Toy Soldiers Ever since the beginning of time people have been dressing in ways that describe their cultural background, social status, and sometimes even their religion. I do not see why this deep tradition should be changed, throwing children of different backgrounds all into the same unifying clothing. I did not go to a school where I had to wear a uniform, so I do not exactly have a firsthand idea of what it would be like to wear one. I do know though, that I would feel uncomfortable. The way I dress is something that I take pride in and put effort into.
That might sound corny, or strange, but I really do not give a damn! I enjoy looking good, everybody does, however not everybody will admit it. As a senior in high school I was voted best dressed, a huge accomplishment if you went to the school that I did. All of my friends, all of the girls that I was interested in, and even most of the teachers dressed with a certain passion, the passion to impress others with their outward appearance. While reading a recent article in the Chicago Tribune by Lauren Waters, I found that Dr. Harold Goldstein held the same opinions on the subject of school uniforms as I do. Dr.
Goldstein is the school superintendent of the Bethlehem Trinity Lutheran School System, in Poughkeepsie, NY. Dr. Goldstein was asked to make a speech for the National Reading Council on the topic of school uniforms, in the article he was quoted as saying: “In all of the fifteen years I have been teaching, I have never seen a school that resembles an institution atmosphere as much as the B.T.L.S.S. At first we believed that the school uniform would improve academics and increase order in the classroom, but in reality, we now have an UN-spirited group of children who no longer enjoy attending their own school”(Waters, 121). In this case, the school not only had a decrease in academics, it was turned into an almost drone like atmosphere. I feel that if school uniforms were implemented, this passion and desire to look good would be diminished. I mean, how much control can you possibly have with your appearance, when you are told what to wear.
Originality is something that would also be destroyed. There would be no more trend setters, or fashion experimentation. Thus, style would come to a complete halt! Now I know that I am making this all sound very dramatic, but I am trying to make a point here. Also, as I said in the introduction, many people dress in affiliation with their religion or culture. If school uniforms were brought into effect, what would happen to the Jewish kids that had to wear a Yamalka? Could Muslim children wear head wraps, or could Christians even wear crosses? This is another problem that would arise. Christopher Bishop, a writer for Time Magazine, researched the idea of having school uniforms in several Texas public schools. Bishop found the biggest problem was for the children of the Middle East, who were unable to wear their traditional wraps and cultural robes. “..in most cases the children were forced to just up and change schools, and move to different community”(Bishop, 77).
Kids would always be trying to squeeze a little more freedom out of the system. Where do you draw the line? What is wrong with kids dressing in all black with fishnet stalking on their arms? In my opinion, nothing, it is just different. Let kids express themselves. Let the Indians wear their full body sheets, and the cowboys wear their oversized belt buckles. The childs clothing is not whats causing the problem; it is their upbringing.
The final problem that I see with school uniforms, or atlas the last one I can think of, is money. I do not have the faintest idea how some people can see school uniforms as being cheaper. It is not like the kids are going to wear those ugly things everywhere. What kind of social leper is going to wear blue trousers and penny loafers to play ball on the weekend? Parents are still going to have to fork out money for regular clothes. Also, what happens when an article of the uniform gets ripped, torn, or stained? There goes a bunch more money for replacements.
In a recent pole taken in New York of 1,000 parents who had to wear school uniforms in the past and are now faced with dilemma of sending their children to school that has uniforms, 78% said that they would not be in favor of putting their kids in uniforms. The biggest reason was found to be because of money problems. I can see how some people would vote for school uniforms, but I still do not think it would be an intelligent choice. The negatives brought on by having school uniforms outweigh positives by far. Why do we feel this need to make everybody look the same, we are not, and in many ways. Leave the uniform to the military, not the classroom.