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spike
01-11-2007, 10:11 PM
Anyone had experience with a public school that went to uniforms?

Did it stop fights? Gangs? Drugs? Bullies?

Anyone have an opinion?

I'm not interested in research, that I have. What I'd like is real thoughts on the impact of school uniforms, from both parents and kids.

My character is going to be fighting with her mother about the school instituting uniforms, so I'm more interested in emotional reasons than empirical ones.

Akuma
01-12-2007, 03:09 AM
You may want to research on how many public schools enforce uniforms.

But, I found some statistics on a school that switched to uniforms. Vague, so sorry I couldn't get more for you.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-19990901-000009.html

Akuma
01-12-2007, 03:11 AM
Ah, here's another one. I've just been googling "school uniform psychology".

http://www.danenet.org/ncs/forumuniformseval.htm


Happy Writing!

Sandi LeFaucheur
01-12-2007, 03:41 AM
I can't speak for schools in the US, but I was a school secretary in England, and we dreaded "own-clothes" day (which we had once a term as a fundraiser). The behaviour went right down the toilet. Funny that. And if it was windy on own-clothes day, we were doomed. (Which is another issue--why are children antsy when it's windy?)

Some Catholic high schools in Canada are going back to uniforms. The girls have the kilts so short, they might as well not bother. How they bend down, I don't know.

Maryn
01-12-2007, 09:09 PM
Remember my sister's friend Joy, who'd used up the good graces of the public school system and was enrolled in a Catholic school in the hope that strict discipline would turn her around. (It didn't, but that's another story.)

The uniform, a knee-length pleated plaid skirt and a white man-tailored shirt, sweater optional, seemed so sexless, but the stuff Joy did to make it look hot was nothing short of amazing. I'm sure that girls who choose to look that way when their public schools go to uniforms will do the same thing.

Maryn, who hadn't thought of Joy in years

Vincent
01-12-2007, 09:17 PM
I can't speak for schools in the US, but I was a school secretary in England, and we dreaded "own-clothes" day (which we had once a term as a fundraiser). The behaviour went right down the toilet. Funny that. And if it was windy on own-clothes day, we were doomed. (Which is another issue--why are children antsy when it's windy?)

Some Catholic high schools in Canada are going back to uniforms. The girls have the kilts so short, they might as well not bother. How they bend down, I don't know.

I dreaded 'uniform free day' because I didn't have anything to wear. Just my uniform. I much prefered 'worst dressed day'. I came in my uniform.

aruna
01-12-2007, 09:28 PM
All the schools I went to were uniform schools.
When my kids were younger and going to school in Germany they did not wear uniforms. I was so happy to pack them off to England, where they had to!
Kids in uniform-less schools think of it as something perfectly dreadful and personaluity-robbing. It's not. When everyone's doing it they kids don't mind at all. Both my kids said they preferred to wear uniform, and always stuck up FOR wearing one when speaking to German kids. The whole competition thing, and "what shall I wear today" falls away.
And as Maryn says, it's amazing what you can do to individualise the uniforms. At my daughters school, girls did one of two things: they took up the hems of their skirts, and either they wore them very short, or else they wore them very low so that their bellies - and thongs - stuck out. Every now and then we parents would get a letter from the school telling us to have our daighters dress properly.

I remember how proud my son was when he first wore his uniform, a dark suit with long sleeved white shirt and a tie. He immediately looked smarter in every way, and felt smarter as well. Up to that time he had been a bit of a hooligan, and was expelled from school in Germany. I don't know what role, if any, the uniform played in this, but the moment he went to school im England he was an angel. I remember him coming home from England, picking him up at the airport in Germany. The only time boys wear suits in Germany is at their Confimation or Holy Communion, so at the airport, and at the restaurant we went to afterwards, everyone was staring at him - and he loved it. I loved it too, needless to say!

sunandshadow
01-12-2007, 09:34 PM
I see girls uniforms which include a required skirt as enforcing gender stereotypes people may disagree with or not be comfortable with. Uniforms in general also express an anti-individuality and anti-personal freedom mindset that I and many others find abhorrent and inhumane. Any arguments against state religion or reciting the pledge of allegiance can probably also be applied against school uniforms; they are both a case of a bureaucracy punishing those who have committed no crime by compelling them to conform to an arbitrary standard which does not significantly benefit anyone.

Vincent
01-12-2007, 09:40 PM
I see girls uniforms which include a required skirt as enforcing gender stereotypes people may disagree with or not be comfortable with. Uniforms in general also express an anti-individuality and anti-personal freedom mindset that I and many others find abhorrent and inhumane. Any arguments against state religion or reciting the pledge of allegiance can probably also be applied against school uniforms; they are both a case of a bureaucracy punishing those who have committed no crime by compelling them to conform to an arbitrary standard which does not significantly benefit anyone.

Yeah, fight the power.

aruna
01-12-2007, 10:10 PM
Yeah, fight the power.

:roll:

waylander
01-12-2007, 11:29 PM
I see girls uniforms which include a required skirt as enforcing gender stereotypes people may disagree with or not be comfortable with. Uniforms in general also express an anti-individuality and anti-personal freedom mindset that I and many others find abhorrent and inhumane. Any arguments against state religion or reciting the pledge of allegiance can probably also be applied against school uniforms; they are both a case of a bureaucracy punishing those who have committed no crime by compelling them to conform to an arbitrary standard which does not significantly benefit anyone.

