SeanPAune

menu
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.

HOLD IT!

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.



share tweet share



General Rants


Related:

  • Kai

    I’ve worn a school uniform from Kindergarten all the way to High School and then again in med school. I silently cursed the fashion-blind nun (my formative years were in a exclusive Catholic school) who decades ago must have sketched our white sailor-collared blouse and pleated black and white checkered skirt. The pristine white med school skirt and blouse are no better–probably worse. But I was actually more thankful for the school uniforms than my college years wearing casual clothes.

    1.) I don’t have to THINK about what I’m going to wear. I don’t have to look at my closet agonizing over mixing and matching clothes so no one would comment, “Hey, didn’t you wear that already this week?” Not that I did any agonizing in college either… I had a tendency to pull out whatever was on the top of the drawer so I ended up wearing the same three blouses/shirts a week unless someone reminded me to shuffle my clothes.

    2.) I don’t have to worry about messing up my uniform. Stain? Bleach it! Running, jumping, rolling–rampaging even… I never have to worry about ruining my favorite pair of jeans or dripping hot sauce on my new and expensive shirt.

    3.) I don’t understand how parents could complain about their children’s individuality… and you shouldn’t have stopped yourself from using Japan as an example. Those robots may wear uniforms but they’re (as Gwen Stefani sang) “as unique as DNA”… wearing a uniform doesn’t make you look like your seatmate. Accessorize… it’s not difficult to personalize a uniform especially if the kid’s creative.

    4.) It’s actually cheaper to buy uniforms for kids–especially if you get a lot of the fabrics required at a discount. My brother’s school imposed school uniforms for the incoming batch of high school freshmen after my brother graduated because his batch went to school every day looking like they practically wore their parents’ money from designer shades all the way to their limited edition designer shoes. It got so bad that their parents started complaining about the cost of their kids clothes just because “Bobby wants the same Tommy Hilfiger shirt Johnny wore yesterday… only he wants it in blue.”

    Personally I’m all for individuality… but you can have that even wearing a uniform a thousand other kids are wearing.

  • TOM UK

    This makes interesting reading. Over here in the UK most schools wear a uniform. There are of course pros and cons. I only wish the UK would get with it and allow different colours of shirts and trousers (pants) etc. Very few schools allow students in High schools in this Country to wear shorts in the hot summer weather. At leat in the US you are with it. Well done! Here in the UK we are still some what in the Victorian age.

  • Kai – Don’t get me wrong, I love the Japanese people, but I have heard many people say that they don’t feel using the Asian countries as an example works because they’re “robots”. I don’t agree with this statement at all, but I figured it saved some argument time.

    All four of your points are spot on as to why uniforms are a good idea, especially number four. It keeps the war of the wallets out of the mix, and one I think everyone has experienced. School is a place for learning, not for a make-shift fashion show.

    Now, if someone would just do math for these stubborn parents.

  • TOM UK – I could see the inclusion of shorts (say, khaki colored cargo shorts), but otherwise, yeah, uniforms do have cons, but a heck of a lot of pros also. I think each area has to weight them for themselves, but for parents to “sue” just seems silly to me.

  • TOM UK

    Thanks for that. I have seen a lot of research on the internet regarding school uniforms. As far as the cost of a uniform is concerned. Parents/carers would have to go out and purchase clothes for school any way. However, we in the UK seem to have a set uniform for everyone. This could be a simple polo shirt and black trousers. The girls normally have a choice of a skirt or trousers. The other type is shirt, tie black trousers, black shoes and a blazer. A blazer is a form of jacket. In the winter students will ome time wear av necked sweater. However, very few schools as far as I know allow students to wear shorts in theSummer.
    As you say they could be uniform shorts. But we are very much in the DARK AGES OVER IN THE UK.
    HAVE A NIE DAY!
    TOM UK

  • TOM UK

    NEED TO ADDRESS SPELLING

  • TOM UK

    Thanks for that. I have seen a lot of research on the internet regarding school uniforms. As far as the cost of a uniform is concerned. Parents/carers would have to go out and purchase clothes for school any way. However, we in the UK seem to have a set uniform for everyone. This could be a simple polo shirt and black trousers. The girls normally have a choice of a skirt or trousers. The other type is shirt, tie black trousers, black shoes and a blazer. A blazer is a form of jacket. In the winter, students will some time wear a v necked sweater. However, very few schools as far as I know allow students to wear shorts in the Summer.
    As you say they could be uniform shorts. But we are very much in the DARK AGES OVER IN THE UK.
    HAVE A NIE DAY!
    TOM UK

  • Tom – Exactly, parents/care givers have to buy clothes anyway, and this is a far cheaper alternative in the long run. Like Kai said, if you spill something on a uniform, big deal; spill something on your best jeans, major crisis. And gee, when your kid, where did you pick up the majority of clothes stains? Where you spent the majority of your time!

    The UK may be in the “dark ages”, but over here, we’re stubborn SOBs at times.

  • Pingback: backlisten » Blog Archive » School Uniforms Redux()

  • Pingback: SeanPAune.com » Blog Archive » School Administrator’s Wife Calls Students “Snotty Nosed Brats”()

  • t0pn0tchb0ss

    wrong answer buddy. its a major crisis if you spill something on your uniform cause you gotta wear that crap everyday