Would uniforms make schools better? - Taylor Quinn Morrison

Carmelita Roberts
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The thought of school uniforms makes some people cringe. However, school uniforms would definitely help bring down the stress level of high school students' everywhere. Although the bullies in movies are stereotypical and over-exaggerated, they do exist in real life, and the way some people dress is one of the things that they feed off of. A lot of people get made fun of for the things that they wear because they're different.

                Also, some can't afford new clothing, and have to keep wearing the same clothing daily which their peers may notice and make fun of. Families with financial problems wouldn't have as much pressure on them to always be buying new clothing for school, since you only have to buy the uniforms once, unless of course their child has a growth spurt. Having uniforms would be a way for students to avoid others knowing about the financial status of their family.

                Students would be able to focus more on school work and less on how they, and others, look. It would also give people more time to get ready in the morning and eat breakfast, since they don't have to decide what to wear.

                Additionally, uniforms can be recycled. If uniforms are kept in good condition, they could be very environmentally friendly and re-sold to students as second hand clothing, which would also help the families struggling with money.

                Uniforms overall have many benefits that out way the cons and would be an excellent idea for schools. I, for one, think that it would have benefited me when I first started high school to have had uniforms to take away from some of the pressure.

Organizations: Teen Scene

Geographic location: Kensington, Kensington Intermediate High School

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  • anonomous
    February 08, 2013 - 19:33

    yes its a great idea , i went thru it at school years ago when i went , the bullying about the cheap clothes you wear , and today it still goes on, this should have been done earlier

  • Marie
    February 08, 2013 - 10:00

    This is an OLD debate! Putting on a uniform does not change the person, does not change his/her social status and will not stop bullying. Instead, teach children compassion, empathy, humility, self-esteem, self-worth etc. Teach them that not everyone can have the extras, but it doesn't make them less of a person. Teach them to be everything that they can be as a loved and loving person. People with money can put on a uniform and still act like a person with money. A bully in jeans and t-shirt is still a bully in uniform. A uniform does not adjust attitudes...education at home and in schools does that. Parents NEED to instill love and humility in their children from day 1. Please note that these things DO NOT cost one cent but provide years of personal satisfaction which will carry you through life! LOVE AND RESPECT BEGINS AT HOME

  • hugh
    February 07, 2013 - 11:35

    instead of expensive school uniforms that poor families can not afford. Free used children clothing should be available to all students in all our schools, similar to our popular free school breakfast programs.

  • A Currie
    February 07, 2013 - 10:05

    As a single mum and a teacher I wish that my children had had the opportunity to wear uniforms. I would gladly have shelled out for uniforms and saved the brand names (that I often could not afford) for weekends. I've taught in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and the Middle East. The latter three required uniforms and it does level the playing field somewhat.However, unlike some, I feel that a uniform does not take away anyone's individuality - no one can do that if you don't allow it! And the same goes for losing your rights - my father was military all his life and he considered it a privilege to wear his "uniform" and his uniform stood for protecting our rights so that as free Canadians we can proudly wear our uniforms, be it a school uniform, a uniform for team sports, Guides or Scouts, Tim Horton's cashier or a Walmart Greeter. In a free and democratic country like ours a uniform doesn't stand for oppression, it stands for pride in your school/team, a beacon to tell everyone you belong, a club membership or a recognizable part of a whole. As children we travelled the world with our father and his pride in his uniform was something we instinctively felt and shared.

    • SAP
      February 07, 2013 - 10:51

      My father wore his military uniform with pride as well, and I have worn boy scout and sports uniforms, but the biggest difference was my father, and myself, CHOSE to belong to those groups. Children go to school based on where they live. Making them all wear the same outfit masks some of the real reasons why children don't feel a part of the group. I think it is a feel good band aid approach, I know people who went to schools with uniforms, and they had all of the same issues with bullying and marginalization of students. But you can idea it behind the idea of everyone being proud to "belong" because they are dressed the same.

