August 6 2007

School Uniforms Redux

School UniformsBack in August of 2005, I did an entry on school uniforms and their pros & cons. Funny how things come full circle again.

There was a news story on AOL today about how parents are suing their school districts over the enforcing of school uniforms. Their argument, per usual, is that it kills “individuality”. That it violates their constitutional rights. That it’s their job to teach their children what is and isn’t appropiate attire for school.


Parents finally calling what they do “a job”?!? Color me surprised. You know why they are saying us don’t you? I mean, as opposed to when they seem to take no responsability in child predators preying on their children because they’re too lazy to police their computer usage.

This costs money.

Yep, it’s all about money. Sure, they can try to coat it in the idea it’s about protecting their kids rights, but seriously, when ever a student gets robbed for a pair of sneakers, what do people cry out about? “Oh the schools should have protected our children!” So, the schools try to protect their children by standardizing their clothes, and families decide the way to react is to sue.

As I said back in my original entry:

On the flip side, there are the people who say it kills a student’s individuality, takes away their freedom. My question is, “How?” How is this any different than wearing a uniform to work at a fast food restaurant? Do you get a job at “Jon’s Greasy Burgers” and say “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t wear this uniform, it kills my free spirit.” Do you think you can get a job at a place in the mall and not follow their dress code? Nope. School is your first job, no matter what anyone says to the contrary. And there are ways to play inside of school uniform rules, creating a unique look without violating the rules.

I still stand by this. Why is this any different than a job? It’s not. School is merely a non-paying job, but it is still a job.  You have to buy uniforms for work in most cases, and don’t forget, unless your kids are going to school naked, you have to buy them school clothes anyway.

Really, I covered all of this back in the original post, and I do encourage you go and read it, but I still stand by everything I said. One thing I will stress more and add now is check out the Wikipedia entry on school uniforms. Why is it a country like England has no problem with this? (I’ll skip bringing up countries like Japan because I know I’ll get the “they’re all robots!” argument.) England, the country that gave birth to this one, has no problem with school uniforms, not to mention countries like Australia and New Zealand, so this isn’t something regulated to robot-like group think countries (I’m not calling them that, but I have heard them called such), this is also first world, industrialized nations.

I swear we things here sometimes just to be able to say “Well, that’s now how WE do it!” Shall I bring up the metric system? Do you have any clue how annoying it is not knowing the metric system fluently when I travel abroad? Yes, I am trying to teach it to myself, but I have the other system so ingrained, it’s difficult to overcome.

But, I digress, this is not the end of the world folks, and I go back to another line I said in my original post:

Folks, why don’t we try the wild concept of improving your inner being, and not being so concerned with your outer appearance?

School Uniforms poll resultsHow about it folks? Shall we teach our children that not everything can be handled through the already over-burdened judicial system? Don’t the courts have better things to worry about than if little Jimmy has to wear a polo shirt?

And the funniest bit about this?  On the AOL story they have a poll about this subject, and while admittedly not a scientific poll, the results are pretty over-whelming that, hey, the majority of people think this is a good idea, but, as usual, there are whiners in every crowd.

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