Back To School--School Uniforms, Good or Bad?

by horrible life 61 Replies latest jw friends

  • katiekitten

    Good - definately GOOD.

    We have a very simple uniform at my school because the school is in a poor area. Just black trousers or skirt, black shoes, white top (shirt or aertex) and a blue school jumper with the school logo on. No blazer, no fancy add ons.

    It makes even the scruffiest kid look smart, and develops a sense of pride and identity in the school. When we go out on school trips the kids know they have to behave cos they represent the school, and they can be identified by members of the public - we often get complemented on how well behaved our kids are. And then we can tell them how proud we were to take them out.

    By the same token I can identify kids from other schools if they are behaving badly in public places going to and from school, and it means the headmaster can be phoned to deal with incidents - shop lifting, throwing stones at cars etc

    I know some people hate the idea of all looking the same, but when we have a non uniform day they all dress exactly the same anyway - jeans, hoodie, trainers. Its just that the poor kids are way more exempt from being cool beacause they have hand me down hoodies, and cheap trainers from the market that are falling apart. Thats so sad to see.

  • outnfree

    ROFL at ((((Mary)))) -- You DO put a wicked grin on my face, woman!!!!

    My kids wore uniforms to their parochial schools. Uniforms weren't cheap and the pants and "school plaid" parts WERE required to be purchased from the same supplier. In grammar school, grades k-5 had a choice of white polos, short- or long-sleeved, white oxfords, also short- or long-sleeved, or white turtlenecks. Girls wore the school plaid jumper, skirt or skort, and either sex could wear navy blue khakis. In middle school, no jumpers for the girls, and red knit shirts or turtlenecks were allowed for both sexes, who could also wear white tops at any time. I think white oxfords were required on mass days, but really can't recall. Sweaters had to be white or navy in all grades.

    In high school, again, a school-chosen supplier was the only approved uniform source. The young women had a choice of two different plaids and a solid green skirt, in two different styles. Girls could wear khaki Dockers as well. Navy or Green sweaters over white or yellow oxford blouses were required on mass days. The gentlemen could wear white or light blue oxford shirts with tie and blazer required on mass days with Dockers pants. Ties were not daily requirements. Vests were also allowed, and the boys had navy, green or gray pullovers, as choices. Sweaters for both sexes came in v- or crew-necks. Also allowed for both sexes were knit shirts in navy, green, white, or gray, short- or long-sleeved.

    So there was a variety of combinations available. And yes, uniforms did stifle individuality, but my kids also appreciated that they always knew what they were going to wear in the morning (My daughter, now in college, was just telling one of her college friends this the other day). The girls even self-censored themselves on skirt length. I hemmed them to about 1-1/2 shorter than knee length, and they only rolled them as high as they could without getting detention! LOL I never fought with them over that, because I saw what the other girls were doing and hell, I wore hot pants and mini-skirts to my public high school!

    I definitely spent less on uniforms over four years of high school than I would have on regular clothes, but my kids did have stylish casual clothes to wear on non-uniform days which were [at least] once a month all twelve years to give the kids a breather.

    I appreciated that the school wanted the kids to look decent and have a sense of belonging without being tied to the same slacks/skirt, top and blazer for each and every day.

  • lola28

    My sisters wear uniforms to school and they love it. They don't have to worry about what to wear in the morning, is it less expensive? Nope. The pants they have to wear are about $30.00 dollars each they both need at least four pairs of pants, plus the shirts times two.


  • jgnat

    That is less expensive, Lola. When you consider a child who wants a variety of items to wear to school is going to spend as much, probably more, for a variety of items. Besides, uniforms tend to be more durable, so you aren't replacing the items other than for growth, through the year.

  • talesin

    I loved wearing a uniform for a couple of years. Navy jumper with white blouse. The kids couldn't make fun of me for my poor-kid clothes, and getting ready for school in the morning was no longer an agonizing decision of which ugly outfit I would wear that screamed "JEHOVAH'S WITNESS". My mom was happy, too, as it was inexpensive.


  • LongHairGal

    Uniforms are an excellent idea. I wore one in high school. Initially they might seem expensive but in the long run they are not. But the real reason they are good is that in a uniform everyone is equal. There are no distractions about who is the rich kid, etc., or at least it will be less obvious.

    They are good for another reason. School children in public places who act up and cause a disturbance are more easily identified by their school uniform. So, it acts as a deterrent.

  • John Doe
    John Doe

    Everyone is equal. What do you think of taxing rich people or taking away what weathly people have so everyone has equal resources? What do you think about "each according to his need?" What do you think about self-esteen based on the clothes a kid wears? Are the reasons you give not validating a shallow standard?

    I grew up poor. I bought many of my clothes at second hand stores, and I could get whole outfits for less than $2. I never wanted to wear what the rich kids wore. Why should I have been forced to wear such things? Are you not validating the feeling that cheap clothes make an inferior person by saying that wearing equal clothes with the rich kids should give poor kids better self-esteem? I would be insulted if I were still poor and you told me that.

  • LongHairGal

    John Doe:

    We didn't have much money either. I wore hand-me-downs most of my childhood. What I mentioned about them being "equal" is only about them "looking equal" in the sense that one student's expensive clothing would not contrast with another student's more modest clothing. Unfortunately, we live in a sick world of labels. Little kids are also aware of brand names and this is an unwanted burden when one is trying to get an education.

    You are lucky you have a very healthy self-esteem. Many children do not and are very insecure for many reasons.

    I certainly don't believe that clothing is the mark of a person's character.

  • John Doe
    John Doe

    Of course we don't think that clothing is the mark of a person's character, but when we make decisions based on differences in clothing, we are tacitly supporting that evaluation. I think much of a kid's self-esteem comes from his or her parents--if they show them that they're worth something and compliment them on their legitimate accomplishments, clothes won't be so important. Have you ever heard that Dolly Parton song "Dress of Many Colors" (or something like that), while it's corny, it conveys what I'm saying fairly well.

    One of the toughest lessons in life is to learn that we don't all have equal opportunities, abilities, or circumstances, but I don't think because some lessons are tough means we should shield our children from them. I can go along with the idea about creating a sense of belonging and identity, but I can't help feeling that mandatory dress would be a manufactured sense of belonging--making sheep to be led which ever way big brother wants. But, perhaps I'm being a bit paranoid.

  • lola28

    Jnat, you are problably right, it just seems more expensive because there are two of them, also aside from having to buy the uniforms we still have to buy clothes for them to wear on the weekends or when they are out of school for vacation because no self respecting 12 year old is going to wear her school uniform to the movies.

    Lola (of the two more weeks before we have to go back to school shopping class)

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