The Pros & Cons of School Uniforms: Moms Weigh In
On the surface, it seems like school uniforms shouldn't be that controversial a subject. We're only talking about clothes, after all, right? But uniforms are actually an extremely polarizing topic and have led to many a heated argument among parents and school-age children alike.
It all comes down for what's best for the kids. But should kids really be required to wear the same thing to school every day? Should they never be allowed to don an outfit — any outfit — of their choosing during the week? We've broken down this decades-old debate so you can hear both sides and weigh in yourself.
Here are the pros and cons of school uniforms — and how four moms really feel about the issue.
Pros of school uniforms
- Students experience less pressure in deciding what to wear each morning, which leads to taking less time to get ready.
- Uniforms cost less than designer clothes or high-end brands, which saves some parents money since those aren't options for school.
- Student attendance is likely to improve if students wear uniforms.
- Uniforms encourage discipline.
- Without comparing their outfits to other kids' fashions, children are free to concentrate on lessons.
- Uniforms are correlated with a reduction of violence in schools.
- With uniforms, there's decrease in peer pressure to wear trendier (and more expensive) brands.
- Wearing uniforms enhances school pride, unity and community.
- School intruders are more easily identified in a school of uniformed children.
Former President Bill Clinton is perhaps the most famous and influential advocate of school uniforms. "If it means that the schoolrooms will be more orderly and more disciplined and that our young people will learn to evaluate themselves by what they are on the inside instead of what they're wearing on the outside, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear uniforms," he said in a March 1996 speech.
Next: Cons of school uniforms
A version of this article was originally published in July 2009.