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Should public schools require uniforms? - Page 4

post #61 of 140

I find the concern over individual expression to be.... interesting.  My dc are pretty creative with their clothes. Their closets are full of clothes that they have  deconstructed/reconstructed and sewn, patched, dyed, stenciled and otherwise embellished to ensure that they wear one-of-a-kind items. There is a shelf in the bathroom devoted to hair dye with a full colour spectrum from bright pink to deep purple. Yet, they didn't make any fuss about wearing uniforms. As I wrote upthread, they were not enthusiastic about it but they recognized that there were a few advantages and made the best of the situation. 

 

In some ways, I think wearing the school uniforms made it easier for them as they moved into various situations entering young adulthood. DD wears a uniform for her volunteer work at the local zoo. DS works in a retail shop and is expected to dress to a certain standard. They can adapt as necessary for whatever environment they find themselves in. Since they are both performers at heart, I wonder if they approach uniforms and dress codes as akin to costumes and camouflage. All I know is that I'm actually grateful that I don't have to listen continuously to grizzling about clothes. They wear what they need to wear and get on with their day. 

post #62 of 140

My own children go to Catholic school and wear unifroms; in elementary school, we had a uniform swap. I never had to buy girls' stuff because we would just trade up a size. I always had to buy pants for my son because the boys always wear out the knees. In high school, I still buy pants for my son because he keeps growing! I spent about $450 on my daughters' uniforms when they entered 8th grade. The skirts are wrap arounds with moveable buttons and the hems are huge and can be let out. We buy the sweater and blazers large to last. My oldest just started 10th grade and hasn't needed anything. If it lasts her until she graduates, it will be money well spent. FTR, they love the uniforms.

 

I teach at a school that has a dress code; we also have uniforms that kids can get for free if they need it. I wish we just had a straight up uniform; the dress code invites too many problems regarding teacher inconsistencies- not everyone knows what jeggings look like (they're not allowed, but frequently worn.) I would LOVE a teacher uniform.

post #63 of 140
Quote:

Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

I did like being able to identify students when we were traveling around because the uniforms were so recognizable. I think it tended to minimize some of the "highjinks" that kids get up to on public transit or in other public spaces.

 

The school I work at gives each child and teacher a school T-shirt at the beginning of the year, and it is worn on field trips for this very reason. We also all wear them on Friday for "spirit."

 

There is another security benefit to the school uniform. In the city we live in now, a few public schools have instituted a uniform. Some of them are in the dodgiest part of town. Part of the reason for uniforms is to make trespassing non-students easily identifiable. 

 

One of the schools I interviewed at has all staff/employees wear polos that have the school logo on them to make it VERY obvious which adults belong on campus and who should be wearing a visitor badge. Some campuses in our city are locked during the day, and most junior and highschools require all students wear a photo ID around their neck at all times. 

 

When this topic arises, I always mention that IMO, it's really only fair and reasonable if the faculty and staff also wear uniforms as well, like airlines or banks. That idea always goes over like a lead balloon  orngtongue.gif.   

 

I don't believe the rules need to be the same for faculty and students. I don't even see why any one would think that -- but I work with 5 year olds and kids with special needs and I have much better judgment than them. Why do you think I need the same rules as a 5 year old?  headscratch.gif

 

None the less, I really wouldn't have a problem with a reasonable uniform. I quite enjoy our Friday matching T-shirt day.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

To be fair, she called their dress "slutty", not them, and put the word in quotes, and included herself in the label. Not the word I would have used, but I take her point.

 

Miranda

 

 

Agreed. Also, seeing the way many of the girls in high school with my DD dress, I'm at a loss for a polite term to describe it. See through shirts over brightly colored bras, paired with shorts that almost cover the butt checks. What is a nice, sex positive word for that? Honestly, some of the girls are dressed such that if they needed to earn money by dancing on tables, they are set. It's really been the biggest shock of the big public highschool. Awesome academics, half naked teen girls. I feel sorry for the boys - I've no idea how they concentrate.

 

I'm very liberal, but I find many current fashions to be tacky and demeaning to woman.

 

I think it would helpful for my DD's school to make a stricter dress code and enforce it, or go to uniforms.

 

At the school I work at, uniforms would be difficult because most of our families are living in poverty. I can see real benefits of uniforms for our population, but I can't see that requiring families pay for them would be reasonable nor do I think it would be the best use of our funds. There are so many other things that are more important.

post #64 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

When this topic arises, I always mention that IMO, it's really only fair and reasonable if the faculty and staff also wear uniforms as well, like airlines or banks. That idea always goes over like a lead balloon  orngtongue.gif.   

