general guidelines that state that you should take a bath or shower more than once a month whether you need it or not. And if you make Teen E wear a uniform, Teen E will find a way within the rules to make that uniform more revealing. Anyone who has been to a Catholic school knows all about taping up dress hems to create a miniskirt.

Here's what school uniforms will not do.

School uniforms will not make people like you.

School uniforms will not make shallow people less shallow.

School uniforms will not cause the misfits to fit in.

School uniforms will not make you better looking.

School uniforms will not make all thoughts of violence and vengeance disappear.

School uniforms will not stop bullets unless they're made of Kevlar.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
17. I dont like them one bit
Its good to tell who is who I know thats lame and I wanna be able to wear what I wear, like regular t with a flannel shirt, shorts or jeans, and skate boarding shoes. Yeah so I dress a little plain and non descriptive. Also I like being able to dress how I wanna dress.
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
18. I am against school uniforms
I think they teach children that sameness is good and difference is bad. While purporting to stop children from judging each other by their clothing, required uniforms really show children that adults judge people by their clothing.

By trying to "protect" children from being embarassed by their K-Mart clothing, we teach them that they have something to be embarassed about.

Uniforms make no allowances for different body shapes and sizes, or for individual comfort.

I live in a very middle-class, consumerist, fashion-conscious community. The school uniform issue comes up every couple of years, and we have lots of parents who think uniforms would be great. The thing is, those parents are able to afford uniforms for school AND stylish clothes for non-school times. I am completely against having to buy two wardrobes for my kids. I am very frugal when it comes to clothes, and my kids are unconcerned about fashion. We don't have a lot of clothes and we wear the same ones for school and play.

I fight against uniforms every time it comes up, because it would cost our family more money for clothing and it teaches children that adults want them to all be the same.
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Lizz612 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. Agree
Especialy the part about body sizes and comfort. At the school I went to the girls were offered a jumper (skirts being to easy to hike up) or pants. But the pants were unisex. Now thats no big deal when your six and little girls and little boys are shapped the same, but by high school... The pants looked silly on everyone, no one was ever comfortable, and for me it felt like a push for me to wear the jumper.

Nobody is right, too. Misfits in uniforms are still misfits. Sluts in uniforms are still sluts. Repeat for druggies and bullies and gossip mongers and every postion available. That sort of problem cannot be fixed by superfical changes alone.

And this is a bit of a tangent but most school uniforms are all polyester which comes with safety issues; polyester is not allowed in Chem labs due to serious fire hazards. And that other can of worms about use of finite resources.
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uptohere Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
20. its a school by school choice thing but they have proven to be of help
so if the school says yes, I'm all for it.

Will the kids hate it ? Of course, so what ? Thats why they have adults for parents to insure that they do the right thing even if they would rather not.

Some schools need fewer distractions for kids already beset with distractions. This is an easy one to eliminate.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
21. Having worked in both schools with and without uniforms
I am in favor of the uniforms. Every school I have worked in without uniforms has had problems enforcing its dress code. I hating having to check to see if John's shirt was tucked or if Mary's skirt was not further than 4" above the knee. (Yes, I did have to do this). It is much easier to enforce a uniform policy than a dress code and much fairer in the long run. To cite one more example. A local principal got in huge trouble for not letting a girl paint her hair red, white, and blue after 9/11. The dress code was unambiguous on this. There was to be no painting of hair. But since people could wear shirts, shorts, etc with messages people wanted an exception for her. Dress codes invariably lead to this exception mentality.
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
37. your problem was a stupid dress code
it required kids to tuck their shirts in? what the hell? a ban on hair colors? That's be unthinkable in the school I went to. Just use some common sense rules, no shirts with anything ultra explicit or vulgar and no ultra ultra short skirts. There are more important things to worry about than kids tucking in their shirts.
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George_Bonanza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
22. The individuality issue
The way I see it, school fashion is conformity anyway. There's like the skater crowd, conforming to what they see on MTV, then there's the baller crowd, conforming to what they see on MTV, then there's slacker crowd, conforming to what they see on MTV, and then there's the non-conform crowd, conforming to whatever the rest isn't wearing. It's all conformity folks. I don't see why wearing a polo shirt instead of a hooded sweatshirt is such an infringement of "individuality". I believe individuality comes from within, not from what you wear. Uniforms will not suddenly cause students to think alike. They are merely an aesthetic and financial issue, not a individual one. I think it's a huge leap of faith to assume that uniforms will suddenly stamp out individuality.

Are you implying that students in Europe or Asia, where uniforms are more common place, are somehow less as free-willed human beings than us? Or that private school students are less individualistic than public school students? I find this whole attitude to be arrogant.
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Blue_Chill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
23. I support them
Clothes in my school were a status symbol, there was huge pressure to wear the latest expensive stuff and many including myself couldn't afford it.
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
25. In favor of uniforms...
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 02:55 PM by Davis_X_Machina
...having taught in schools with and without them, and having been a student in schools with and without them.

If uniforms are just another way to prepare young America for a life of conformity, how does that differ from the conformity that mandates the purchase of this year's must-have logo? (Last year it was Aeropostale, before that, Abercrombie & Fitch... I go all the way back through Benneton to LaCoste) I'll take my coercion naked and undisguised, thank you, than insinuated by a hundred messages every day.

I have seen far more hurt done by no-dress-policy dress policies, that in effect require each student to publicly declare his or her socioeconomic status every day, than any harm done by stifling adolescent self-expression.

I would have the teachers wear a uniform, too.

Common enterprise, common goals, common clothing.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
26. No uniforms.
I understand the idea, but...

