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Should public schools require uniforms?

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Zoë Rizzo, Flushing

Public school students are not required to wear uniforms, but in many religious and private schools, uniforms are required. Should public schools also have to wear uniforms?

Although the opinions by students vary because there are positive and negative aspects of uniforms, most students in our public school would not want a uniform requirement.

Some positives about wearing a uniform in school are that you don’t have to worry about picking out an outfit or be bullied for your choice of clothes. There is not as much competition or comparison about clothing while you are at school, because everyone would have the same uniform. However, some of my friends in private schools do say that students try to individualize their uniforms and still compare accessories. Our parents would also be happier because they would probably not have to buy us as many clothes, although we still would need clothes for when we are not in school.

Most kids that I spoke to think that having to wear a uniform is negative because your clothes are the same every day, and you can’t wear what you want. Wearing what we want each day outweighs any of the positives to uniforms. Besides, most schools that don’t have uniforms have dress codes, so we already have some guidelines about what to wear. We get to wear what we want, but it has to be appropriate for the dress code. Most dress codes include rules about shorts being finger-length (touch the tip of fingers with hands at your sides), and any tank straps have to be the width of two fingers. Also, all clothing has to be appropriate and safe for school, and cannot cause a distraction.

All in all, we are not in support of uniforms in public schools. We like to choose what we want to wear. Besides, we already have some dress code rules that we have to follow, so we do not want more restrictions in our clothing choices by having to wear a uniform.

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