Should students have to wear uniforms to school?i say no they should not wear uniforms. They should be able to wear whatever they want and express themselves.

67 Answers

rainbowcrayon's profile pic

rainbowcrayon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I have always taught in uniform schools (and wore one myself many years ago). I love uniforms. They're a simple and obvious way to help emphasize themes of inclusion, acceptance, and equality.

Though some people have mentioned that they can be more expensive, ultimately a few pieces of clothing make up the uniform, while many more would be purchased to fill a regular wardrobe. Having a uniform does (or at least should) limit the amount of clothes that a student needs to have in their "everyday" wardrobe.

The one thing that bothers me about uniforms is that they are a frequent source of discipline and struggle in class. Students often try to wear different shoes or a non-uniform sweater and this can lead to teacher/student confrontation. When worn properly though, I think uniforms are great.

If only I still had a uniform. It would definitely save me a lot of time every morning.

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

In public schools, uniform policies are a useful tool to simplify the management of behavior. If you have a lot of students dressing in ways that are sexualized, distracting, offensive, or that in some other way take away from the educational process, you have two choices: either spend a lot of time and manpower dealing with individuals on a case-by-case basis and making dozens of judgement calls, or else just institute a uniform policy that is quite clear, and then punish those who don't conform. Uniforms save a lot of work for the administration, and that makes them a tool that responsible leadership teams should consider.

I personally don't like school uniforms (I wore one for three grades), but I also don't like having to constantly tell boys to pull up their pants, girls to pull their necklines up and their skirts down, and having to read every tee shirt that I see all day to check it for references to drugs, alcohol, or offensive content. I'm a teacher, and I would like to teach. That's all. Students who insist on wearing offensive attire in the name of "self-expression" take away from my work, and consequently from the education of every other student in the room.

Maybe someday tweens and teens will figure this out and just put on clothing that isn't intended to start something. Until then, the uniform debate will be alive and well.


pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't think that uniforms are a bad idea.  I think that they help to make students concentrate on their work rather than on how they look or on who has what sorts of clothes.  I agree that it can stifle kids' ability to express themselves, but they have plenty of time for that outside of school.

megan-bright's profile pic

megan-bright | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

The district I worked in has mandated school uniforms in all schools for over a decade now. I do know that without uniforms it could be more evident who is struggling and lviving in poverty; however, some kids are so not well taken of that unfortunately, even with a uniform policy in place you can immediately tell that they are being uncared for, and they still get made fun of.

I do think uniforms have helped to deter inappropriate/overly sexual attire.

ophelious's profile pic

ophelious | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't. This is one of those issues that it's best to let individual districts decide based on the desires of the residents.  There are enough pros and cons that each side can balance the other.  Having a blanket policy where ALL students everywhere should wear them wouldn't make sense.  Each community should be allowed to decide.

Personally, I like the idea.  If for no other reason, I like the idea that I can quickly tell which kids belong in the school and which are strangers that may present a danger.  In a big school where you don't know every face, it's too easy for "outsiders" to wander in...and if you don't already know, when a bunch of kids wander into a school they don't go to it's rarely to attend glee club.

My argument against them, in general, is that if uniforms are such a good idea than why not have adults wear them too?  Why not have every profession have a specific uniform, or just create one generic "American" outfit?  The logic behind making students wear them can easily apply to adults as well.

lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Another reason to favor uniforms is that it helps to eliminate the stress on labels, brands and quantity of clothes -- especially in schools where there is a wide diversity of socio-economics.  The teen years are so fraught with "what will everyone think if me?"  Each morning, some students fear what classmates will think if they notice the shoes came from a discount retailer and that the same jeans have been worn three times this week.  Uniforms would help eliminate the competition (to least some degree) -- and perhaps the focus can be on something more academic.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I'm honestly a little tired of the argument that students should be able to "express themselves" through their clothes.  This is such a cop out to me.  Students have ample opportunity to appropriately "express themselves" in the form of discussion, art, essay, music, sports, etc.  Clothes, in my opinion, are the laziest form of "self-expression" that exists in high school, and this category of self expression falls just beneath "music preference."