 

I don't believe the rules need to be the same for faculty and students. I don't even see why any one would think that -- but I work with 5 year olds and kids with special needs and I have much better judgment than them. Why do you think I need the same rules as a 5 year old?  headscratch.gif

 

None the less, I really wouldn't have a problem with a reasonable uniform. I quite enjoy our Friday matching T-shirt day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, you may have better judgement, but there are teachers who don't  smile.gif. Any complaint about student's dress applies to a lot of teachers who should also know better - inappropriate dress, too revealing, poor hygiene, just plain ugly - I've seen it all. 

 

Why have the same rules? Because I prefer to avoid institutionalized discrimination based on age and nothing else. 

 

What argument exists that says it's okay to have one rule for one set of people who belong to an organization and another rule for a different set of people? 

 

IMO, any rationale for school uniforms can be applied equally to faculty and staff. If students are expected be proud to wear their school's insignia and colours and be identified with the institution, then adults also can be proud to do so. If uniforms provide security because they make it easy to identify who belongs and who is visiting, that's true for everyone on campus. If students need to wear a uniform to promote appropriate dress and avoid fashion crimes, well, so do lots of teachers and staff. The convenience factor - getting up in the morning and knowing what you are going to wear - applies no matter what age you are. 

 

Janitorial staff in our school district wear a uniform. I've never understand why they are expected to be in uniform but the office ladies aren't. If all of the support workers are in uniform, then why aren't the faculty too? There's a level of casual discrimination happening here that goes unchallenged based on nothing more than "that's the way it's always been". 

 

Not really interested in arguing about it. I know it's just my opinion and not many people agree with me on the subject. Maybe I have odd notions about equality amongst classes of persons.

 

I'm actually surprised that yours is the first negative comment, there's usually quite a few more when I suggest that if an organization has a uniform policy it should apply - well - uniformly.  lol.gif


Edited by ollyoxenfree - 8/17/13 at 4:35am
post #65 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

 

Agreed. Also, seeing the way many of the girls in high school with my DD dress, I'm at a loss for a polite term to describe it. See through shirts over brightly colored bras, paired with shorts that almost cover the butt checks. What is a nice, sex positive word for that? Honestly, some of the girls are dressed such that if they needed to earn money by dancing on tables, they are set. It's really been the biggest shock of the big public highschool. Awesome academics, half naked teen girls. I feel sorry for the boys - I've no idea how they concentrate.

 

Agreed. The problem with dress codes is the way they are enforced, IMO. A girl wears a tank top with straps that are not two finger-widths (whose finger, btw?) is told to change, while a girl wearing a mini-mini skirt and no underwear gets a pass. (And I'd like to know a "polite" word to call THAT attire!)

post #66 of 140

Earning money by dancing on tables?  These are kids we're talking about. 

 

And Mtiger how do you know if someone is not wearing underwear?

post #67 of 140
Skimpy is the word we use around here and it doesn't have bad connotations. I don't think skimpy clothes are a problem, I wear them on weekends because they are comfortable and I like how I feel in them. I can't imagine why anyone else would care.

I also don't think the issue of dress should come down to a teenage boy and their possible distracted mind, that is too close to victim blaming for my tastes. I think their distraction would be yet another argument against uniforms since they have to get used to having self control in situations where they are around the opposite gender on skimpy clothes.
post #68 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

Skimpy is the word we use around here and it doesn't have bad connotations. I don't think skimpy clothes are a problem, I wear them on weekends because they are comfortable and I like how I feel in them. I can't imagine why anyone else would care.

I also don't think the issue of dress should come down to a teenage boy and their possible distracted mind, that is too close to victim blaming for my tastes. I think their distraction would be yet another argument against uniforms since they have to get used to having self control in situations where they are around the opposite gender on skimpy clothes.

 

 

Gawd yes.  What the heck is going on in here.  Feeling bad for boys because girls may wear short shorts and it will be so hard for them to control their urges is ridic.  Seriously, just raise your boys not to oogle and treat girls like objects.  WHOA!  Mind blown over that concept.

post #69 of 140

I wonder if you have seen the types of outfits that I'm speaking about. There seems to be a divide on the thread, and I do wonder if it falls between the people who've seen how some highschool girls dress and those who haven't, who feel that those of us who have are overreacting. If you aren't aware of these clothes and don't routinely seem them on kids as young as 14, may be you are defending something that you wouldn't if you had a better visual.   My views on this topic changed last January, when my DD transferred to our large public highschool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Earning money by dancing on tables?  These are kids we're talking about. 

 

 

yes, they are kids. And their butts are hanging out of their shorts and their bras are being worn like outerwear. They dress like sex workers. You can find it appalling that I said it, but why not be appalled at something else -- such as the fact that their parents let them leave the house like that, or that we live in a society that teaches girls their value lies in being sexual?

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

Skimpy is the word we use around here and it doesn't have bad connotations. I don't think skimpy clothes are a problem, I wear them on weekends because they are comfortable and I like how I feel in them. I can't imagine why anyone else would care.