Have you got school age children?

C.bronco
01-12-2007, 11:33 PM
Remember my sister's friend Joy, who'd used up the good graces of the public school system and was enrolled in a Catholic school in the hope that strict discipline would turn her around. (It didn't, but that's another story.)

The uniform, a knee-length pleated plaid skirt and a white man-tailored shirt, sweater optional, seemed so sexless, but the stuff Joy did to make it look hot was nothing short of amazing. I'm sure that girls who choose to look that way when their public schools go to uniforms will do the same thing.

Maryn, who hadn't thought of Joy in years
Not if it's an all girl's school: usually they look as if they rolled out of bed in their uniforms, and often that is the case.

C.bronco
01-12-2007, 11:36 PM
I see girls uniforms which include a required skirt as enforcing gender stereotypes people may disagree with or not be comfortable with. Uniforms in general also express an anti-individuality and anti-personal freedom mindset that I and many others find abhorrent and inhumane. Any arguments against state religion or reciting the pledge of allegiance can probably also be applied against school uniforms; they are both a case of a bureaucracy punishing those who have committed no crime by compelling them to conform to an arbitrary standard which does not significantly benefit anyone.
I've had jobs where I had to wear a uniform (nothing glamorous, believe me: gas station attendant, painter, waitress etc). It made getting to work on time easy, and I changed when I got home.

Eeman
01-13-2007, 12:41 AM
As a mother of four, I am grateful for school uniforms. The uniforms really cut down on the expense of clothes and the dilemma of what to wear each day. My children go to a religious school where the emphasis is on modesty.

Tish Davidson
01-13-2007, 02:49 AM
Uniforms are definitely in the minority in US public school. Most public schools that I have dealt with that require "uniforms" actually allow a fairly broad range of clothing - more of a dress code than a uniform. Kids usually are required to wear something like khaki pants (both genders) and a polo shirt of a particular color. Sometimes there is a option of a skirt for girls or khaki shorts in hot weather. Another common variant is dark slacks and a white polo shirt. It's not like the kids all trek on down to the local uniform shop and all buy the same pieces of clothing made by the same manufacturer. Private schools may require skirts and blazers for girls and dress shirts and ties for boys, but this would be quite rare in a public school.

Elektra
01-13-2007, 05:19 AM
I absolutely loved my Catholic school uniform. Our school was exceptionally strict: in addition to the button up shirt and jumper (after fifth grade, girls got to switch over to a skirt in the same pattern), no cosmetics of any kind (girls were sent home for clear nail polish), specific shoes, and a hair-legnth code for guys (couldn't be past their ears, I think). It was so much easier than having to worry about fashions and the like, and made getting ready for school that much faster--and it certainly didn't hinder anyone's personality from shining through. I think because such a fuss was made about such a little thing as a dress code, we all knew what a big deal they would make of any serious behavioral problems.

LloydBrown
01-13-2007, 06:27 AM
The uniform, a knee-length pleated plaid skirt and a white man-tailored shirt, sweater optional, seemed so sexless, but the stuff Joy did to make it look hot was nothing short of amazing.

The only thing you need to do to the Catholic school-girl uniform to make it look hot is to put the girl in it.

Carrie Ann Eggert
01-13-2007, 06:39 AM
I abhor the use of the uniform. The very word speaks of suppressing individuality and creativity. It's sickening and repulsive and nothing short of a control mechanism.
When I went to Catholic school I had to wear the customary plaid dress that never fit me right year after year. I remember the last year I went to Catholic school and how super tight my uniform was that year because we were too poor to get a new one and, unfortunately for me, it was also the year my body started to grow in new ways.
My son's former school (he went to a new one this year because of learning disabilities and bullies combined) went to a uniform last year because of the gang problems in our area. It didn't help. There are still gangs in our area and forcing them to dress like "their enemies" is not going to change anything except force them to be extremists whilst not in school.
My daughter has to go there next year. Guess I have to shell out money for uniformic wear since she won't wear the ones her brother wore. Who can blame her really? She's turning 12 and just starting to realize who she is as a person to the rest of the world.
I guess that means I have to buy more 20$ polos and 15$ kakhis (which she's always hated by the way). She can't wear them everyday so I guess that'll be at least 100$ for a set of shirts and 75$ for a set of pants. I don't even spend 10$ on shirts for myself much less them...and nothing comes of it. The poorest ones I think are hit with this d***ed conforming c*** and expense. People who can afford better schools really aren't interested in the whole "let's try to be like everyone else so we can get along" game. They can afford to move and change schools at will.
Gangs to them are a distant problem. How little do they know that it is much closer underfoot than they think.
I don't even want to get into the whole problem of laundry and time to do it when you don't have a machine in the house.
So there you go. My feelings on the whole deal...and I thank God everyday that he brought me to a decent job where I can wear what I like as long as it's clean and not skimpy.
Though I find they don't say anything about skimpy on days when they're doing the same cause the air conditioning is broken. :)

Carrie:)

Minister
01-13-2007, 07:08 AM
I did a brief newspaper piece on the subject when a local public school switched to school uniforms. Frankly, the principal was manipulative in the way she presented the matter to parents, but any way you cut it, in a popular vote of the parents and the teachers, there was overwhelming support. The reasons were numerous; I'm sure you've seen them all examined in your research. Parents and teachers tended to like them because they made things both simpler and less expensive. (Yes, usually less expensive -- most kids seem to spend a great deal more on what they wear to school than the extremely affordable school uniforms.) The school system wanted to be very careful not to put an unnecessary financial burden on lower-income parents (the school has a lot of economically disadvantaged students), so they found a variety of ways to make sure that those who could not afford the uniforms were provided with them. It's an elementary school, so gangs aren't a serious problem yet.

