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Uniforms make classrooms safer

School uniforms reduce violence

Context

Long Beach school district in California carried out a study across its elementary and middle schools. In 1994, the district became the first school district in the United States to require students to wear school uniforms from Kindergarten to eighth grade.[1] Following the decision, the district found that violence and disciplinary issues across the district fell. There was a 74% reduction in physical fights between students, fewer vandalism cases, and fewer suspensions.

The Argument

When all the children look the same, it fosters an environment of collaboration and unity. It gives the message that "we are all on the same team" and helps to nurture a community spirit. Uniform requirements also reduce the possibility of gang violence by removing gang-affiliated clothing from schools. They reduce the prominence of weapons in schools as students cannot conceal a knife or firearm beneath baggy clothes.[2] Uniforms also make intruders on the school campus easier to identify. Anyone not wearing a school uniform, or wearing the uniform of a different school, stands out. Uniforms in schools make the students safer.

Counter arguments

This may be the case in some areas, but in the most violent schools, they most certainly do not make them safer. A study in Texas found that the introduction of school uniforms in the most violent schools caused cases of violence to increase. The same occurred in schools in Miami. What works in some areas, does not work across the board.[2] Also, while they may reduce the number of violent incidents in schools, they only make them worse outside schools. School uniforms make students a target for aggressors from other schools and can exacerbate inter-school conflict and violence.[3]

Premises

[P1] Uniforms make schools safer [P2] Therefore, they should be a requirement.

Rejecting the premises

Rejecting P1: They do not make students safer.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1746-1561.1998.tb03484.x
  2. https://school-uniforms.procon.org/
  3. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/school-uniforms/

Proponents

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This page was last edited on Monday, 11 Feb 2019 at 21:36 UTC