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The Effect of Uniforms on School Discipline

by Danielle Spanner

Each year, more and more schools across the nation are requiring students to wear uniforms. Uniforms are being used as a way to level the socio-economic status of students, promote a school-wide culture and, most importantly, minimize disciplinary problems associated with wearing casual clothes. Schools that adopt a uniform policy help to promote a safe and disciplined learning environment.

Minimizes Distractions

In schools where each student is required to wear a school uniform, there tends to be a minimal amount of distraction that is commonly present in schools without a uniform policy.

One of the major distractions that schools without a uniform policy face is students focusing on the wardrobe of other students. Bullying and peer pressure become larger distractions in schools without uniforms because students tend to be more focused on who is wearing the latest brands and styles. Students from upper socio-economic statuses commonly receive more attention because of the latest style clothing that they can afford, while students that cannot afford these brands are often picked on and looked down upon. In schools with a uniform policy, the playing field is leveled. Schools with uniform policies in effect will not find the same distractions associated with students wearing casual wardrobes.

Promotes School Safety

Schools are safer when a uniform policy is put in place.

Schools that adopt a uniform policy will find an increase in many areas of school safety. School uniforms decrease the threat of gang colors and symbols that are often represented with casual clothing. Administrators and teachers are easier able to identify when intruders are in the building, as well; a student out of uniform sends a red flag among a group of other students who are in uniform. Also, a uniform policy will reduce the chances of students becoming a victim of theft. When in uniform, students will not have to worry about having expensive name brand shoes or clothes stolen from other students or people inside or outside of school.

Maximizes Learning

A school uniform symbolizes structure, modesty and self-discipline, which maximizes learning in the classroom.

Students who are in uniform are more focused on their academics, thus minimizing disciplinary problems. They come to school "dressed for success" with the idea that an appearance makes the first impression. Uniforms also represent order and respect for authority, which students show when they are able to dress uniformly. Less policing has to be made for wardrobe offenses when a uniform policy is in place. The uniform policy teaches students responsibility and consequences, because most uniform policies provide disciplinary consequences for students who violate the dress code policy. With a uniform policy in place, teachers can spend more time teaching, rather than administering detentions to students who are dressed inappropriately.

Builds a School Community

School uniforms help to build a school community.

Uniforms help to build a sense of community by creating an environment of belonging. Students are essentially united when they are all wearing the same uniform for the same school. This positively effects the student's attitude toward the school, seeing it as a community, rather than an institution. Students who feel a sense of ownership and belonging for their school community are less likely to be violate the disciplinary codes and policies in their school. They are excited to learn and to be a part of their educational environment.

About the Author

Residing in Philadelphia, Danielle Spanner has been writing education-related articles since 2002. She currently teaches writing, editing, and proof reading to elementary and high school students.She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literary studies and a Masters degree in Secondary Education.

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