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Tuck your shirt in and straighten your tie
Should school uniform be abolished?
Member Name: sn0zb0z
Should school uniform be abolished?
Advantages: Can prevent bullying and other problems
Disadvantages: The cost and quality of the uniforms
As a kid I always hated the school uniform. Then again, I hated most things about school, but that's a different topic. The topic of school uniforms has been around for years, usually with children saying it should be abolished and most parents being for wearing a uniform. There are of course many different things to consider.
Does uniform take away the children's identity? Does it bring everyone together by making them more equal? Does it stop bullying?
As much as I always hated the school uniform I don't believe it should be abolished, although I do think some uniforms should be improved.
When I was at school
School uniform got worse as I got older and changed schools. The first school uniform was a red jumper/cardigan, white shirt and grey skirt/trousers. At the age of about 5 the colour didn't really matter to me, or to any of the kids, and luckily a tie was optional so the school uniform was never really an issue. At primary school a tie had to be worn and this was when school uniform took its first steps to being worse. I don't remember them being strict about how the ties were, but they did often get in the way and when you're running around the playground the last thing you want is a tie to keep flying up.
Once at secondary school the uniforms got even worse. Previously, we'd been allowed to wear any coat we wished, but now we had to wear plain black coats. As before, we also had to wear ties and this school was stricter on how they should be. In registration we often had tie inspections (not that this stopped most people altering them once we left the classroom, but certain teachers would often force students to redo them while others didn't mind so long as you did the work).
The uniform was simple; black coats, black shoes, black trousers/skirts (grey was not acceptable), black jumper with the school logo on, red tie with the logo on, and a white shirt, which always had to be tucked in.
Wearing all black wasn't what bothered me, although I think it's safe to say that even as teenagers we all knew it wasn't a good uniform in winter when we all had to walk down a main road wearing all black when it was dark (in both the mornings and late afternoons). What bothered me was the jumper. It was fairly thin so I was always cold in winter and it was rather itchy. They were a decent quality, but a really horrible material. The jumpers have been changed slightly now, but they are still quite thin I believe and they are still black.
My view as a kid
I'd always worn a uniform for school and the idea of wearing a uniform didn't really bother me, it was the problems with the uniform itself (e.g. all black and uncomfortable and, of course, the ties) that bothered me. If the uniforms had been improved, even with just being allowed to wear a coat with some colour on and a non itchy jumper, then wearing one wouldn't have seemed so bad. As it was, I couldn't wait to change my clothes when I got home.
When at school or walking home did I want to feel part of that school or proudly show off which school I went to? Not in the slightest. I never really thought about it, but had I been asked I most certainly would have said no, just simply because I never liked school. It wasn't a bad school, far from it, and I was fine with all the subjects but I could think of better ways to spend my days and the idea of being part of sitting in a room all day with others working wasn't my idea of something I should be proud of.
What I loved was non uniform days. Sadly they didn't come around often enough, but when they did I was happy to even have one day without the annoying uniform. This brings me two common points I've heard. One, you lose your identity wearing a uniform and two, people get bullied over what they wear.
For the first, I think the school still treated us all as individuals. On the other hand, when I wasn't in uniform I felt I could be myself more. My clothes made me feel more comfortable and showed who I was, not because they were anything special like designer labels or really colourful and made me stand out, but simply because it was what I wanted to wear, not what I was forced to wear.
For the second, kids will always make comments about others, but I was never aware of anyone being bullied over clothing. Some people may have said the odd horrible comment first thing in the morning, but it was soon forgotten and I never heard or saw it leading to anything worse.
As a kid I would have been happier not to have a uniform, but for some things I was glad of it. I didn't have to think about what I was wearing in the morning and it made it so much better when I got home and changed as I could just forget about school.
My view now
I always knew school uniforms cost a lot, but that never bothered me as a kid as I was never buying it. I don't have children, but now I'm older I can understand how much of a struggle it can be for some parents to be able to afford to buy it.
I think the questions I mentioned at the start are very important things to consider, but I think there will always be good and bad points to uniform and a lot of it depends on not only the school but the children's upbringing and environment.
With or without school uniform there will always be bullying and while a uniform may make the children feel part of something and equal it's important that they are themselves and that there are other things to help bring everyone together.
Some say that many kids work better if they are in uniform. Personally, I worked just as hard either way. Perhaps some kids didn't work as hard when not in uniform, but then again we only had a few days a year where we had no uniform so it was something different. I imagine if it were like that everyday they wouldn't see it as something exciting and they'd work just as hard as they did when in uniform.
I think schools will always have their own ideas on whether or not they have a school uniform, no matter what people think. Rather than focusing so much on that and making clothing a big deal maybe it would be better to focus on how and what the children are being taught.
Whether or not you want to be part of the school, you are and the uniform is a way of showing that. Sure costs can be way too high, but you have to pay out for clothing either way and for certain items you can buy them cheaper if you shop around. Wearing a uniform means you always know what you will be wearing, which saves time every morning and in some schools may prevent bullying or people feeling upset over a comment made on an item of clothing.
Overall, I don't think school uniform should be abolished. I do, however, think that each school should look at their uniform and their policies to make sure their uniforms are suitable, comfortable, affordable and still allowing each child to be themselves.
Summary: Should school uniforms be kept or is it best to get rid of them?