Sunday, August 29, 2010

Parents……Why School Uniforms Are a Good Idea.

The topic of school uniforms in public schools have been bandied about for many years and has received both positive and negative feedback from parents, students and in some instances school officials alike. Some say the wearing of school uniforms will take away the children’s individuality. Some say the wearing of school uniforms is a form of control. Some say the wearing of school uniforms infringes upon the students’ rights and all of these statements or sentiments may have some validity to them. However, there is another train of thought that seems to be gaining momentum and is appearing to make more and more sense to parents, students and educators and that is school was never meant to be a fashion show. School was never meant to be competitive battleground for BabyPhat, Nike, Aeropostale, Apple Bottoms, or Timberlands (Tims).

School is a place where the focus must be on education. Anything taking away from that focus is a distraction including clothing. For many students, the only reason they come to school is to show off their latest “gear.” They pride themselves (and some of the parents too) on who can out dress who. In the meantime, the students’ academics are suffering. While that young man is concentrating on his classmate's Apple Bottoms, he is missing out on Newton’s Laws of Motion. While that young lady is focusing on her Aeropostale sweat shirt she is missing out on the works of Aristotle. While our students are concentrating on BabyPhat they are missing out on what really makes babies fat.

Parents when you think about it from an economic perspective, school uniforms are less expensive than trying to keep up with the Jones’ kids. You can purchase three or four sets and continue to add to them at a far less expensive rate than purchasing BabyPht, Nike, Aeropostale, and Timberlands. Now I am not saying that your child cannot wear these brands. By all means when they are not in school, feel free to sport whatever gear you would like. In school setting however, we must make it easier for our students to keep the main thing the main thing and that is to get their education.

I look forward to seeing our students in school uniform as we enter the 2010-2011 school year. It has been my experience that the children who wear their uniforms perform better academically. My own children wore school uniforms their entire elementary and middle school years and achieved great academic success.

I am sure the debate over school uniforms will continue and both sides will continue to make strong arguments as to why or why not school uniforms are a good idea, but for this educator and parent who have experience from both sides of the debate, I elect to go with the school uniforms. As the old saying goes, “Try it, you’ll like it.” As always I welcome your commentary.

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