Those who opposed to the change mostly did so with more heat than light; they ranted ineffectually, but never developed a clear argument to answer the strong majority of those in favor of uniforms and their arguments. The biggest opposition seemed to be due to the slick (and perhaps marginally dishonest) way the principal ram-rodded the whole thing through.

I don't think anyone seriously believed that their children would be any less individuals for wearing, say, a red shirt and khaki slacks like all the other kids instead of a football jersey and saggy bluejeans, or whatever the style du jeur was, like all the other kids; some people who seemed to be opposed for various other reasons (mostly a personal dislike for the principal, as best as I could tell) did bring this up. But proponents countered with the fact that this actually had the effect of bluring the distinctions between the kids who had more money or were "cooler," thus making it more likely that children would be looked at based on their own personality and actions rather than whether they were dressed to fit a particular steriotype.

spike
01-13-2007, 07:37 AM
This is just what I needed. Keep it coming!

You guys have been a great help.

Elektra
01-13-2007, 08:18 AM
I guess that means I have to buy more 20$ polos and 15$ kakhis (which she's always hated by the way). She can't wear them everyday so I guess that'll be at least 100$ for a set of shirts and 75$ for a set of pants. I don't even spend 10$ on shirts for myself much less them...and nothing comes of it. The poorest ones I think are hit with this d***ed conforming c*** and expense. People who can afford better schools really aren't interested in the whole "let's try to be like everyone else so we can get along" game. They can afford to move and change schools at will.:)

Most schools have a donation stock for poorer students, which they check out and return on a regular basis.

aruna
01-13-2007, 09:37 AM
I don't think anyone seriously believed that their children would be any less individuals for wearing, say, a red shirt and khaki slacks like all the other kids instead of a football jersey and saggy bluejeans, or whatever the style du jeur was, like all the other kids; some people who seemed to be opposed for various other reasons (mostly a personal dislike for the principal, as best as I could tell) did bring this up. But proponents countered with the fact that this actually had the effect of bluring the distinctions between the kids who had more money or were "cooler," thus making it more likely that children would be looked at based on their own personality and actions rather than whether they were dressed to fit a particular steriotype.

This is absolutely true.
The whole "blunting personality" argument is nonsense. In German non-uniform high schools the kids all wore the same stuff anyway. Certainly, neither I nor my children had our peronsalitiesd changed or obliterated by wearing a uniform!
In england, uniforms for poor families are ridiculously cheap. Like, 2 for a white shitrt or 3 for a jumper.
At my kids expensive independent school there is a lot of cjhoice. Girls wear kilts and can choose between two patterns, plus a coloured three-quarter sleeved blouse; they can choose the colour, and the colour of their jumper, and whether they wear it tucked in or outside the kilt. And whatever shoes they like, as long as it was the right shape and colour, and no high heels.
Boys wear trousers of any dark colour and shirts of just about any colour, and regulation ties. So it is really more of a guideline to keep them looking smart. And looking smnart on the outside keeps you smart on the inside, I am convinced.
IN sixth form girls get to wear trousers.

MegaData
01-13-2007, 04:54 PM
High School Gym class we were given ONE uniform: a T-shirt and shorts. I didn't take it home to wash between two classes, once. I was told by the instructor, as I was pulled off to the side, that I should take it home and get it washed. There were complaints from others. lol, I knew there would be. There was a whole croud of people running behind me to stay away from the smell, it reeked so bad. I remember taking it out from the locker and, once I got past the smell, I thought to myself, "I should ask how badly they wish to stick to the unifrom rule." Then, I thought, "Nah, people who bring notes for sprained ankles still have to get dressed for gym class and sit on the sidelines. If this is the only unifrom they are going to issue to me, they can deal with the smell!" Heh, I'm sure they didn't think about it that way but I sure did! I was always making "statements" no one else got but me. Many will never understand alarge portion of my life...

I seriously doubt the male species spends LESS by getting uniforms. Young women... well, that's slightly more believable. I can't believe how much the skimpy stuff costs! Slightly off-topic here but I do not desire being forced to wear a hat at jobs that required them. Some people paid for doctor's excuses in order to stop wearing them at one of my previous employers and I should point out that the managers never did wear them. I never did get the Doctor's Note myself, but I could have had one for free... Those caps could be very uncomfortable at times... And another employer required Khaki pants. The first time I bought those, they were the most expensive pair of street clothes I'd ever bought! I learned quickly what Khaki was and where to get it cheaper. All my slacks were black at the time. I never even understood the Khaki one. It doesn't hide pizza sauce well and no one stands in a storm of white flour that much. For the small amount of people (2?)who do slop flour off on themselves, kneeding dough, who sees them in the kitchen?

