Monday, April 12, 2010

Conforming Individuality

The freedom to express oneself. . . The freedom to be an individual. . . The freedom to be different from others. . . All privileges are stripped away once a school enforces the policy of wearing school uniforms. Individuality and expression create the difference and personality of each person in the world. Uniforms halt the growth of unique character in each student by enforcing conformity in the school environment. There are an innumerable amount of people who support and wish for all educational facilities to require some sort of mandatory clothing regulation, however, countless others would beg to differ. The supporters of school uniforms believe them to be cost efficient, academically helpful and encouraging, a self confidence booster, and a more welcoming atmosphere acceptance. In essence, school uniforms are indicative of the first step of repressing students’ individuality.

With every new and upcoming school year, parents and guardians all over the world purchase a new wardrobe for their child. Children who attend schools where no uniforms are required go to school in the newly purchased clothing their parents gave them. Their new apparel allows them to have their “constitutional right of free expression” and will be able to wear them for any kind of activity or event (Hu). Parents need not to worry and fret about buying clothes only for school use as well as clothing for outside of school. The supporters of imprisoning children in school uniforms believe them to reduce “financial woes,” when uniforms actually obligate the families to spend double the amount they would have spent on buying one set of clothes (Marie). By purchasing both, parents must buy a variety of clothing: “jumpers, overalls, shorts and skorts . . . skirts and pants” therefore costing the parents twice as much as buying regular clothing (Marchant).

Most people assume that changing the atmosphere of which students work in to making it an atmosphere filled with school uniforms will affect the children academically. Depending on where one travels to find out whether this information is true, school uniforms are not always the cause. According the Darlene Williams, improvements of crime rates were found during the same time the school uniform policy was enforced, but beneath all that, another contributing factor was “ a $1 million dollar grant . . . for the improvement of teaching methods” was given (Williams). Although people tend to look towards the easy and simple actions being made for the improvements, there are always possibilities of underlying factors taking action.

As the students are being forced to comply and conform to the school uniform policy. Self confidence and acceptance are nothing new in any type of school environment. The school corporations believe making students “act, speak, feel, and see everything the same” will encourage them to accept everyone in the same way (Marie). Wrong. No matter what school one travels to, there will always be an assortment of clicks whether one wears a uniform or not. With uniforms, the student’s “point of view” and ways to “express differences” are hindered causing the students self confidence to not grow (Marchant). Everything will be seen as the same instead of different and changing as the real world is around them.

Individuality along with one’s personality creates an impression on the world. One’s character and skills are created through growing up in a life filled with education and fascinating events. Uniforms hinder this ability from growing into new ideas. Although they could be thought of as less money and even academically better, people would be spending more money and time and less effort in the long run. Freedom of expression, difference, and individuality impact each life every day. The possibilities are endless when it comes to conforming to individuality.

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