  • SAP
    February 07, 2013 - 09:40

    Well thought out opinion by someone affected, and I applaud her for expressing her opinion. I am not a proponent of uniforms, and expect in a town like Kensington, the students would still know who has money and who doesn't, even if they make them wear the same clothes. Hiding a trigger of bullying does not address the cause, they will still find a way to make fun of the house you live in, your hair, your name, etc................

  • Pete
    February 07, 2013 - 09:23

    Great idea! It definitely is not a new concept and is in place in many areas across North America and has demonstrated success. I had to wear a school uniform when I went to school and I, nor any of my classmates, suffered because of it. One huge benefit was that it promoted pride in one's school ... while in uniform, few students wanted to engage in behaviour that would bring shame to their school. Another benefit was that kids felt more equal. Students had to impress their peers with their academic, sporting or extra-curricular achievements rather than by what they wore to school. Until kids took the time to actually get to know a classmate, they had no idea whether that classmate's father was a doctor or a garbage truck driver so they got the opportunity to know someone for what they were. Harder to develop prejudices in that kind of environment. And the money my parents saved on "clothing wars" went into providing better family vacations or into the bank to help fund a post secondary education opportunity. In retrospect, I feel very fortunate that I had to wear a school uniform.

    • SAP
      February 07, 2013 - 10:17

      Why would we allow them to impress with their academic or athletic ability, wouldn't that lead to the less academic/athletic students being picked on?

  • linda
    February 07, 2013 - 08:40

    This is too good an idea to ever come to pass. Who would initiate it, our visionless government or their puppet school board? It is a great idea, but we are too used to see the bundle og rags wandering around our schools, to want to have something tidy, --- maybe the teacher could set the example and wear some form of uniforms, - that would be a beginning. I would go so far as to give some kind of help to buy the kids uniforms, and tax relief for the cost. Great idea, --- that should be grown.

  • not right
    February 07, 2013 - 08:34

    We try to teach our kids to be themselves and be a leader not a follower.You want to take that away from them by making them all look the same.Next will you try telling the kids getting 90's to drop off to 70's because not all kids can get 90's.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 07, 2013 - 08:06

    Of course the uniforms would make a difference, but not necessarily with the grades, although modest improvements would result as has happened elsewhere. BUT by implementing this we are edging closer and closer to a COLLECTIVE TYPE similar to China, etc. We lose (actually give away) our individualism. So do we really want this compared to LOSING OUR RIGHT to dress as we please? There goes another RIGHT right out the window. Please think about the possible ramifications of these types of decisions that become policy then the next thing you know we have it legislated to us.

  • Stew
    February 07, 2013 - 08:04

    Well done Taylor. Very good points, I hope someone at the district level reads this.

  • Upwest
    February 07, 2013 - 06:47

    Great article, it would be nice if this came up for discussion at some point with the school board. Good to have the teen opinion on this!

  • jocelyn barbour
    February 07, 2013 - 06:42

    i think its a wonderful idea me and my son lived in south africa for 2 years and all kids there wear uniforms made it much easier for poor kids to blend in with the richier kids

  • Betty Calagoure
    February 07, 2013 - 06:41

    As someone who wore a school uniform from grades 1-6 (yes, here in Charlottetown) I can make some observations on this proposition with some personal experience to back it up. 1. Yes, bullies exist in real life, but what other people chose to wear is only one possible source of ammunition. Bullies bully, they'll always find some way to discriminate their victims. Trust me. 2. Uniforms aren't exactly "uniform". Sure there's the basic white shirt/black skirt or slacks combo (for example). But then there are accessories and jewelry or lack thereof, not to mention some people who favour the rumpled, unkempt look over the neatly pressed look. You won't be more than a week into the school year before you'll know who can afford the bling, and who either doesn't have the will or the means to keep their uniform neat and tidy. 3. Unless you plan to wear the same uniform day after day after day, it will be more than a one-time cash layout. You'll need at least 2, and that's not counting possible tears and rips.