Jenan Mac
01-14-2007, 12:08 AM
My kids' school is contemplating uniforms as we speak. I am completely opposed to the idea.
Our old school system had them; they were the "khaki pants/skirt and polo in either navy or pale blue" style. If you have a kid who's a messy eater (like most early elementary grade kids I know), the polo is grease stained in a week. Shirts with a pattern or a design on the front don't show that kind of stuff. The uniforms also never go on sale around here, but I can buy other clothes for my kids on sale all the time (I've bought shirts for my daughter for less than $2 at Target). And any administrator who thinks kids can't tell who has money and who doesn't just because they're all wearing blue is out of his/her mind.
But my biggest problem is that my daughter has Asperger's, and is faceblind. She's also a bully magnet. When half the school has brown hair and brown eyes, and they're all wearing khaki and blue, how does she identify the fifth grader who's picking on her in the parent pick up line? "Um...it's one of those seventy-three kids over there. Dunno which one."

Sandi LeFaucheur
01-14-2007, 12:22 AM
Those people who think uniforms sap individuality--what about people in the army, police, firefighters, paramedics, flight attendants, pilots, employees of some stores, banks, car dealerships, mechanics? Are they all robots? Nope, they are individuals. The children in the school in which I worked were certainly individuals. They were intelligent, stupid, kind, bullies, the-girl-most-likely-to, the boy-who-already-did, bold, shy . . . but they wore uniforms. They behaved better when in them (usually!) and were easy to spot when on a school outing. Just write your name on the tag, that's all I ask. Four hundred blue sweatshirts with the school insignia are hard to tell apart in the lost and found.

Jenan, I can see how your daughter would be somewhat hampered by the uniform scenario and I sympathise. Funnily, I could tell the kids apart better when they were in uniform than when they were in mufti. But then, I'm just weird.

Elektra
01-14-2007, 06:45 AM
I think it does speak a lot that most of the people here who had to wear uniforms as a kid are in favor of them.

Another thing that a uniform is good for: a lot of girls my age have problems finding clothes. Fashions are so skimpy nowadays that it's difficult to find something modest that doesn't look like it belongs to your grandmother. A uniform would go a long way toward helping the problem.

Chumplet
01-14-2007, 07:00 AM
I see girls uniforms which include a required skirt as enforcing gender stereotypes people may disagree with or not be comfortable with. Uniforms in general also express an anti-individuality and anti-personal freedom mindset that I and many others find abhorrent and inhumane. Any arguments against state religion or reciting the pledge of allegiance can probably also be applied against school uniforms; they are both a case of a bureaucracy punishing those who have committed no crime by compelling them to conform to an arbitrary standard which does not significantly benefit anyone.

My kids' school has a uniform policy. Yes, we have the plaid skirt (really, it's a skort, with shorts in the back so you can't see up it), but the girls can also wear grey pants, along with the required white shirt with the little logo on it. Not only do they wear the French cut white blouse, but they can also wear a golf shirt (short or long sleeved), a maroon sweater or fleece pullover, and any black shoes, even black sneakers.

My son and daughter both like the uniform policy. No peer pressure, no deciding what to wear in the morning, and it's cheaper than The Gap. Food stains aside, I can make eight shirts and four pairs of pants last four years, easy.

Many of the students show their individuality by their outrageous hairstyles and makeup, which isn't restricted.

I met a retired policeman who now drives a school bus. He says the students at my kids' school are the most polite in the district. I don't know if it's because of the uniforms...

aruna
01-14-2007, 10:00 AM
Many of the students show their individuality by their outrageous hairstyles and makeup, which isn't restricted.

I met a retired policeman who now drives a school bus. He says the students at my kids' school are the most polite in the district. I don't know if it's because of the uniforms...

Might be. School kids are told that when in uniform their behaviour reflects on the school and to set a good example publicly. Quite apart form setting a good example, they know that bad behaviour in uniform could lead to them being identified.

Back in Guyana, unifroms identified you as "belonging" here or there. After school we used to hang out in groups in town; there were five main schools in the town so your uniform gave you a kind of community feeling, and we had little silly rivalries between schools. We talked of "Saints boys" (St Stanislaus College) and "Queens boys" (Queens College) or "Bishops girls" (Bishops' High School) and it was somehow fun.

Tish Davidson
01-14-2007, 10:41 AM
My kids went to a school where there were no uniforms, but there was a dress code aimed at keeping dress modest and no gang colors. (It was more or less successful depending on how much emphasis the administration put on enforcement). The school had an broad mix of ethnicities. The Sikh boys wore turbans. Some of the Muslim girls wore headscarves and a few wore chador. Some of the Jewish boys wore yarmukles and some of the Indian girls also wore traditional dress, especially on days when the Indian dance groups practiced. I can see how uniforms might work in a relatively homogenous student body, but in one where students belong to several different religious faiths that have certain dress requirements, I think uniforms would be a disaster and just create a clash between the rights of the students to dress as their faith dictates and the rights of the school to tell them how they have to look.

Maryn
01-14-2007, 08:11 PM
That sounds very like the public school our kids attended, Tish. Long before we arrived here, the schools revised their "no hats in the classroom" policy, changing it to "no hats with bills" to allow turbans, yarmulkes, head scarves, and a few doofy tuques, beanies and berets which had nothing to do with religion. All allowed the teacher to see the students' faces.

I understand the thinking of those who would prefer a tidy uniform over the sloppy oversized jeans and shirt popular with so many teens, but I would not have enrolled our kids in any school which had a uniform. I'd have no problem with codes or standards about skimpy clothing, gang wear, questionable logos or images, but clothes are one way young people experiment with how they are perceived.