I also don't think the issue of dress should come down to a teenage boy and their possible distracted mind, that is too close to victim blaming for my tastes. I think their distraction would be yet another argument against uniforms since they have to get used to having self control in situations where they are around the opposite gender on skimpy clothes.

 

If you are comfortable going out in public with your underwear showing and body parts hanging out, then that is your judgement, and I don't have an opinion about it. I don't think clothes like that should be allowed in school, which is a different issue.

 

I don't see how I am "blaming the victim."  Not even sure who the victim is or what crime you speak of. I'm saying that students attend school to learn, and I believe that the current styles detract from that. It isn't an excuse for anyone's behavior, and my DD's school seems very safe. This isn't about self control, but how do we create the best LEARNING ENVIRONMENT for our kids. I don't believe that allowing students to show up semi-naked is helpful in that regard.

post #70 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I wonder if you have seen the types of outfits that I'm speaking about. There seems to be a divide on the thread, and I do wonder if it falls between the people who've seen how some highschool girls dress and those who haven't, who feel that those of us who have are overreacting. If you aren't aware of these clothes and don't routinely seem them on kids as young as 14, may be you are defending something that you wouldn't if you had a better visual.   My views on this topic changed last January, when my DD transferred to our large public highschool.

 

yes, they are kids. And their butts are hanging out of their shorts and their bras are being worn like outerwear. They dress like sex workers. You can find it appalling that I said it, but why not be appalled at something else -- such as the fact that their parents let them leave the house like that, or that we live in a society that teaches girls their value lies in being sexual?

 

If you are comfortable going out in public with your underwear showing and body parts hanging out, then that is your judgement, and I don't have an opinion about it. I don't think clothes like that should be allowed in school, which is a different issue.

 

I don't see how I am "blaming the victim."  Not even sure who the victim is or what crime you speak of. I'm saying that students attend school to learn, and I believe that the current styles detract from that. It isn't an excuse for anyone's behavior, and my DD's school seems very safe. This isn't about self control, but how do we create the best LEARNING ENVIRONMENT for our kids. I don't believe that allowing students to show up semi-naked is helpful in that regard.

 

I've seen outfits that fit your description.  I think they're impractical (especially in the climate where I live), not flattering, and definitely not something I would wear, but I've also noticed that historically, no matter what the teenagers are wearing, the older generation tends to be scandalised.  I remember my grandmother being uncomfortable with me wearing baggy clothes; she said "In my day, baggy clothes meant you were pregnant!"  Also, there are people who consider t-shirts to be underwear because that's what they were originally used for, and people who think women who are showing their hair are being immodest, etc...

 

I wonder if for a lot of kids, dressing in scanty, revealing outfits isn't about being sexual, but about conformity....some might feel more conspicuous and exposed if they dressed in a modest manner.

 

Anyway, I'm pro-uniform for the school setting, I think they eliminate (at least partially) the distraction of worrying about what to wear.

post #71 of 140
I stated that it is too close to victim blaming not that it is victim blaming. I see blaming the way girls dress on boys inability to pay attention as being too close to blaming a girl for being raped due to her dress/walk/choice to be somewhere/etc...

I don't think the clothes you describe make a child similar to a sex worker and I find it very offensive to link children with prostitutes ever.

I find it interesting that the reasons given for uniforms have to do with the ways girls dress not how boys dress. Both sexes are equally capable of making distracting clothing choices but the comments seem to be leaning towards shaming girls as sex workers for making choices that distract those poor boys.
post #72 of 140

I wonder why the dress codes aren't being enforced at these schools? In my dd1's middle/high school if a boy or girl comes to school in clothes that are too skimpy (great word) or otherwise violate the dress code they are given an XXL school t-shirt to wear to cover up the offending clothes and/or cover up the body parts that should not be exposed, or they can go home. No spaghetti straps on tanks for girls, no short shorts (skirts and shorts must be below the fingertips when the arm is held straight down), no t-shirts for boys with the arm holes cut down to the waist, and no underwear showing. The giant bag of a school t-shirt usually does the trick.

post #73 of 140

I'm wondering if our assumptions about the reasons for uniform policies are what informs how we feel about them. If I felt that our school's uniform policy was about making sure a boy wasn't distracted by the skimpy (yes, good word!) clothing of a girl, I don't think I would support it. For some of the reasons OG mentioned.  

 

My DC is young (11) so our support and thinking about uniforms has little to do with sexuality. Although, last year the school started giving some guidelines about yoga pants (that is part of their uniform options for bottoms). I know that the idea was started because of the 5th grade girls and I always suspected that had something to do with some anxiety over these girls developing (curves) and what "tight pants" starts to mean to some people at that point. I was not a fan adults deciding for kids that their dress was sexual. 

