After reading the comments that students and parents have posted about the proposed school uniforms, I have realized that most of the points made in opposition to the uniforms have been fueled by an emotional response.
I understand why some students are angry, but the purpose of the uniforms is to create a more learning-friendly environment and not to strip the students of their individuality and sense of personal expression.
There are many ways at SHS to express individuality beyond fashion. Students can express their individuality through sports, band, orchestra, choir or any of the many programs and groups offered at SHS. A person’s individuality comes from inside, not from their clothing. It’s their personality that makes them who they truly are, and not their choice of clothing. The fact that everyone will dress the same doesn’t mean that everyone will act the same.
The uniforms will be a way to try and promote better conduct and will teach students to think about themselves in light of their character and not by their attire.
As a student at Sandusky High School, I have come to see that some students have little regard for the school’s dress code. The fact some students choose to disobey the clearly defined dress code, and that it adds a burdensome load to the faculty to enforce it are some of the reasons uniforms should be implemented. There is no reason a student should come to school wearing pants that are too large to stay up, or a skirt that leaves little to the imagination.
Another point that needs to be made is that school is supposed to be a learning environment, not a fashion show. All students have a right to learn in school, and not to be distracted by the clothing worn by their peers. If everyone in school wore the same clothing, students would spend less time discussing the outfits of their fellow students and more time paying attention to their teachers.
Another benefit is that they would reduce the hassle that is involved in the preparation of going to school every morning. Many students spend a significant amount of time every day trying to pick out the outfit they will wear to school. This time could be more productively applied in a number of areas, such as getting to school on time and possibly even doing homework. Wearing a uniform to school every day will help students concentrate more on their studies and create a milieu more conducive to learning.
The most important reason I support the introduction of uniforms is safety. It would be very difficult for a student to hide a large weapon while wearing the clothes that the board has chosen. The fact that coats and book bags are not permitted in classes at SHS also discourages large weapons being brought into classrooms by students.
One other concern that was raised by many students opposing the uniforms was cost. The school board had suggested attire that could be bought very cheaply in stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Old Navy. Anyone can buy a good pair of Khakis from Goodwill for less than $5.
If treated properly, one or two pairs of khakis or polos would be enough to last the whole school week and then get washed during the weekend.
Overall the uniforms would be of great benefit to the school as a whole. It might take a while for the students to get used to wearing them every day but once all the students adjust to the new dress code, everything will run smoothly.