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After a discussion one morning with my daughter who cited that some of the students in her leadership group for the school are attempting to request student uniforms be adapted into our local public school system, I found myself wondering how I would feel if my children were required to wear a certain uniform each day of their attendance in public school. As a way to help me decipher my opinion, I took to the Internet to do some research, what I found is that most studies show a positive change in school as a whole; attendance increases, parental satisfaction increases, grades increase, all positives with a change to students being required to wear a uniform. I think that is wonderful, however, I still have issues with having a student uniform being required in public school systems – for one if I wanted my kids to be clones wearing the same outfit as everyone else; I would have worked my butt off to place them in a private school. There is more to my feelings on the subject of school uniforms than just the thought of public versus private schools and so I felt a blog post was worth my time and allow others to chime in so that I can be slightly more educated on this topic.
My first response to my daughter who seemed rather agitated with the idea of school uniforms was to talk about how she felt about this idea, after all she is a part of the student leadership team and if she is going to debate this topic, well she should be able to practice debating with Mom – a comfortable person she knows unconditionally loves her. In preparation for our debate or quick conversation, she cited she was against the school uniforms, at least to some extent, the reason being; their school system already has a dress code in effect, according to my daughter there is only a handful, if that, of students who will occasionally come to school wearing a spaghetti strap tank top which is not allowed or maybe the occasional flip flops which are also not allowed. Usually students who are wearing something that is not up to par with dress code for school is because they forgot according to Kiara or maybe they were never told, as the school only reminds the children and parents of dress code at the beginning of school year then again towards close of school year.
The solution, as discussed by my daughter and I were to have the school be better about enforcing their dress codes. Sure after the student has arrived at school their parents may not be available to come get their child to change their wardrobe and this being an elementary school at this point, the student should be told and given warning. A parent should be called to inform them of the dress code as a reminder and let them know their child came to school without being properly dressed for school based on the dress code put forth in student handbook. Personally, keeping up with the dress code is a simple matter of teachers and other administrative officials of the school to pay a little more attention to sticking with what is within the dress code rules. I get that they are busy with teaching, but how hard is it to simply note that “so and so” came to school improperly dressed for school and send a note home later in the day or bring it to the principal’s attention? If more worked together, meaning both teachers and parents, to enforce the dress code in place, eventually it would come second nature to the officials at school to enforce it and students to line up their clothing choices based on this enforced dress code.
For me, I suppose having a child in public school means that I am allowing my child to have more choice in becoming a unique individual versus those children who grow up in a very strict schooling environment where their freedom to become their own person isn’t really pushed. I understand education is extremely important, which is fine. I have two honor roll/high honor students who are only in first and fifth grade right now. I get the need for education and I bet my third child will also follow suit at public school with his older two siblings as far as grades go. That is due to parenting, and being involved with my children’s schooling. Any parent can have that success if they are working hand in hand with the school system; be it public or private or home schooled.
The reason I am against school uniforms is quite simply because of the type of parent I am; I fully believe in allowing children to express their own unique self in a positive way. Children do not have much to express themselves with at their ages because they are truly limited in some areas, such as not being a legal adult yet. Children who can express their own individuality and unique personality and skills within the clothes their wear or even make themselves, tend to not rebel as they get older. I personally have seen first hand with myself and other kids who grew up with various strict rules who just did nothing but rebel the moment they left to become an adult. I would much rather walk into a school seeing kids in their own different clothing choices, that still fit within the dress code of the school system, but shows that the kids are at least able to have some control over something in their life.
These days it’s so important to teach our kids the sense of self worth, self appreciation and the simple fact that not everyone is the same. If you place school uniforms into a public school system, then are you not trying to create clones in a way? Sure, clones may be a far stretch for the reality of what school uniforms are, but in my opinion I feel that children should be encouraged to exhibit their own self, learn who they are, what they love about themselves and what it is that makes them happy inside. If you enforce school uniforms upon children then you are only taking away that small part of individuality they have some control over, if you take that away, what else do they have but to rebel and look for other outlets that may not be as acceptable and safe as dealing with a simple fashion choice.