Is a School Uniform Policy Beneficial?

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In high school, I was given the freedom to dress with any style I wanted to. On any given day, I could wear anything that I had in my closet as long as it wasn’t offensive to my teachers and class mates.  The way a person dresses, reveals what kind of person they want to be perceived as and will determine how people respond to you . It also shows what their interests are, what there style is, and their background. Everyday students wear inappropriate, revealing, racist, and embarrassing clothing that may lead to bullying because it causes problems throughout students and the school district.. The way we dress has a big influence on a schools environment and how disciplined a student is.

School is a place of learning where kids and teenagers are taught social skills, behavior skills, proper dress attire, fundamentals, and most importantly education. These lessons are essential when these students grow up and start to enter college and then the workplace. School uniforms in public schools are being adopted across the United States and have dramatically increased at a higher rate than ever before. The percentage of public school uniform policies have increased from 12 percent in 2000 to over 20 percent in 2014. Schools are now implementing uniform based dress codes because of the positive affects in the community as well as among the students. For example, just after two years after enforcing a uniform policy in Long Beach, CA they found students were safer because their was less crime going on.  The percentage of sexual assaults, battery chargers, robberies, drug possession, and vandalism were all cut at a substantial rate. When all of the students are dressed in an appropriate uniform there are less sexual attacks than if students were wearing inappropriate or degrading clothing. Also students are less likely to conceal weapons under big and baggy clothes because they are wearing a uniform. Also it is easy to keep track of the students and make it difficult for intruders to come inside the school. When an environment is safe, student are kept off the dangerous streets and are able to put more focus on school and learning.        Image 2

600-158234739-formal-school-uniformsIn 2009, Elisabetta Gentile from the University of Houston tested how school uniform affect the students behaviors and academic success in school districts around the southwest.  The data of this observational paper was composed from 1993 to 2006 which included test scores, attendance records, and disciplinary records  In only 5 years they saw an upward trend in attendance as rate increased from 93 percent to 96 percent. They found attendance in girls also increased  7 percent when the uniform policy was in place.  Students did have a small increase in language exams which fell between .02 and .04 standard deviations. Disciplinary actions didn’t decrease but the reason for this was most likely because of harsher rules within the building as well as uniform infractions.         Image 3 


A study composed by Virginia Draa of Youngstown State University found a positive correlation between uniform and the improvement in graduation, attendance, and behavior rates among 6 big city Ohio schools.  She saw that when students were forced to wear a uniform to school their graduation rates increased to 11 percent where as non uniform public schools had gradation rates drop 4 percent. Also in 4 of the 6 schools attendance rates up 3.5 percent. Since there was only 6 schools tested and only 2 didn’t have an increase attendance rate we can conclude that could have been due to chance. This means there is no controlled explanation of why 2 of the schools attendance rates didn’t go up.

It’s obvious throwing on khakis,dress shoes, a button down or polo isnt going to magically make students more intelligent and make them preform better in school. But it will be beneficial to the community and other members in their school. Giving students too much freedom in their dress code will cause unnecessary problems, fighting, and stress. When there is less violence,bullying and peer pressure students feel safer attending school. Uniforms are extremely beneficial but most importantly in poorer and dangerous areas where crime is high. In the future implementing uniforms would be beneficial in rural cities around the world because it will greatly impact students.



9 thoughts on “Is a School Uniform Policy Beneficial?

  1. Nicole Paniccia

    I have attended catholic school since kindergarten and had a uniform all my life. It was definitely easier in the mornings to just throw un a uniform and not have pick out an outfit. Also, it saves money not having to buy back to school clothes. I always felt I performed better in school wearing a uniform. When we would have dress down days I just wouldn’t be able to focus in class. Here is an article saying that when students have a uniform they can focus more on their schoolwork and not what they are wearing.

  2. Daniel J Lehecka

    Really well articulated post, but I can’t say that I agree with your conclusion. One thing that I don’t think you are weighting heavily enough is how everyone wearing the same clothes would effect the creative atmosphere. While you might see it as beneficial to remove competition, the very essence of an educational institution is to promote diveersity and have students challenge each other. If you create a homogenized environment you are taking away the benefits that are provided. This article from Harvard Business Law ( goes into depth on how everyone being the same actively works to kill creativity, and I think that it’s a super applicable thing in this situation.

