Top Pro & Con Arguments


School uniforms do not stop bullying and can actually increase violent attacks.

“Overall, there is no evidence in bullying literature that supports a reduction in violence due to school uniforms, explains Tony Volk, Associate Professor at Brock University. The oft-quoted improvements to school safety and student behavior in the Long Beach (CA) Unified School District from 1993-1995 may not have resulted from the introduction of school uniforms. The study in which the findings were published cautioned that “it is not clear that these results are entirely attributable to the uniform policy” and suggests that the introduction of new school security measures made at the same time may have been partly responsible. [64] [85]

Further, a peer-reviewed study found that “school uniforms increased the average number of assaults by about 14 [per year] in the most violent schools.” A Texas Southern University study found that school discipline incidents rose by about 12% after the introduction of uniforms. And, according to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of Education Evaluation and Management, fights in middle schools nearly doubled within one year of introducing mandatory uniforms. [14] [26] [72] [73]

Discipline problems increase in part because school uniforms emphasize the socio-economic divisions they are supposed to eliminate. Most public schools with uniform policies are in low-income neighborhoods (47% of high-poverty public schools required school uniforms vs. 6% of low poverty schools), emphasizing the class distinctions that uniforms were supposed to eliminate. Even within one school, uniforms cannot conceal the differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” David L. Brunsma explains that “more affluent families buy more uniforms per child. The less affluent… they have one… It’s more likely to be tattered, torn and faded. It only takes two months [after a uniform policy is implemented] for socioeconomic differences to show up again.” [9] [23]

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