Should School Uniforms Be Required?

How mandatory school uniforms could benefit high school students.


No fancy brand, absolutely no “out of the ordinary” details. Just slap a school logo on that uniform! (Alibaba)

Matthew Graves, Staff Writer

There is an interesting debate about whether school uniforms should be required. School uniforms used to be a thing of the past. It was widespread in many school districts. However, should mandatory school uniforms be introduced back?

Here is an interesting point of view – school uniforms bring a sense of pride to students. Students with that sense of pride are more likely to participate in school activities. These school activities can include sports, clubs, and even engaging in class participation. When a student participates a lot in a class, it shows that the student is interested in that subject, but it also shows that the student has a sense of pride to participate in school. That ‘sense of pride’ is necessary for many students to express themselves and feel comfortable in the classroom environment.

Should all schools go to wearing uniforms, or should districts have the right to choose? (Time)

Some studies show only 19% of public schools required students to wear uniforms. These schools that had mandatory uniforms reported decreased student crime rates and a steep decline in disciplinary issues after the uniform policy was introduced. This led a few other schools to start using uniforms as well.

When school uniforms are required for students, it can prevent crime from happening and gain student safety.

Research suggests school uniforms keep students focused on their education, not their clothes. The National Association of Secondary School Principals states; “When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork.”

I think this statement is true and also applies to the idea of students dressing to impress. There is no dressing to ‘impress’ when all students are wearing the same uniform. 

Just a pair of clothes that students wear on a daily basis. (Surviving A Teacher’s Salary)

School uniforms intentionally create a level playing field among various students. Ultimately, this reduces peer pressure as well. When all students in high school are dressed the same, competition between students over clothing choices and the teasing of others who are dressed in less fashionable outfits can be rid of.

Research by the Schoolwear Association found that 83% of teachers thought “a good school uniform… could prevent bullying based on appearance or economic background.” When students are on the same ‘level playing field’, it could give certain students a better sense of belonging and make them more willing to participate in several activities.

Referring to my previous point, wearing school uniforms enhances school pride, unity, and community spirit. Having a positive, happy community of students, comes with good attendance rates. In schools where uniform policies are enforced, students could be more disciplined and listen significantly better to their teachers. This alludes to the fact of better student participation with mandatory school uniforms. (I think this depends specifically on the type of school this applies to, but it’s an intriguing perspective to consider.)

Kids don’t worry about looking different, and this distracts from social inequalities (Boston Globe)

Uniform policies save class time for teachers because they are generally easier to enforce than standard dress codes. If students don’t typically follow the dress code in a public school, they could spend time in the office because they were not fulfilling the dress code. When students spend time in the office explaining what they did wrong, that is time away from learning in the classroom.

Also, an important thing to note is that student who spent time in the office for a dress code violation now have to make up work done in class or collect notes from their peers to catch up. Dress code violations can cause more problems than solutions in this case.

Mandatory school uniforms make getting ready for school easier, which can improve preparation and steadiness. When uniforms are required, students (even their parents) are not spending time choosing appropriate outfits for the school day. Specifically, school uniforms can save money. Parents can reduce their financial burden when their children are limited to the same school uniform each and every day. Without school uniform policies, parents may feel pressure to compete with other families by purchasing fashionable/expensive clothes for their kids.

When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork.”

The fact of the matter is that most parents and educators support mandatory school uniforms. Studies found that a majority of school leaders believe their school uniform or formal dress code policies have had a positive impact on classroom discipline (85%), the school’s image in the community (83%), student safety (79%), school pride (77%), and student achievement (64%). Students dressed in uniforms are better perceived by teachers and their peers. There is research to back this claim stating: “…students in uniform were perceived by teachers and fellow students as being more academically proficient than students in regular clothes.”

I think mandatory student uniforms could be beneficial for many public school districts across the country, and they introduce a wide range of perspectives. There are many ways to think about this particular topic, and many pros and cons are valid.

This poll has ended.

Should Sutton Public Schools students be required to wear uniforms?


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