School Uniforms Dress Codes Essay

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According to a national survey, over 90% of US school leaders believe school uniform or formal dress code policies "eliminate wardrobe battles with kids," make it "easier to get kids ready in the morning," and create a "time saving in the morning." Tracey Marinelli, Superintendent of the Lyndhurst School District in New Jersey, credited the district's uniform policy for reducing the number of students running late.

Lyndhurst student Mike Morreale agreed, stating that "it's so much easier to dress than having to search for clothes and find out that something doesn't match." A national survey of 517 US school leaders found that 94% of those surveyed believe "one of the main benefits to parents is that school uniforms are more cost-effective than regular apparel," and 77% estimated the average annual cost of school uniforms per child to be $150 or less.

The poll also found that 58% of parents wanted a mandatory uniform policy instated.

(7-2, 1969), which concerned the wearing of black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, confirmed that students' constitutional right to free speech "does not relate to regulation of the length of skirts or the type of clothing." Wearing one's own choice of shirt or pants is not the "pure speech" protected by the Constitution.

(3-0), which revolved around a boy refusing to have his hair cut shorter, the US First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that "compelled conformity to conventional standards of appearance" does not "seem a justifiable part of the educational process." Clothing choices are "a crucial form of self-expression," according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, which also stated that "allowing students to choose their clothing is an empowering message from the schools that a student is a maturing person who is entitled to the most basic self-determination." Clothing is also a popular means of expressing support for various social causes and compulsory uniforms largely remove that option.

Students at Friendly High School in Prince George's County, MD, were not allowed to wear pink shirts to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Macquarie University (Australia) researchers found that in schools across the world where uniform policies are enforced, students "are more disciplined" and "listen significantly better, there are lower noise levels, and lower teaching waiting times with classes starting on time." Doris Jo Murphy, Ed D, former Director of Field Experiences at the University of North Texas College of Education, stated: "As an elementary assistant principal in two suburban districts, I can tell you that the dress code took up a great deal of my time in the area of discipline...

I wished many times that we had uniforms because the issue of skirts or shorts being too short, and baggy jeans and pants on the boys not being pulled up as they needed to be, would have been a non-issue." Lyndhurst, NJ school district superintendent Tracey Marinelli had a similar experience before a uniform policy was introduced: "Kids were spending time in the office because they were not fulfilling the dress code...

Mandatory uniform policies in public schools are found more commonly in high-poverty areas.

Proponents say that school uniforms make schools safer for students, create a “level playing field” that reduces socioeconomic disparities, and encourage children to focus on their studies rather than their clothes.

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