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Uniforms over individuality?

Updated on January 13, 2015

Uniforms have been around for a long time for many different reasons, ranging from school to work. More and more schools, across the world, decide every day that they should start wearing them. About 74% of Canadian schools, both public and catholic, have chosen uniforms for their students.

The main argument that students have is that their individuality has been taken away. Rules are created to make sure students' dress a certain way and they are limiting many ways. Schools, that have uniforms, have rules such as:

  1. Students must have black, navy blue or white socks.
  2. Motif tights are not permitted
  3. Shirts under the uniform must be short or not sleeved and either plain black or white

These are just some of the many rules. Students must also be careful on what accessories they wear because not all accessories are permitted and some are limited. What happens to the students whom do not follow the many rules? They either get sent to the office to then either to be sent home, to change, or get detention. Why should a person get detention and be taken away from their education because of uniforms?

Another quite popular argument school children have with their schools is the fact that teachers walk down the halls in their pencil skirts, tank tops, shirts that are too tight while student must wear whatever the dictator says. Teachers can wear the colours, the style and accessories they want but the poor students at Samuel-Genest, a French catholic high school in Ottawa, have polos that are forest green or white, white blouses, blue dress shirts and navy blue bottoms. Most students will see the teachers in yellows, pinks, bright blues, oranges and also reds. We can easily see their individuality. Yes students do not have to decide what to wear but does it really create more school pride?

Of course not! Clothes do not always mean pride. Uniforms might mean safety but safety does not mean school pride and happy students. People, nowadays, buy clothes just because they like the colour or style. They don't always buy clothes just because they are "in style" and the "big thing of the moment". I have heard many students say they do not like their school due to the fact that they have uniforms. Everyone looks forward to the days that they can wear whatever they want to wear. Teachers tell us not to complain but most of them have not worn uniforms so they do not know the feeling of wearing one.

Uniforms are supposed to be less costly but they are an extra cost to parents. Parents must already buy casual clothes for a regular, at home basis and pay for some stuff attached to the school. A pleated skirt from Top-Marks, a Quebec-based uniform company, costs 51$ when a person can buy a regular pencil skirt at Old Navy for 20$. That is a 31$ difference. A blouse from Top-Marks costs 28.50$ but from Old Navy it is 27.94$. There is just a savings of 0.56$ but when you think about it, every penny counts! How does one person live with just one skirt and one blouse? It is honestly impossible! A person needs at least 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants and maybe 1 skirt or 1 pair of shorts. If everything adds up, a uniform set from that uniform company, 394.88$ but when you buy from a regular store, it comes up to about 135$. That is a savings of around 259.88$!

In reality, uniforms are a burden on families and on the students. Cost and rules are what can bug a person the most because some people would like to spend a comfortable amount of money for clothes. Students should not be forced into wearing uniforms because their individuality is compromised. Do you think it is fair to have to make people lose so much for something that lasts maximum 4 years?

Do you like school uniforms?

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    • Breanne Ginsburg profile image

      Breanne Ginsburg 3 years ago

      I could see how that would be annoying. Whether or not students act inappropriately or not in school has nothing to do with how they dress.

    • Ashley CathcartM profile image
      Author

      Ashley Cathcart-McKinnon 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario

      Our argument in high school was "oh wow. A SHOULDER! IM TOTALLY WANTING SEX NOW!" and I went to a not so catholic school but still used religion against us

    • Breanne Ginsburg profile image

      Breanne Ginsburg 3 years ago

      Ashley,

      This is a good article. I hated wearing uniforms in high school. I'm not one to wear revealing clothing as it is and I was always uncomfortable wearing a uniform, I would have much rather preferred jeans and a tank top or t-shirt. Also, ironically, some students seemed to get away with shorter skirts, etc. so it actually didn't make sense. In addition, we had a policy that guys had to wear belts, even if their pants fit!

      I think a major reason schools decide to have uniforms is so that clothing doesn't become a "distraction". Let's face it, if guys are going to "check out women" or women are going to "check out men", they're going to do it no matter what someone is wearing. Also, I'm sorry, but I've never been distracted by what someone is wearing. I have, however, found myself uncomfortable in a uniform, which can be distracting!

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