  3. Jacob Alexander Loffredo

    Interesting articles, seems as if I have written multiple essays throughout high school on the same topic. I went to public school all my life and always was able to wear whatever I felt like. Believe it or not, for many reasons I would actually say that if all schools did have their students wear uniforms it would be very beneficial. The main reason I say that uniforms would be a benefit is because in high school I feel that many people would judge others purely on the way that they dress, which is terrible due to the fact that what you wear doesn’t say anything about how nice of a person or mean of a person that you are. It is sad to say but in this day and age I think that if all kids were in uniforms that there would be less of a divide between friend groups and social classes all throughout grade school. Here is an article about what your clothes may be saying about you, in this they look at a man wearing a suit and instantly start making a judgement about him, this just goes to show you that people always have something to say and if there was school uniforms it wouldn’t give people as much to say.

  4. tmv5147

    I had been wearing school uniforms for 15 years so this post caught my attention. I thought it was interesting because I had never thought about wearing uniforms in a sense of changing behavior, but looking back on it, it enlightening. We’d always have the occasional dress down day and our new principal last year was thinking about disbanding them because he noticed how differently the school acted and how “riled” up we were, especially on Friday’s. Our school was right down the street from one of the public schools in the area and looking back on it, our schools were very different. There would be the occasional scuffle or beef at school but we never had any full on brawl’s like this one school or school fights you see on World Star. I do believe these studies could be due to chance but I would like to test these studies more in depth because they could definitely find the problem. It would probably have to be a very broad study with many different aspect, you’ have to take cities from across the country (large and small), then within those cities study a handful of private and public schools, and compare the results and see if the bullying and fighting occurred in higher crime rated cities. I found this article that takes a different approach on the matter and how some peers bully kids in their schools because they are fed up with the nonsense they are wearing.

  5. Francis Patrick Cotter

    I think the results of this study are primarily due to confounding third party variables. Schools that enforce these rules are primarily private schools that require a certain tuition and/or examination to attend. This would mean that socioeconomic status would be a serious influencer in the type of student attending the school thus skewing the data. Public schools do not have any dress code, but it must be factored in that those students also have a more varied background and socioeconomic status. I am not saying that private school kids are smarter, but the correlation between dress code and decreased fighting, better grades, and less peer pressure, is extremely weak compared to other factors.

  6. Claudia Lynn Hatch

    This was a great blog. I think you constructed your sentences well and had a nice, general flow to the piece. I do think you could have increased the number of sources you used, but with a topic like this i can understand how it may have been difficult. I think you used the pictures well and I liked how you wrapped it all up with you own personal opinion. I do think, if I had been writing this blog, I would have maybe looked into the psychological aspect of uniforms and how it physically changes the brain. However, I still think you did a very good job.
    HERE is another article that begins to delve into the psychological aspects of wearing a uniform.
    Personally, I don’t like the idea of a uniform, and I never have. However, your blog makes some valid points that have begun to sway my opinion!

  7. Maura Katherine Maguire

    Coming from 12 years of wearing a uniform I really relate to this post. I can vouch that wearing a uniform is completely beneficial to your everyday life. It even got to the point where I enjoyed wearing my uniform more than clothes I picked out myself. There are days here at PSU where I wish I could throw on my plaid kilt. Wearing a uniform allows everyone to be unified as one and prohibits competition. I have found if there everyone is wearing the same thing it is easier to be yourself and less pressure to show off. My uniform has made me more confident, I really liked this post!

  8. Nicholas E Schneider

    Like you, I spent the entirety of my elementary and secondary school years in the public school system and I was also allowed to wear any clothing I wanted (within reason, nothing inappropriate or with drug/sexual references) to school. I personally loved having the freedom to wear whatever i wanted to school; on a very hot day i could choose to wear shorts and a t-shirt, I could wear a sports jersey showing support for my favorite teams and I always got the opportunity to show off a brand new shirt or pair of shoes to my friends and classmates. I do definitely agree with you that enacting a school uniform policy could positively impact multiple problems that exist in schools (such as bullying and distractions due to clothing), but in the end the school must decide if the impact of enforcing a uniform policy outweighs taking away student’s opportunity to be creative and individuals as well as their ability to express themselves through the clothing they choose to wear.

  9. Jordan Crawford

    Two of my sisters are school teachers. The schools my sisters teach at have school uniforms that students must wear. Both school years ago had problems with grades, bullying, and sadness in students. They did surveys and case studies on why all this is going on, and the solution was school uniforms. After the uniforms were put into place the grades went up, bullying came to a halt, and students sadness dropped. The school uniforms had an awesome effect on all the students in the school.

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