Last updated on: 9/5/2014 | Author:

Karin Polacheck, PhD Biography

Former Board President of the Long Beach Unified School District
Pro to the question "Should Students Have to Wear School Uniforms?"

“Uniforms improve discipline, self-esteem and self-respect. They focus attention upon learning and away from such distractions as fashion competition and gang intimidation. Requiring uniforms enhances school security by permitting identification of non-students who try to enter the campus. Weapons have been concealed in jumpsuits, overcoats, and baggy gang clothing.

Uniforms help to create unity amid diversity by easing ethnic and cultural tensions and encouraging values of tolerance and civility. Uniforms also bridge differences between students and families of widely disparate income levels. Students from modest economic backgrounds are often the target of exclusion or ridicule on account of their dress. Even from the earliest grades, children feel the pressure to conform to idealized standards of dress, which may be beyond their family’s means. Uniforms eliminate this pressure and allow the attention of students to be directed to learning and growing.

Affordable school uniforms can reduce clothing costs substantially. The average clothing cost per child in schools with a student uniform is markedly less than that in schools without uniforms…

Chosen by each school, school uniforms provide students with a school identity, strengthen school and individual spirit and pride — not unlike the way an athletic team uniform builds team identity, morale and self-esteem. Instead of feeling alienated or disconnected, students enjoy the sense of belonging that school uniforms bring.”

“Uniforms Help Solve Many School problems,” Long Beach Press-Telegram, Sep. 28, 1995

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Consultant, Urban School Imagineers
  • Consultant, Little Rock School District, 2010
  • Former Board President, Long Beach Unified School District
  • Former President, Association of California Urban School Districts
  • Former member, Executive Committee, Council of Great City Schools
  • Co-recipient, National Education Association/General Motors Award
  • Former kindergarten and special education teacher
  • PhD, Education Leadership, University of California at Los Angeles, 2006
  • MA, University of Southern California
  • MA, University of Southern California
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Students Have to Wear School Uniforms?