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Uniforms in Schools Eryn Frank Casey Busch Britta Hill Elizabeth Bell.

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1 Uniforms in Schools Eryn Frank Casey Busch Britta Hill Elizabeth Bell

2 Are School Uniforms a Positive or a Negative Thing for Students?

3 Background of the Debate  The introduction of school uniforms for public schools into the national debate is not a new subject. Private schools and uniforms have a long history, but not until the 1980’s has the subject of uniforms in public schools increasingly became a subject of implementation.  President Clinton endorsed the use of uniforms during his State of the Union address in January of 1996. Support also came through a voice vote from the National Association of Secondary School Principals during their national conference in February, 1996.  As part of his efforts, the Department of Education distributed a manual to all of the nation's 16,000 school districts with suggestions on how to make school uniforms mandatory and reviews of several 'model' programs currently in place in our public schools, and since 1996 more than seven states have adopted uniform policies.

4 Background continued…  In many countries, it is very common to wear school uniforms. Some of these include Britain, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and many other African countries. Uniform is also required at almost all schools in Japan.  In other countries, particularly in continental Europe, the USA and Canada, uniform is very rare in state-funded schools, although private schools may have one.  Debates about school uniform have been going on for decades in different countries and districts, but during the 1990s state schools in the USA began to adopt uniforms.  At first uniform rules were seen as a way of stopping children dressing in gang colors in troubled urban areas. Later, claims that introducing uniform leads to better discipline and educational results encouraged other school districts and schools to make a change.  Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have been in favor of school uniforms.  Other countries have picked up on this trend - for example, there has been talk of making German children wear uniforms. This topic looks at a very large number of arguments about uniforms.

5 Pros for Having Uniforms  Uniforms make it easy to identify kids who belong in the school and those who don’t.  They could save parents money and time when getting ready for school in the morning.  Kids don’t get made fun of for the clothes they may chose to wear to school.  The kid’s social standing would be based more on individual character and less on their economic status.  Putting students in conservative clothing discourages many provocative  Some students can use their baggier clothing to hide things they aren’t supposed to have at school.  Some educators believe that students in uniforms are more likely to focus on academics.  Students are unable to segregate themselves based on what they wear.

6 Cons of Having Uniforms  They are expensive and have no use outside of school.  They cut down on allowing the students to be individuals and can hurt their creative development.  They can be uncomfortable.  Students might not be exposed to diversity, and may face shock when they enter the world after uniforms.  The issue of conformity.  Some experts have found that uniforms do not improve academics, behavior, or social outcomes.

7 Statistics  In 2007–08, about 18 percent of public school principals reported that their school required students to wear uniforms. In 1999–2000, the percentage of principals who reported that their school required students to wear uniforms was 12 percent.  Also, in 2007–08, approximately 55 percent of public school principals reported that their school enforced a strict dress code, an increase from 47 percent in 1999-2000.  As of 2009 in the United States, there are 21 states with public school systems requiring their students to wear uniforms. A case study from 1999 conducted in Long Beach, California showed that instituting a uniform policy greatly reduced violence and other issues in the school. Crimes, suspensions and sex offenses were all reduced by at least 90 percent and vandalism dropped by almost 70 percent.

8 Statistics Continued…  Schools in 21 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of uniform requirements.  Some cities have widespread uniform use in their public schools: o 95% of New Orleans’ public schools require uniforms o 85% of Cleveland’s public schools require uniforms o 80% of Chicago’s public schools require uniforms o 65% of Boston’s public schools require uniforms o 60% of Miami’s public schools require uniforms o 50% of Cincinnati’s public schools require uniforms  A case study of the effects of adopting school uniforms in Long Beach, CA which appeared in Psychology Today in September, 1999, reported the following effects from the switch to uniforms in 1995: o Overall, the crime rate dropped by 91% o School suspensions dropped by 90% o Sex offenses were reduced by 96% o Incidents of vandalism went down 69%

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