Maryn, whose kids each went through several highly individualistic 'looks' in high school

flannelberry
01-14-2007, 09:23 PM
Have you got school age children?

First of all - one does not need to have children to have an opinion on every issue that pertains to children. That drove me nuts before kids and is even worse now. Some of the best child care workers I know - for example - have no kids. My midwives had never had kids and they were excellent. It's essentially an ad hominem attack meant to discredit for no creditable means. Sorry if that's not how it was intended but that's how that kind of thing comes across.

I both have school age children and spent a high school year in a school with uniforms (Catholic). Let me tell you, we went out of our way to look skanky (?sp) in them (rolled up the skirts, etc. etc.). I didn't care as much when I was in public school (here public schools cannot enforce uniforms) and could just wear whatever.

Further, if you look at the sociological research, uniforms do nothing to combat economic disparity issues which are obvious in other ways. There are other academic reasons to be against uniforms (like I've never seen peer reviewed research to support the assertion that kids are better behaved etc.) but to be honest, I think the biggest issue with them was that we spent way too much time thinking of ways to individualize our uniforms or have "accidents" like spilling crud on our sweater and button shirt so we'd be "forced" to just wear the cute tank top or whatever that we just "happened" to have in our packs. Or looking for bras that would show through etc when we could have spent time thinking of more useful things. I was sent there because I was a "bad" kid and let me tell you, I did and learned worse stuff at my very strict, upper class, seemingly very proper Catholic school than anywhere else because we were all looking for a way to "break free".

I have a friend who went to an all boys school for many years and said the same - he was thrilled to get to go to "regular" school for Gr 11 and 12 - actually spent a lot of time doing school work rather than dealing with the strangeness of private school. He also will not send his children to a private/uniform school.

I would not send my kids to a school that required uniforms.

I have never understood why girls aren't allowed to wear pants right from kindergarten (my school was no pants - ever except for PE but even our uniforms for sports were a skort). That's a bit creepy. My daughter wouldn't have been "containable" in a skirt - she was always flipping and rolling, my nieces too. Why would you want to discourage that?

Re: professionals with uniforms. It's completely different thing - it's so that you are readily identifiable to the public (either for safety reasons or commercial ones). Let me tell you - when doing workplace debriefings and dealing with workplace stress the first thing we tell employees is get out of your uniform as soon as your shift is over so you are getting back to being you. It's an apples and oranges thing and not the same as having a uniform in school - unless you're saying they wear them to control their behaviour etc. ;) like we do with school children.

Elektra
01-14-2007, 09:38 PM
I have never understood why girls aren't allowed to wear pants right from kindergarten (my school was no pants - ever except for PE but even our uniforms for sports were a skort). That's a bit creepy. My daughter wouldn't have been "containable" in a skirt - she was always flipping and rolling, my nieces too. Why would you want to discourage that?


I've never seen a school that has rules about what you wear UNDER the uniform--all the girls in my class always wore shorts under their skirts so that we could go on the monkey bars and such. And obviously our P.E. uniforms had shorts instead of skirts.

This is just me, but if you're allowed to alter the look of the uniform (rolling up skirts, etc.), then your school no longer has a uniform policy. Yes, you might have to wear the same colors, but by not enforcing the rule, they take away from it's basic point (simplicity, modesty, and general sameness of attire), and therefore take away the rule altogether.

Provrb1810meggy
01-14-2007, 09:43 PM
Ok, here's a student's perspective.

If my school had uniforms, or my local middle school or whatever, I really don't think there'd be any difference. Yeah, kids may not be able to make fun of another kid's clothing, but if a kid wants to be mean to someone, they'll figure out a way. I mean, there's hair, weight, skin, etc. I've had my socks made fun of before. Also, there will still be cliques, even if the cliques won't be able to be identified by the preppy or punk clothing. It really wouldn't make that much difference.

Also, students often wear the same type of clothing as other students, but still, some people like to express their individuality and style. If these students aren't misbehaving and aren't immodest, why shouldn't they be able to show off their fashion sense?

So basically, my view is that high school is high school, middle school is middle school, and kids are catty. Teasing, bullying, rejection, all that stuff, it's still there. There's still nerds, preps, jocks, punks, emos, etc. There's still bad kids and good kids. I don't really see how putting kids in a uniform would transform anybody, besides making them feel restricted and irritable.

JIMBOS
01-14-2007, 09:49 PM
Not a parent...not a child. From a view outside the circle, I feel wearing uniforms visually starts everyone off on the same level.

Jenan Mac
01-15-2007, 12:21 AM
But I've yet to see a school (public or private) where everybody is on the same level, be it economically, educationally, physically, psychologically, amount of parent support, whatever. If half the energy spent trying to make all kids fit into neat boxes were put into supporting the kids the way they are, I'd feel a lot more comfortable with the educational system.

aruna
01-15-2007, 10:09 AM
But I've yet to see a school (public or private) where everybody is on the same level, be it economically, educationally, physically, psychologically, amount of parent support, whatever. If half the energy spent trying to make all kids fit into neat boxes were put into supporting the kids the way they are, I'd feel a lot more comfortable with the educational system.

