The most prevalent criticism leveled towards school uniforms is that they restrict students' freedom of expression. Many students who oppose school uniforms believe that when they lose their right to express themselves via fashion, they lose their sense of self-identity. Even the courts have chimed in on this. In a Canadian case called R. v. Sharpe, 1 S.C.R. 777, the court ruled that a student's right to free speech was violated by requiring him to wear a uniform.
In addition to limiting a student's ability to express himself or herself, some feel that forcing students to wear identical clothing inhibits social interaction between them. Some schools attempt to alleviate this problem by requiring students to purchase their own clothes, while others allow them to wear uniforms but allow them to choose what type of clothing they want to wear.
Uniforms have been criticized for creating a monotonous environment where students are given equal treatment and with limited opportunity for variation. This argument is often used by those who believe that having different types of clothing available for students to choose from promotes creativity in fashion.
Some also criticize school uniforms for being expensive. The cost of producing enough uniforms for all students at school can be high, especially since many schools require students to buy their own clothes. However, many countries with large immigrant populations require students to supply their own clothes, which reduces the overall cost of education for those schools.
Wearing a Uniform Restriction on Self-Expression Kids and teenagers utilize their clothing to express themselves and identify with specific social groupings.
The benefits of wearing a uniform include ease of care/washing (usually only one set of clothes is needed), equality of appearance (especially important for young people), and reduced costs (shopping in one place instead of multiple places). These are all valid reasons for requiring students to wear certain clothes. However many other factors may influence a student's decision whether or not to wear the uniform.
One argument against school uniforms is the belief that they restrict freedom of expression. But this is not true since students can express themselves by using accessories (such as hair colors, styles, and tattoos) or participating in non-school related activities (such as work or sports). Students who want to be able to express themselves more freely should avoid these activities or replace them with others that don't involve wearing a uniform.
In addition, some students may feel uncomfortable revealing certain body parts through attire. This can be especially relevant for young people who are active in sports or have tattoos. In cases like this, schools could provide an option of camouflage clothing to be worn during specific times or events.
School uniforms do not totally eliminate individuality. Students' personalities, which express who they are, are more significant than what they wear. When challenged with students from different schools, the uniform establishes the student's identify for a school identity in which they may take pride. Also, certain actions must be taken by parents to ensure that their children are not discriminated against because of their lack of conformity with respect to attire.
Uniforms are often associated with strictness and conservatism. This is not always true as many modern schools exhibit a great deal of diversity- including dress codes- but this aspect of uniforms makes them difficult to accept within certain communities.
Finally, uniforms can be expensive. Schools need to ensure that students from low-income families have access to them. Sometimes private companies will donate or sell clothes at reduced prices which allow even smaller businesses to offer uniforms for less money.
The next time you go shopping for your child, try to think about how a school uniform policy would fit into your lifestyle first before buying anything. You might find something else you needed/wanted!