School Uniforms Cause an Uproar

The other day, I had the pleasure to observe two sessions of a Freshman Transition class. During the second session, the teacher needed to change gears on the fly and abandon reviewing an assignment because there were too many students who had not finished the assignment yet. So, she taught the children how to take notes instead, using a review of the upcoming dress code changes. The school is going to institute a rather rigid dress code that basically requires them to wear a uniform. Students will be limited in their color and material choices. The changes are not going over very well with the students.

I smirked when I heard the kids complain about the new dress code. Actually, I thought, I would prefer it if I were them. Heck, it is one last thing to worry about in the morning. I have three colors for shirts and three for pants. I cannot wear jeans. All right, here is my shirt, here are my pants, away we go to school. I remember a good friend telling me when I was a teen that she did not mind her school uniform because she never had to think about what she was going to wear to school and everyone looked the same so no one could tease someone else about their clothing. As a kid who had to wear rather cheap clothes to school, I would have appreciated a uniform that brought me to the same level as everyone else.

I giggled when the teacher said, “As a teacher, guys, I have to tell you that I am sick of seeing a fifteen year-old’s underwear. This will make me, as an adult, feel much more comfortable in school. Besides, I still don’t understand why young men would want to emulate this style. First of all, it’s OLD, at least ten years’ old. Second, it came from prison, where men were not allowed to wear a belt for fear they would strangle someone with it. So why would you want to emulate that?”

What do you think about school uniforms? Good? Bad? Stifling creativity and expressive freedom?

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