Ah, but here's the rub:

The German school system, which I helped my kids escape from; DOES put all the kids on one level. I've never come across anything so totally mind-numbing and "uniform". It does exactly as you say: puts them into neat little boxes labeled "stupid", "average" and "clever", from which there is NO ESCAPE. And if you are a foreigner recently come to Germany and don't have perfect command (a B avaerage) of the German language, you will be put into the box labelled "stupid". But they do not wear uniform.

I chose a school in England for my children where individuality is not only accepted, it is encouraged. Where individual stregths are nourished and built upon. Where my son was not labelled "disturbed" necause he has ADD. Where my daughter was not labelled "dumb" because she is dyslexic.

After one year at that school, i was told my son has great leadership qualities; and he was allowed to lead.
After six years at that school, my daughter got a B in English in her important GCSE exams - even though she hardly spoke a word of English before starting there. She would have gone to the "stupid" school in Germany; right now she is in Sixth Form College, working towards university.


This is the school with the uniform.

Wearing a uniform has not the least thing to do with individuality, or putting people in boxes. It's only clothes. We pay too much attention to clothes. Maybe that's the problem. Clothes do not make people.

Sandi LeFaucheur
01-15-2007, 02:48 PM
For those who wouldn't send their children to a school that requires uniforms: what about brownies, guides, scouts? I've just done a quick google to ensure they still do wear uniforms, and they do. (Evidently, they are now designed by a "top designer".) Is it different to wear a guide uniform than a school uniform?

Soccer Mom
01-15-2007, 09:04 PM
Mine are in cubscouts and do wear uniforms. Even thought we go to a school without uniforms, I often shop the uniform stores for their "nicer" clothes. The khakis and polos are cheaper there than department stores. It would make mornings easier if they had uniforms.

Uniforms don't stifle individuality or creativity. They're just clothes. We had strict dress codes when I went to school. No skirts shorter than one inch above the knee. No shorts. No open toed shoes....etc.

sharra
01-15-2007, 10:07 PM
I've never seen a school that has rules about what you wear UNDER the uniform--all the girls in my class always wore shorts under their skirts so that we could go on the monkey bars and such. And obviously our P.E. uniforms had shorts instead of skirts.

Got to say, I went to an all girls school (AKA Hell) for a couple of years. Everything was stipulated, down to the underwear.

Hated it. And of course, the uniforms could only be bought from certain suppliers, who charged a fortune.

Carrie Ann Eggert
01-16-2007, 09:18 AM
For those who wouldn't send their children to a school that requires uniforms: what about brownies, guides, scouts? I've just done a quick google to ensure they still do wear uniforms, and they do. (Evidently, they are now designed by a "top designer".) Is it different to wear a guide uniform than a school uniform?

This is different. Uniforms require uniformity. Sameness...oneness. We see it in teams and groups that allow them to flaunt (yes flaunt!) who they are to the world.
In a team working towards a team goal to win and conquer (think competitions...think military) it's required you are uniform in all ways.
Do we really want that for our kids? Future leaders and craftsmen who don't think outside the box? Are we so set on making everyone equal that we forget that we are individuals set against the backdrop of a universe that may be made up of life that may not be like us?
All life is not created equal. Some life falls to the wayside...some in the name of human needs (byebye dodos). And while it's nice to want everyone to be equal and put them in the same cookie cutter clothes it's not going to work.
Because children may still be cruel to other children. And others will change into their fancy clothes when they get home. Because it's their homelife that dictates who they will become as they get older. And until we're all institutionalized and wearing those same uniforms as we sleep and eat the same food and have the same oppurtunities we are all going to experience life differently.
That is why uniforms are just gold plating. It's what's underneath that matters and covering it is only a temporary fix.
So I can see the need for team uniforms. And army uniforms. And prison uniforms. And even (though I detest the idea) work uniforms in places with more than 50 workers at a time.
I don't see a need for it for children in a school setting when we are supposed to be teaching them that being different is okay.
Cause really...it is okay to be different.

Cassie:)

PS...How quick do you think the teachers would strike in public schools if they had to 'uniform up' too? And I'm not talking just being presentable. I'm talking full scale uniformity. Pretty quick I'd guess.

aruna
01-16-2007, 09:40 AM
In a team working towards a team goal to win and conquer (think competitions...think military) it's required you are uniform in all ways.
Do we really want that for our kids? Future leaders and craftsmen who don't think outside the box? Are we so set on making everyone equal that we forget that we are individuals set against the backdrop of a universe that may be made up of life that may not be like us?
All life is not created equal. Some life falls to the wayside...some in the name of human needs (byebye dodos). And while it's nice to want everyone to be equal and put them in the same cookie cutter clothes it's not going to work.
.

I don't think you read the post I wrote above about the difference between schools in Germany and England. Or you didn't want to take it in.
Uniforms have absolutely no bearing on whether a school traats you as an indivifual or a drone.

German schools, with freedom of uniform, regularly turns out drones. It's embedded in the system. Everyone I know who has kids of school age there complains about the suppression of individual talent that goes on.

When I was choosing a school for my children in England I had a catalogue where each school described itself. I had such a hard time choosing because th eone thing that stuck out in ALL these schools was the emphasis on INDIVIDUALITY, on finding the best in each child and encouraging that; helping each chid to shine in his or her own way. The variety of subjects taught was mind-boggling (in Germany, all schools teach the same linited number of subjects, and its precribed what kids HAVE to learn). The choice of direction was a parent's delight. The fact that a child who is gifted in art or music is as acknowledged as a gifted mathematicican ( in the Germany system, art and music count for nothing).
in schools)
And they all wore uniforms.
True, these were independnet schools and a comparison is perhaps not fair. But the point it - a uniform does not make them all alike - on the contrary. And a lack of uniform does not mean freedom.

