Dear Superintendent Dr Graham of Sachem School District
I am writing to you today to discuss the topic of school uniforms, and why I think that you and whoever else you may discuss this with should consider having them for the district. Most public schools do not have uniforms, but I believe if we do, it will be a change for the better. Uniforms are not only good for the district in general, but also for the students who attend. Students and even most parents don't agree with the enforcement of school uniforms, because they believe they are too expensive, it takes away from their self-expression, and it makes all students look the same. Although these could be true, I believe that there are many other solutions and pros for enforcing uniforms and that their arguments can be turned into a positive view on them. Despite that there are still arguments about it; school uniforms have increasingly demonstrated their importance and influence in many ways. Students should have to wear uniforms because they are not as expensive as people think, they can still have other ways to express themselves, and dressing the same isn’t as bad as people think. It decreases bullying, social pressure, and lets the school be more aware of who doesn’t belong.
The first main issue that mainly parents are worried about is the cost of the uniforms. Parents think that they are way too expensive and don’t want to keep giving more money to the school. From the website writetheworld.com, it was stated that “The main reason I think schools shouldn’t have uniforms is that they are expensive. Schools already take half your money for your child to learn there, but they take more for your child just to wear certain things”. I understand that it can be annoying to make parents pay more money to the school just to wear specific clothing, but uniforms are cheaper in the long run. Instead of having to buy a whole new wardrobe every season, or enough clothes to make sure you have enough new outfits to make it through the week, you can just buy a couple of items for the uniform. This will save you time and money with not having to worry about all the outfits you need to pick out. From the website school-uniforms.procon.com, there was a reported study that showed that uniforms cost parents $128.79 per outfit, while out of school outfits averaged at about $165.79 per outfit. You can see that uniforms are much cheaper than regular, everyday clothes that kids normally wear to school. The website also mentioned how, “Without school uniform policies, parents may feel pressured to compete with other families by purchasing fashionable clothes for their children” (ProCon.org). People these days always feel like they are in competition for who has the “nicest” quality clothes or have clothes from popular, expensive stores. Not having to worry about getting the latest fashion trends and wanting your child to be best dressed will cause parents to spend less money on clothing for their children to wear to school.
The next argument that students and parents usually have to go against uniforms is that they restrict students' freedom of expression. Being required to wear the same thing every day and the same thing as everyone else has people against the enforcement of uniforms. “When schools make students wear the same things everyone else does, they can’t be themselves and they cant express themselves in any way” (writetheworld.com). I can see why people would say this since clothing is a really good way to show your style and who you are, however, there are multiple other ways to show off those features. This could be done through other articles of clothing, or not even clothing at all. Students can express their individuality in school uniforms by introducing variations and adding accessories. The article mentioned that students can still add their style to uniforms, like including hairstyle options and accessories, nail polish, what backpack they carry, and adding on colorful accessories such as satchels, scarves, and socks (ProCon.org). Students can turn uniforms into their style without breaking the dress code. Just because the students can't wear the most fashionable pair of jeans doesn’t mean that the schools are restricting their rights of freedom and self-expression. School is for learning. We don’t want students focused on what everyone is wearing while they are in classes, we want them to learn. Outside of school, the students can wear and express themselves any way they want to. But as it goes for in school hours, don’t you want your students focused on their education, and not what themselves or everyone else is wearing? Introducing school uniforms can easily solve this problem.
The last argument that people make is that they don’t want to be looking just like everyone else. But, looking the same as everyone else can be a really good thing, in multiple ways. Bullying is a huge problem throughout schools, and what type of clothing kids are wearing is a big part of it. Whether their clothing is old and out of date, or if a kid wears the same outfit all the time, kids are always going to find a way to pick on someone for what they choose to wear. But, if all the students were wearing the same proper uniform, no one can get picked on for what they are wearing. Researchers stated that “...all the kids are on an even playing field in terms of their appearance. I think it probably gives them a sense of belonging and being socially accepted” (ProCon.org). I know school is supposed to be where you make your friend groups, and branch out and find the people you click with, but sometimes kids are left out and not even spoken to just because of what they are wearing. Having students all look the same can prevent kids from judging others right off the start just by their clothing choice. Just because someone isn’t wearing clothing that you don’t like doesn't mean that they automatically shouldn't talk or be friends with them. Having uniforms can prevent that problem easily. Another reason why having everyone dressed the same is a good thing is because it can give the school a sense of who or what doesn’t belong there. Safety is something parents are always thinking about. An article mentioned that,
Keeping weapons out of schools is a major concern to faculty, parents, and students. One of the best advantages of a school uniform is that it helps prevent just that. Without proper security measures in place, a student could very easily bring weapons into the school hidden beneath baggy clothing. A uniform policy would help to prevent this. (ossi-usa.com)
If there's a way to even have a slight chance of decreasing the risk of shooting or violence in school, I think schools should do so, and the obvious answer to that is to enforce uniforms. To continue the conversation of safety, having everyone in the school dressed the same can make it easier to identify who is an intruder or who security should keep an eye on. “Besides identifying students, schools can identify intruders as those who aren’t wearing uniforms. This makes it easier to remove intruders and keep students safe” (Macaluso). As I mentioned before, safety is obviously a huge concern and problem in schools, so having the opportunity to easily identify if someone does not belong in the area to decrease those changes can be done, then it should be, and making the students wear uniforms can do so. Another reason as to why having all students wear the same thing is a good idea for the school is because it enhances school pride, unity, and community spirit. A peer-reviewed study found that after uniforms were introduced, “Teachers received an increase in the level of respect, caring and trust throughout the school”, and “students are made to feel important and as if they are part of a team by wearing a uniform” (ProCon.org). Knowing that you have students and faculty all around who are all waking up and putting on the same outfit can be a huge benefit for helping kids feel like they belong and that they have someone to talk to. It won’t make them nervous to go up to talk to anyone around them.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that there are many benefits to school uniforms and enforcing them into the school district will solve so many problems that go on now. The arguments people make against uniforms all make sense, but I believe that they are not the strongest and there are many solutions to what they are complaining about. Uniforms have so many more benefits than they do drawbacks. People assume that buying uniforms will be costing them more money, but the normal wardrobe is more expensive. Also, people are worried that uniforms will restrict their chance of self-expression. Although students can’t pick out the outfit they want to wear to school, they can always add on accessories and other clothing to show off their creativity in school. And finally, wearing the same thing as everyone else isn’t as bad as everyone thinks. There are a bunch of different reasons as to why looking the same is a good thing. It gives students a sense of belonging and being accepted, it restricts any student from carrying a weapon, and helps identify if there is an intruder, making the school area much safer, and it enhances the student's confidence, unity, and respect to others. I hope after reading this you can change your mind and reconsider enforcing uniforms in the Sachem School District.
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