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How School Uniform Can Reduce Social Inequality

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Regarding the Usage of School Uniforms

In Asia, regardless of kindergarten students or high school students, they all have to wear school uniform when they are attending school. In recent years, school uniform has also become a trend in most of the schools in America. However, at the same time, most of students, even parents, advocate abolishing this system; they illustrate that by wearing uniform, their right to self-expression has been restricted. Students hope that they can wear informal clothes to school instead of school uniform. Is this thinking really correct? Do they know the significance of wearing school uniform? Is it this generation’s ideology relatively open-minded? Or, does this demonstrate that this generation of students knows what is right or wrong in this tradition of wearing school uniform? Indeed, uniform limits clothing choices that students can wear to school, but it does not restrict their learning. After attending a United States high school for four year, I had come to the realization that students treat school as a fashion show, so there is a point that school want students to put more time on focusing their school work. Even though demanding students to wear school uniform may encroach on their self- expression, school uniform should be seen as a positive thing because it eliminates bullying, combines social classes, and provides school a professional look. If confront with this question, I would instantly respond that students should definitely wear school uniforms. I would respond with “definitely”, not because I want to ingratiate the school, but because I think students wear school uniform is a way to express student’s “pretty”.

Admittedly, I hope that school uniform can be abolishing when I was small because the price of a set of school uniform is really expensive. Poll over cost $55.99, and vest cost $33.99. This was just the price for my elementary school uniform. If I got a stain on the shirt, and my mom could not clean it, she had to get me a new one. At this point, I wish that I could wear casual clothes to school instead. Why? It was because casual clothes will have sales, however, this would never happen on school uniform. TheGradian newspaper stated, “Many poorer parents will have paid out 40% of their monthly income in August on “back-to-school costs” alone.” This showed that uniform really cost a lot. They are using locos to express the data, but they said August only. Wait a minutes, if it is only in August, how would that be cost a lot? When I grow up, I understand that my parents could save more money by buying school uniform because we basically wear the same thing in the whole weekdays. Doesn’t mean that buying uniform is more affordable?

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The most common reason against school uniform is that uniform takes away the right of a student’s self- expression. Correct, uniform limits what students could have worn to school, but he or she can still have their own way of self- expression. Students can keep their self- expression, personality or style by changing their hairstyles or wearing different accessories. They can match their uniform on their own style without breaking any dress code. Just because a student cannot wear the most fashionable pants to school does not mean the school has taken their rights away. School uniforms symbolize the school that we attend; this implicate that our identity as a student. Also, going to school with tidy and neat school uniform is a type of respect to school, teachers, and other students. For example, flight attendants need to wear uniform in order to serve passengers on the plane. If they are not wearing uniforms, how can passengers identify who is the flight attendant? Who should they ask for help? At the same time, not all the flight attendants know all the co-worker. People can walk in the hallway randomly, and people cannot define who are flight attendants and passengers. This will pose a danger to the safety of the passengers. Since not all teachers and students know each other, strangers can mix with the students by not wearing school uniform. This may pose a threat to the safety of students. Requiring school uniform can eliminate bullying. Most bullies pick on the target based on what they wear. What if all students wore the same thing? It would decrease the percentage of getting picked by bullies. In Bulgaria, there are numerous events of bullying because students dislike other’s clothing’s style. Bulgarian Comparative Education Society decides to ask most of the school constrict students’ school uniform to school; they sent out a declaration, “Inequality in schools is rife in South Africa. School uniform policies with regard to dress codes are expected to reduce school violence, prevent discipline issues, and improve school safety.” School uniforms provide a less dangerous environment for students.

Uniform also erases the defined line of social classes ( upper, middle, lower). If you can wear casual clothes back to school, some wealthy family’s children may show off their new, expensive clothes in either deliberate or unintentional ways to hurt other classmates’ self- esteem. On the contrary, some poor students may not be able to afford new clothes due to family issues. Therefore, they cannot follow up with the current fashion trend and cannot integrate into their friend’s zone. Their social circle may become really narrow. Imagine if you could wear casual clothes back to school, would you be part of the “show off students” There is a Chinese slang that goes, “己所不欲 勿施於人.” This slang roughly translates to, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” When others show off to you, how would you feel? They constantly chase expensive clothing and material, which is an unhealthy obsession. School is a place to give students a place to learn, not an area where they show off their “fashion sense.” Students need to be simple and comfortable. Uniform brings all the social classes together. Everybody wears the same brand and same style of uniform. People would not be able to tell what social class a student is in by looking at them since they would all be wearing the same uniform. More importantly, students would fit in together on the same level, which does not have a gap for upper classes or lower classes. I think this is really important because when I was in middle school, students treated others the same way. Until one day, my Chinese teacher asked us about our parents’ career. Everybody needed to write down their parents’ job title on the board. Most of my classmates’ parents were doctors or police officers. There was one of the job titles unusual “conspicuous”—casino shift manager. All of my classmates cast their judgmental looks at me. Nobody judged me before they knew my parents’ job. I even heard some of them gossip about how my parents’ job was not legal behind my back. After that day, I understood why schools would want us to wear school uniform. It is because they want us to understand that everybody is the same at school. There are no upper classes or lower classes dividing the students.

Moreover, if students can wear casual clothing to school, they might use a lot of time paying attention what to wear every day, instead of focusing on schoolwork, and this can become a daily problem. How can we focus on school? A bulletin published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals stated, “When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork.” There is a data that shows having school uniform can provide a better learning environment for students. A 2010 University of Houston study found that elementary school girl’ language test scores increased by about three percentile points after uniforms were introduced. Students should wear the same set of uniforms, to give others the feeling of unity because the consistency of the school makes people outside of the school that students of that school are really a rally. Former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, advocated school uniforms is a way to help students focusing on learning: “Take that [clothing choices] off the table and put the focus on school, not on what you’re wearing.” If everyone wears different kinds of clothing, the impressions for others like a piece of puzzle with numerous pieces of not related pieces of puzzle. Have you ever wondered why you should attend class together at school? One of the reasons for this is to develop the spirit of teamwork in these classmates the spirit of teamwork. The consistency of school uniforms is an important part of training this goal. If people cancel the system of wearing uniforms, I believe it will weaken the meaning of studying in the same school as a family.

School uniform is an immeasurable thing to maintain. Even though school uniform constricts students’ expression, this argument will not end. It seems there are more positive viewpoints than negative viewpoints of schools required school uniform. Having school uniforms be required for the students by getting rid of the bullies who pick on other students based on what they are wearing. Uniforms eliminate the departure of social classes, particularly when that is principally determined by what brands of clothing a person wears. Last but not least, school districts that expect their students to wear school uniform have more of a formal look at the school, which provide a professional look for outsiders. School uniforms are a concrete, positive thing because it takes away bullying possibilities, judging of social class and make the school look more professional and knowledgeable. Also school uniform really is not as bad as students think, it can be really pretty and meaningful. It is because I am one of them who felt proudly and “pretty” when I wore my school uniform.

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