 

Along those lines, I really do agree with RM on the idea that what is acceptable is SO subjective and changes over time. And also with what some have talked about in terms of enforcement of uniform/dress code. I am still supportive of uniforms because I view them as simplifying some of these conflicts - so long, I guess, if the intentions are as good as I assume they are. 

 

I think uniforms are a good solution to some of the problems of the school being the fashion and decency police specifically because that is such a subjective thing and makes far too much room for bias and inconsistency. 

 

I expect that maybe my feelings will change a bit as my DC enters middle school and then on to highschool. 

post #74 of 140
My kids wear school uniforms. I think it is a great way to help prepare them for dressing appropriately in the adult world. I definately have a 'dress code' at work. Sweat pants and flip flops are ok at home, but outside the house, you may not be taken seriously dressed like that. I think it teaches kids that the way the dress can have an impact on interpersonal relationships and even productivity. My kids will wear uniforms until high school, then they switch to 'business casual type dress code' (no jeans or t-shirts, shirts must be collared). :)
post #75 of 140

I remember when I was growing up that everyone was always judged by what they were wearing and that if we had uniforms it would be so much easier. I still think that. If our kids had to wear uniforms, I think there would be less bullying and people wouldn't be as mean to others based on what they were wearing.
 

post #76 of 140

I think the posts about uniforms teaching children that different situations have different dress codes are a very good point.

I posted earlier that my children attend a school with uniforms but it's collared shirts and navy/white combination.

My children are also very good about understanding appropriate dress for different situations (beach clothes, church clothes, play clothes, etc)  It's easy to say, "Those clothes look good on you but they're not for (fill in the blank)."  They get it.

Though I do laugh at my young son looking for ties at garage sales and free clothing places so that he can wear them to school. No one else does but he thinks it looks better so he wants to.  He also wants a blazer even though I don't know of anyone else at his school who dresses in one.  So yes, there is still individuality within uniforms, but the choices are more narrowly defined.  He understands that certain clothes are for school and other clothes are for other things.

 

I just polled my kids and all but one say they would prefer non-uniform days every day but the oldest pointed out that it makes it easier to not see who is poor  - she connected that friendships are sometimes made based on how people look/what brands they have and she doesn't want that to happen.  

I thought that showed good insight on her part.

post #77 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by nholofencer View Post

I remember when I was growing up that everyone was always judged by what they were wearing and that if we had uniforms it would be so much easier. I still think that. If our kids had to wear uniforms, I think there would be less bullying and people wouldn't be as mean to others based on what they were wearing.
 

 

I disagree.  I was the kid who got teased while wearing my private school uniform.  Why?  My pants were a little different, not bought at the official school uniform shop.  I didn't have an Esprit tote bag, like everyone else.   My mom wouldn't buy me Nikes for gym.  Kids will always find something, a uniform doesn't stop that, in some cases it doesn't even slow it down.

post #78 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalisa View Post

Kids will always find something, a uniform doesn't stop that, in some cases it doesn't even slow it down.

Except when they don't. I agree 100% that a uniform should never be thought of as the end of the story. Schools should continue to address whatever concerns are being partially addressed with a uniform policy. That said, I don't think the choice against them should be made on the grounds that "kids will find a way to tease".  For one, the teasing aspect is just one part of the point of uniforms but another thing is that whether for or against uniforms, we all agree that schools need to foster healthy environments for kids to learn to treat each other well and stand up to poor behavior. 

 

On a side note, when I was growing up we had a 'haves' and 'have-nots' thing with private vs. public schools where it was only private schools that had uniforms. By some, I think it was viewed as the policy of the privileged. I wonder what the motivation of private schools is?  

post #79 of 140

In private school the uniform serves many goals; one is school spirit- everyone knows you go to THAT school. It also serves conformity. It is a safety issue- very easy to tell who is on campus, and private school uniforms are usually expensive enough that no one is going to go buy one just to blend in- not to mention that the uniform place we have to buy them from asks the name of the student and the school. But after teaching in one for four years and having kids attend one, I think it is identity, spirit, etc. It also keeps the focus on learning, not what you are wearing because everyone has on exactly the same thing- even the same brand.

 

I teach at a public school that has a dress code- khaki or navy bottoms and white or burgandy shirts. These kids change the minute they get home and would never wear their "unfiorms" out in public. My own kids go to Catholic school, as does a large percentage of the population (we are second only to the Amish in kids who attend non-public schools). The kids from these schools proudly wear their uniforms after school where ever they go- the mall, the movies, etc. I see them everywhere. We are not wealthy- we sacrifice mightly for our kids to attend their schools, and that is true for about 70% of their classmates.

post #80 of 140
Mar, as a PS teacher, what purpose do you feel uniforms serve in public schools?
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