I'm wholeheartedly in favor of a strict dress code, and in a society where everything has become so subjective and people have lost the ability to be confrontational, a rigid standard mode of dress is one of the easiest ways to regulate appropriate attire.  As for the question: "Does a dress code actually improve student behavior?" my answer, from many years of experience, is YES, when a dress code is properly enforced, it absolutely improves student behavior.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One problem nowadays is that people do not dress appropriately.  Like so many other regulations effected, uniform wearing has been instituted in public schools because students come to school in revealing clothing, or they wear clothing that slides down their posteriors, revealing undergarments.  When students do not take responsibility for appropriate, modest clothing, that is not distracting to others, then other measures are taken by the school.  As in society, if people do not police themselves, then they are policed. 

Those people who have grown up wearing uniforms often remark how they never knew who was rich or not.  They also note that they remember the faces of their classmates, but little about how they looked otherwise.  Is this bad?

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with you that uniforms are not necessarily the best option for all schools. However, I don't think students should be able to wear whatever they want. I am in favor of dress codes. A high school admissions officer I listened to the other day put it best- people don't wear whatever they want for work. The act of getting ready for work or school mentally prepares you for the day.
keigherysimons's profile pic

keigherysimons | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

no they shouldn't the should be aloud to wear whatever they want so they feel comfdable in their own clothes and express themselves and who they really are cause if they wear all the same things it would make it feel dead awkward for everyone

thewanderlust878's profile pic

thewanderlust878 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 3) Salutatorian

Posted on

This is a very long debated topic by people all over the world. I myself have had to write numerous papers on this very topic, and I must say I am quite sick of it. It seems to me like a topic that will never be truly resolved, and people should just leave it alone. 

To answer your question, I personally do not believe students should have to wear uniforms. I believe it suppresses creativity, and in the case of females, is slightly sexist since usually there are more restrictions. 

Hope this helps!

ik9744's profile pic

ik9744 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

This all comes down to your personal opinion. The pros of wearing uniform is everyone is alike, making everyone feel the same. Making everyone feel the same makes them have a feeling of equality making them less likely to get bullied by each other. Another pro is it would let them give up the freedom of wearing things that are inappropriate that should be punished. The cons of wearing a uniform to the school would be that the student would get less freedom of what they wear. I think of the way people dress as their personality, which lets me get along with the people that I prefer to be with. So taking about the freedom the dress might not always help new students to school due to the fact you won't know the person's personality due to everyone wearing the same clothes. Another con is the clothes itself might not be the liking of everyone. If the uniform seems good to the principle, district, etc. It might not be towards the student. I've seem some hideous uniform in the past years, and the ones that are not suit for everyone. The last con I'd have to say, but doesn't apply to everyone is that if you only have one set of uniform and it gets stained then it'll be a probably. Meaning that people would need to buy more than one set of uniform which is quite expensive sometimes. I listed a lot of cons, so my opinion is to not let student wear uniforms for school.

Short Answer: 

I'd rather have student have the freedom of choosing their own clothes then forcing them to wear what might not be suited for everyone.


Let people have a feeling of equality.

People lose the right to wear inappropriate things.


Less freedom

Might not be appealing to the students.

Not everyone can afford uniforms.

Losses the personality of the way you dress.

crystaltu001's profile pic

crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

I think they should and should not wear uniforms. They should because sometimes people have too much freedom with what they wear and end up dressing inappropriately . They shouldn't because some people actually follow the rules when there is a free dress day.  

leh2121999's profile pic

leh2121999 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I do and do not agree with you. One thing is that young adults or children will dress how they want to dress. They will wear too short of skirts, dresses and tank tops. They will go over board. As a result, there will be a lot of expulsions. 

Some kids do dress appropriate. They should be rewarded by not having to wera uniforms.

It does not really matter what they wear, as long as they get an education and be something. Such as, doctor, athelete, actree ect,.

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