Are school uniforms helpful for students?

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, about 20 percent of U.S. schools require students to wear uniforms. While kids may not be fans of these strict dress codes, parents and schools are finding that they're beneficial in some ways. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of uniforms in case your school opts to implement a uniform policy for your children.

Uniforms can remove distractions from schools. Instead of focusing on what one another are wearing, students can better pay attention to their coursework. Another positive for parents is that their children will be able to get ready for class in a jiffy. Since students have limited clothing options to wear to school, they simply grab whatever is clean and head out the door. At the age when girls and boys begin looking at one another as potential crushes, having uniforms can limit the attraction distractions. These outfits typically consist of button-up shirts, ties and pants or skirts that must be a certain hem length.

For many families, having a specific dress code can prove beneficial financially because students can only wear specific things and don't need to buy new clothes every year just to stay in fashion. It's also important to note, school intruders can be a concern, and having uniforms for the children can make spotting someone who is out of place much easier. In some places, uniforms can actually increase student attendance because kids have something to wear. These dress codes can also relieve any tension or issues that may arise from students being able to identify one another's socioeconomic status by the way he or she dresses. 

Uniforms don't allow for much individualism. Students who want to dress creatively have to rein in their desires during the school day but can quickly change into street clothes once they return home. Some say that uniforms prevent students from using their rights to freedom of expression. Families who do not have the funds to buy special clothing may experience trouble when their kids show up to school with the same clothing as last year that is now ill-fitting because their children have grown.

It can be difficult to get kids to stick to uniforms, especially if the student body is large. Some parents wonder if it's worth wasting time enforcing strict dress code rules when there may be more important problems to address. Public schools who require students to wear a uniform may face backlash from families. Because this schooling is free due to taxes, parents may not want to have their kids in uniform as it's an added expense they don't believe in or cannot afford. 

If your school is considering having students wear uniforms, they will look at these and other positives and negatives. Parents and the community may have a say in this big decision also, so keep an eye out for meetings that you can attend to voice your opinion. 

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