1. This is such an inconsequential piece of trivia in comparison to what's really going on with schools. If you want to make schools better, put the time, energy, focus, and plans where the real need is.

2. I don't think school uniforms will have as big an effect, for better or worse, than supporters or detractors think they will. Again, much ado over not much effect.

3. I would like to see kids focus on learning instead of fashion. I would like to see clothing be less of an economic class indicator and segregator. But...when you mandate a uniform, kids then modify fit, or the way they wear it...you can still tell. This is a societal issue, not a school issue. Go to the source to fix it. Quit obsessing over the latest fashions as a culture.

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
27. Apples and oranges - not for uniforms but am for a respectable dress code
Lord knows how much worse it is now than it was in 1987, but I saw some stuff as a middle-school kid in the late 80s that shouldn't have been allowed anywhere, it was so uncouth.

I'm not all-out for uniforms, but there should be a "respectable dress code". That way you get some freedom to still be who you are and not resort to outfits of a fascist nature, which is the extreme of the opposite end of the spectrum. I despise uniforms.

Having qualified teachers is a different issue entirely.
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
29. against them
adults really overrate how much problems are caused by clothes at school. I don't recall any in mine, and in no way remember anything that uniforms would've helped.
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gully Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
31. I like them for a couple reasons..
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 04:20 PM by gully
Poor kids will look like everybody else (A)-less "classism." And (B) parent's don't have to by expensive and riduculous clothes for kids. :shrug:
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
32. I'd have to say yes
Many children are wearing the uniform of their socioeconomic status and clique already. When I was in school being ridiculed for clothing was bad enough, I hear that it is ten times worse now. Although students might discover fellow student's socioeconomics status, clothing is a walking advertisement of this. Many schools already have somewhat restrictive dress codes, which they can be sent home for. A uniform would address these issues. Personally, I wear a uniform for work and find it to alright. Sometimes I wish that I could wear better clothes there but know that they'd get ruined anyway. I think it is less distracting even as an adult not to be worrying about what everyone is wearing. It is good to be able to express yourself through clothing but that is your's to do on your own time.
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Lizz612 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. Socieconomic status shows anyway.
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 04:46 PM by Lizz612
At least in high school. Think backpacks, coats, shoes technology or lack there of, make up, jewelry, the car mom drives when she picks you up, the neighborhood the school bus drops you off in. Kids are attuned to more than just clothes. And it only takes one person finding out once and it sticks. Clothes are a daily reminder, but an uneeded one, once the gossip monster knows that you're poor it never forgets.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. Clothing is still the biggest sign
A poor family might be able to buy quality one time purchase coats and back packs. Often with clothing, it is not good enough to have one or two good outfits. Like I mentioned earlier, at my school you were made fun of for wearing the same outfit in the same week. Yes, gossip is spread around but clothing is a constant reminder. It involves knowing absolutely nothing about a person.
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
33. Oppose
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
40. what schools did you all go to?
at my school, kids who wore the expensive prep clothes were the ones picked on. the kid who's family made over $100k a year didn't have a single pair of jeans with no holes or shirt that wasn't at least 5 years faded. clothes were hardly a problem at all.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. I went to a small public school
It was a rural district that included high end subdivisions, trailer parks, farms, and middle class housing. The rich kids tended to be "popular". Good athletes often transcended socioeconmic status but kids wearing clothes with holes in them and out of style clothing were often made fun of.
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Crowdance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
41. Vigorously Oppose
Uniforms are a violation of students' bodily integrity--as are dress codes. As a parent, it's my job to dress my child, and I'll decide how to do that on my own, based on esthetic, budgetary and ethical reasons. Private schools, of course, should always be free to do either; they are presumably attended by choice.

I've seen the uniformed, private school kids in my neighborhood. The girls are required to wear skirts or "boys" pants. I can't imagine trying to be the girl dressed in boys' clothing; the derision must be never-ending. So a girls' choice is to submit to the limitations required by skirt-wearing or suffer the consequences of not being a "girly-girl."

BTW: why should boys' being easily distracted dictate how girls should dress? Isn't that the rationale for the burqa?
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bbernardini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
42. I teach at a private school with uniforms...
...and I can't say I hate it. :) It's just a simple khaki pants and white or blue shirt for the boys, and a grey skirt and a choice of several tops for the girls. Guys wear blazers in the winter. (This is middle school...lower school is similar but with polo shirts instead.)

It really does eliminate all the taunting/judgement that can come from not wearing the right kind of shirt or shoes declared popular by the fashion industry. The students have the opportunity to get to know each other based on what they're really like, instead of shutting out potential friends because of what they're wearing. I feel this sort of emotional growth can only be positive in the long run. The students I work with are far more mature and tolerant of others than other children of the same age.

Of course, there's the financial issue. In the long run, it really does save a lot of money. The khaki pants and blazers have double use as "nice" clothes for church or formal gatherings. Since the kids have to wear uniforms, there's no point in buying tons and tons of "fashionable" clothes that will only be worn for 6 months anyway. As I pointed out in the previous paragraph, it puts the children of the families who are not as well off financially on equal footing with those who are.

I've never really thought the "expressing individuality" argument held much water. Perhaps this is just me, but I think expressing your individuality through your words and actions is far more significant and impressive than piercing your lower lip with a railroad spike or wearing a controversial t-shirt. If your ideas and actions are worth listening to (in my opinion, of course), I'm going to damn well listen whether you're wearing a school uniform or green spiked hair, a jean jacket with a "DK" patch on the back and a frilly pink tutu. I don't care what you're wearing. I care about what you do and say. THAT'S what's important. THAT'S what makes you an individual.

</soapbox>
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