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The Debate Regarding School Uniforms

The debate regarding school uniforms for public schools has been going on for a long time. The positive impact of school uniforms is backed by court cases as well.

Two students of Phoenix Elementary School refused to oblige when school authorities made it compulsory for all students to follow a dress code. Parents of these students informed school authorities of their children’s refusal to accept this policy since it violated their First Amendment rights. The children were then transferred to another school in the district. However this decision was challenged in the court of law. The court found that dress code policy did not violate students’ First Amendment rights. The court found many reasons to support its decision in favor of the policy citing it as an instrument for “reducing distractions to learning, increasing campus safety and security, fostering school unity and pride, and leveling socioeconomic barriers (by eliminating "label competition," for example).”

A majority of School boards on the other hand have supported and recommended the uniform dress codes.  In my personal opinion wearing uniforms is the friendlier option. It allows students to compete in healthier areas such as sports, writing, elocution, debates etc instead of designer labels. While it promotes equality, what even more significant is the development of a friendlier environment that results from lower competition in this arena. Whether a child can afford designer labels should never be a concern at this early in life and at a time when a student needs support from peers. The competition that we see at schools today is primarily based on clothes a student wears to school. The more expensive, the better is the unspoken rule. However this also results in severe inferiority complex in those who cannot compete because of their parents’ financial limitations. Schools uniforms do not violate personal freedom or choice. They give every person a chance to be on the same platform and removes disparities thus giving everyone equal opportunity to express themselves.

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