I repeat - it's just CLOTHES. What counts is the inside.

Elektra
01-16-2007, 04:26 PM
I don't think any system that produced Jimmey Buffett (he went to a uniformed Catholic school) can be said not to foster individuality.

And, like aruna said, even in the US I noticed a big difference between public school and my private (uniformed) school. The private school encouraged all forms of learning, including art, music, and reading. The public school was concerned with state test grades, and cramming as much uniform knowledge into us as it would take to pass the test.

Guess which school thought of me as just a number, a student ID? Guess which one had teachers that knew all the students' names, stregnths, and weaknesses? Guess at which one I was constantly worried about my appearance, making sure I was wearing the "cool" clothes everybody else was. Guess at which one I felt more free to be myself, because I didn't have to worry about that?

citymouse
01-16-2007, 05:07 PM
My first 10 years of school were non-uniform. I was from a poor family and wore hand-me-downs. At times my clothes were too small and other times they were too big. I wore flannel shirts and jeans with the hem cuffed to the point of making them mini-satchels. Many kids wore the latest fashion--no jeans.
In my sophomore year I went to a school that required a uniform. What social pressures there were in that school did not derive from dress.
As for conformity of mind vs individuality, clothes may make the man but they do not make the mind.
C

spike
01-17-2007, 12:31 AM
Thank you all!

This is exactly what I needed for my WIP.

Carrie Ann Eggert
01-17-2007, 04:06 AM
I don't think you read the post I wrote above about the difference between schools in Germany and England. Or you didn't want to take it in.
Uniforms have absolutely no bearing on whether a school traats you as an indivifual or a drone.


And they all wore uniforms.
True, these were independnet schools and a comparison is perhaps not fair. But the point it - a uniform does not make them all alike - on the contrary. And a lack of uniform does not mean freedom.

I repeat - it's just CLOTHES. What counts is the inside.

No I did read your post and you're right. Unforms don't have any bearing on the individual which is why they're pointless.

Another thing you said is also true. A uniform is not going to make them all alike. Gangster children are still going to display who they are in some way. And you're right on another note. Children are not 'free' no matter what they wear. They have to put in longer schedules at school than parents do for work (at least in our new, wonderful world of downsizing, part-timing, and temping in the USA). Wait til they get in the real world and find out that the only shift they may be able to work is midnight to 7 in the morning for the most pay-per-hour.

I'm not saying you're wrong at all. Germany and Europe are world's apart for all their closeness and America might as well be in outer space. Your school systems are vastly different than America's. You focus on actually studying a subject. American children are forced into memorizing tests to maximize public school budgets. No one studies science anymore. America is well behind in scientific fields...choosing other careers as more lucrative (here is a link to a light article in 2003 on the subject: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200311/msg00105.html )
Little by little my country has shifted into 2nd gear. For how long, I don't know, but I sure do hope we never see 3rd.

Sorry if I got off topic here and I promise this is the end of my 2 cents unless you want to discuss via PM.

And Spike good luck with your WIP. Sorry to have hijacked your thread.

Carry on peeps,
Carrie:)

Christine N.
01-17-2007, 04:31 AM
My little HO...
I probabaly wouldn't mind a school with uniforms. Most of the public schools in my area that do have them are simple - khakis and polos(both girls and boys can wear the pants), or cardigans and button down shirts or skirts. They have choices between certain things. They're nice and look neat and clean. Most places, the stores that sell the uniforms have great deals before school, and those who are less priveledged (many of these schools are in urban areas) can afford to clothe their children for less and for longer than if they didn't have uniforms.

I think it takes the emphasis off what they're wearing and puts it on what they're doing. I can see how it would focus the concentration in class. Now, I'm not a full teacher, just a sub, but I see what kids wear and how they act. Most kids would still be the same kids, no matter what they wore, but it wouldn't all be about checking out who's wearing what that day and 'ohh, where'd you get that?' in class.

To the person who 'looked for ways to buck the uniform'... I'd bet that if you went to a school with no uniform, you would have looked for ways to buck the dress code. It happens everywhere, certain kids really cry for attention that way.

I kind of wish the school my child is going to attend had uniforms. From a financial standpoint, it'd be great, and like others have said, there's no fretting over what to wear, hoping what they have is cool enough.

And working in a school, if I had to wear a uniform, I don't think I'd mind, because it would make that 5 am wake up easier to get through. I've worked places where we needed a uniform - it doesn't bother me.
It won't stop the bullying or whatever; kids will always find something to pick at. But it has its advantages. And I never had to wear a school uniform, but my 14 year old sister in law goes to Catholic school and has no complaints about her uniform.

Kids are individuals by what they do and how they act, not by what they wear.
Now, if we could only get rid of No Child Left Behind...

Jamesaritchie
01-18-2007, 06:56 PM
I see girls uniforms which include a required skirt as enforcing gender stereotypes people may disagree with or not be comfortable with. Uniforms in general also express an anti-individuality and anti-personal freedom mindset that I and many others find abhorrent and inhumane. Any arguments against state religion or reciting the pledge of allegiance can probably also be applied against school uniforms; they are both a case of a bureaucracy punishing those who have committed no crime by compelling them to conform to an arbitrary standard which does not significantly benefit anyone.

