School uniforms holding back self-expression

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School uniforms are holding students back from self-expression and in some schools, are displayed as sexist. The solution? Maybe throw the idea out the window.

What is the purpose of public school uniforms? According to greatschools.org, one of the central pros for issuing school uniforms is to teach discipline. If that’s the case, what exactly does it help? Honestly, the only thing it seems to be doing is restricting students from expressing themselves. Not all students act out of line, so why “discipline” all students in a school by forcing them to wear uniforms?

Uniforms are also said to be helpful in helping students battle against peer pressure to wear trendy clothes. However, uniforms only place financial burdens on families who may already be struggling with providing clothes for their children or who are essentially struggling in general. Uniforms can be pricey, especially when the school wants students to have specific styles or colors.

If schools are worried about students being bullied or given a hard time for the way they dress or look, uniforms are merely a flimsy solution to the real issue. Uniforms aren’t going to solve the problem of school violence and bullying. Restricting students more and more by smothering their freedoms isn’t a solution. It’s a shrewd attempt at control and security.

There are even sexist uniforms enforced at some schools. While boys are usually made to wear polos and khakis, girls are sometimes made to wear skirts instead of having the option of choosing whether they wish to wear pants or skirts. Sure, the uniforms can be cute, but the students should be able to decide if they are comfortable to wear skirts or not and should be allowed to wear pants if they are not.

Taking away students’ freedoms of self-expression can have very negative effects. A school is a place where people often discover who they are and show others who they are or want to be. As students grow, they try to find a sense of who they are.

School can be tough as it is. If students are unable to experiment with themselves and display their creativity and personas, what makes them stand out? What makes them feel unique and recognize each other as different individuals? How are students to retain open-mindedness when self-expression is blotted out?

Perhaps to college students, this issue isn’t very important. However, we were all once young kids trying to discover ourselves. And I’m sure everyone knows a kid or student who shines brightly in their own way, a light that should be shown to everyone and shouldn’t be repressed for the sake of discipline or security.

If school uniforms must exist, make them necessary for special occasions, but don’t hold people back from standing out and being unique.

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