Is Implementing Uniforms In School The Right Thing To Do

The argument whether uniforms should be allowed in school has been debated over the last few decades. By implementing a uniform policy within schools would help reduce the rise of violent crimes. In today\'s high schools, too many innocent youths become fatalities due to gang warfare that has spread into the school system. Many parents feel that if a uniform policy was implemented the spread of gang warfare and the idea children have to have name brand clothing would decrease drastically. However others are worried that this policy would infringe on students First Amendment rights. Yet there are other parents that all worried that the uniforms will cost too much. In the following essay, although these issues will be addressed.
Proponents of uniforms argue that the widespread violence in schools is due largely to the gangs. They believe that the distinctive gang colors and symbols are used to intimidate non-gang members and reinforce gang allegiance. Gang members are often found wearing clothing with professional sports teams logos on them. The clothing is often stolen from local stores or from other children. Children who where this kind of clothing to so only because they like it or it is in style. Jim Steinberg of the San Francisco Examiner believes that," They have become a fashion statement and sometimes a gang statement." (1) This is why so many parents want the schools to go to a mandatory uniform policy.
Many parents believe that if children wore uniforms, the violence in schools would drop drastically. Long Beach unified school district was the first large urban school district in the United States to implement a mandatory uniform policy. " In 1994, the Long Beach unified school district in California became the nation\'s first large, urban district to require all its elementary and middle school students to wear uniforms. School crime has plunged 76 percent since, says spokesperson Dick Van Der Laan. Attendance is the highest it\'s been since 1980. Can the uniform policy take the credit? "Very definitely," Van Der Laan says." Uniform set a message, \' You are in the business of learning." (Speer 1)"In the first year following implementation, overall school crime decreased by 36%; sex offenses, by 74%; physical flight to point students, by 51%; weapons offenses, by 50%; assault and battery offenses, by 34%; school suspensions, by 32%; and vandalism, by 18%." (King 2) "Moreover, greater than 80%of Long Beach Press-Telegram readers support school uniforms." (King 2) According to the statistics, the majority of the population supports the implementation.
Parents all over the United States fear that their children might be attacked inadvertently for wearing the wrong color scarf or hat that might provoke rivalry among local gangs. Many parents of children victims of gang warfare would like to see uniforms instituted in all schools. According to Dale Stover, "In gang-ravaged Los Angeles, as well as other communities with gang activity, a dress code also helps maintain peace among rival groups by prohibiting the wearing of clothing associated with local gangs." (2) Opponents of the policy for believe that other factors have to do with the lowering of crime within the school system. Dennis L. Evans believes the following:
Where gang members are concerned, the wearing of school uniforms will be cosmetic at best and will not change the gang mentality or reduce the potential of antisocial, gang related behavior, either on-campus or off. Ironically, mandating the wearing school uniforms might even make it easier to be a gang members and school administrators could no longer readily recognized the trappings of the gangs." (1)
With this in mind, whom do we believe?
When children come of age and have to go to school, they learn very quickly that in order to fit in you have to wear what everyone else is wearing. These clothing accessories too often cost well over a person\'s weekly salary. "All of the pressure could be eliminated if everyone dressed alike." (Dyson 1) When kids are young, they enjoy dressing like in their best friend. There are many times when I was kid that I wished that I could dress just like the kids that had money. I always thought that if I dressed like them I might become more like them. Unfortunately, my