I find parents who feel this way are the problem. Truly dumb. No common sense at all, and bad kids, start to finsih. Saying uniforms have no significant benefit to anyone shows an incredible ignorance of the facts.

flannelberry
01-18-2007, 07:49 PM
I repeat - it's just CLOTHES. What counts is the inside.

Is it just me or is this contradictory - if it's just clothes etc. then why does a uniform matter?

flannelberry
01-18-2007, 07:56 PM
I find parents who feel this way are the problem. Truly dumb. No common sense at all, and bad kids, start to finsih. Saying uniforms have no significant benefit to anyone shows an incredible ignorance of the facts.

I guess I'm part of the problem because I agree entirely with Sunandshadow given the research and my experience of being a kid in a uni. Perhaps you could help me rectify this by sharing some these facts. When researching this very topic the sociological and psychological evidence was overwhelming that there is no benefit to wearing a uniform in school (there are other factors with adults in the work force that woudl make the studies not generalizable)- and that there may be detriments.

aruna
01-18-2007, 07:58 PM
Is it just me or is this contradictory - if it's just clothes etc. then why does a uniform matter?

Downplaying the outside, we can concentrate on the essential - the inside.

C.bronco
01-18-2007, 07:59 PM
Individuality comes from the inside. A lot of the kids here actually like having uniforms (they've said so) but are also happy to fold them up when it's time for college.
No matter what you dress me in, I will always be weird.

flannelberry
01-18-2007, 08:01 PM
My little HO...

I think it takes the emphasis off what they're wearing and puts it on what they're doing. I can see how it would focus the concentration in class. Now, I'm not a full teacher, just a sub, but I see what kids wear and how they act. Most kids would still be the same kids, no matter what they wore, but it wouldn't all be about checking out who's wearing what that day and 'ohh, where'd you get that?' in class.

But they do that with hairstyles, with jewelry with none uniform things with coats - it's part of experiencing each other socially. IME (which has been limited in the teaching part of the classroom setting - but there has been some) after the initial "ohhh" it doesn't last at either type of school.



To the person who 'looked for ways to buck the uniform'... I'd bet that if you went to a school with no uniform, you would have looked for ways to buck the dress code. It happens everywhere, certain kids really cry for attention that way.

That was me - and I was in a non uni school for most of high school. Just one yr in a girl's school. No, it wasn't the same at all.

aruna
01-18-2007, 08:02 PM
I guess I'm part of the problem because I agree entirely with Sunandshadow given the research and my experience of being a kid in a uni. Perhaps you could help me rectify this by sharing some these facts. When researching this very topic the sociological and psychological evidence was overwhelming that there is no benefit to wearing a uniform in school (there are other factors with adults in the work force that woudl make the studies not generalizable)- and that there may be detriments.


Considering that just about ALL British schoolchildren wear uniforms. and have done so for the last couple hundred years, as well as children in all British colonies... oh well, I guess Great Britian and her colonies is a nature of repressed, uncreative psychos!

flannelberry
01-18-2007, 08:05 PM
Considering that just about ALL British schoolchildren wear uniforms. and have done so for the last couple hundred years, as well as children in all British colonies... oh well, I guess Great Britian and her colonies is a nature of repressed, uncreative psychos!

I don't think anyone is saying that at all (and no, not all of the British colonies have unis - I live in one). One can flip the statement around - as they've all worn uniforms there's obviously no crime, bullying or other related problems? Right? Some of the best anti-uniform and anti-bullying research is coming out of England because of the associated problems.

aruna
01-18-2007, 08:13 PM
I don't think anyone is saying that at all (and no, not all of the British colonies have unis - I live in one). One can flip the statement around - as they've all worn uniforms there's obviously no crime, bullying or other related problems? Right? Some of the best anti-uniform and anti-bullying research is coming out of England because of the associated problems.

I think if you want to find evidence that uniform-wearing is the cause of bullying, you will find that evidence.

My kids were both horribly bullied in their non-uniform German schools. They were both not only not bullied, but treated as unique indiviuals in their uniformed English schools.

It's really quite simple. The pro-non-uniform people should send their kids to non-uniform schools. The pro- uniform people should send their children to uniform schools. Where's the problem?

In wanting to ban uniforms (if that is what you are proposing; I'm not quite sure) you are being just as authoritarian as you claim uniforms are!

Christine N.
01-19-2007, 05:51 PM
Yes, see, wearing a uniform doesn't turn kids into mindless drones - you pointed out hairstyles, jewelry, etc... so how do uniforms squelch individuality then?

I think the British kids look better, neater, etc... I hate when I see kids in schools looking like something on a street corner, or that they just came from a drive-by (not that they did, just look that way) We don't have a big 'gang' thing out here in the suburbs. I don't want to see anyone's boxer shorts.

I'm sure you can do things to uniforms to seem less than neat - part of my problem is that so many parents don't look at their kids before they walk out the door in the morning - but at least it's limited.

Like I said, I don't think the 'uniforms' around here, in the few schools that have them, are terrible. But they are a step above ripped t-shirts and baggy jeans.
IMO, I think kids eventually would become used to them, and it would then become a non-issue.

BARBAREM
02-01-2007, 12:47 PM
School uniforms, in the national capital, include trousers for girls - if they choose. Blessing in our winter.

regards