Mandatory School Uniforms in the Public Schools
Uploaded by cutee2 on Nov 03, 2011
This essay will discuss the recent trend amount public schools of requiring their students to wear uniforms, and whether or not it serves as a deterrent to crime. It will critique each article and discuss the author’s assumptions, compare and contrast the authors’ points of view, explain the methods used for data collection, and evaluate the data.
For generations, private schools have required students to wear uniforms, according to the theory that such uniformity of dress inspired order, equality, and pride. In recent years, public schools across the nation have joined in, and recently President Clinton gave his support of the movement.
Attorney General Janet Reno, speaking in Long Beach, California, whose school district adopted a dress code for elementary and middle schools in 1995, said that Clinton believes that uniforms help reduce crime and gives his support to schools that try them. The Long Beach school district saw a 36% decrease in crime within a year of the dress code implementation.
The main reason for the switch to uniforms is to protect students from clothing-conscious gangs and criminals, who have reportedly gunned down children for jackets or shoes.
However, there is less than total support for the measure. The Long Beach district has been sued by two legal-rights groups, requiring that parents be allowed waivers for the uniform code, and that the district provide help for parents with the purchase of uniforms if they so require.
Additionally, the director of Public Schools for the American Civil Liberties Union has made a statement that contends that uniforms at the elementary and middle school level do not address the areas where most offenses occur, which is in high school.
The three studies which shall be discussed here are the survey done by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (1998), “Uniforms in the Schools: Proponents Say It Cuts Competition, Others Are Not So Sure” by Susan Thomas, published in Black Issues in Higher Education (1994), and a counterpoint argument against uniforms from Loren Siegel, Director of the Public Education Department, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (1996).
Extent and Impact of Uniform Trend; the NAESP Survey:
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), more than one-quarter of elementary and middle school students in ten states attend public school with a mandatory uniform code (11%) or where one is being considered (15%) (NAESP 1). Nearly two-thirds of the present dress codes...