I know this post is going to piss off some people – and I don’t mean to offend…it is just my opinion and my thoughts. I feel as strongly about uniforms as you might – just in a different way.
When I think of uniforms – three distinct images come to mind.
- Prisoners – orange jumpsuit anyone?
- Dystopian novels – most everyone is always wearing a uniform; for some reason the future involves the loss of identity.
- Totalitarian regimes – a nice Mao jacket for ya?
And yet many people *love* the idea of putting school children in uniforms – the more conservative the school the more likely uniforms are required. I find this to be such a bizarro concept. I identify uniforms with the notions of ‘everyone is the same’ – trying to blend out the socioeconomic differences between people; which seems to carry connotations of socialism/totalitarianism but it is happening in very capitalistic communities, such as private schools. If you are fiercely capitalistic in your ideology, how can you be in sync with the mindset of making everyone the same? Or is it just a method of control?
On the other hand of bizarro – I lean more towards a socialism ideology (actually I like to blend my ideologies because there are facets worth considering in most of them) yet I ABHOR the idea of putting children in uniforms. And I’ve heard most all the arguments. And I still don’t buy it.
Here are a few ~
- Children wear the same khaki pants and blandiola golf shirt – therefore no one ‘knows’ who’s rich or who’s poor.
I’m pretty sure that some families are buying their kid’s khaki’s at Wal-mart and some are buying them at Nordstroms. So unless everyone is actually going to an actual ‘uniform’ store, there will be differences in the clothing. No one is fooled.
- It’s cheaper for the parents – just buying the uniforms
My friend’s child went to a uniform-wearing public school that constantly changed their uniform policy because most of the kids spent their time being subversive (whoo hoo!) and bending the rules about the uniforms. So the administrators kept changing it up – first khaki pants, than khaki pants without back pockets, then khaki pants with no side pockets etc. So really, it wasn’t cheaper, it was wasteful.
- More learning happens when everyone is wearing a uniform
This point makes me want to scream. I learned to think and wore what I wanted. As well, the teachers seem to have to spend MORE time being the uniform police rather than being able to focus on teaching. I know a young girl that was sent home from school because her scrunchie hairband had blue & red soccer balls. Blue & red are GANG colors – she must have been in the scrunchie hairband gang. They are a bad lot.
I just don’t understand why we think squashing our children’s individuality is the solution to the problems occurring in academia. To me it seems to be a band-aid solution and a very totalitarian mindset. It’s all about control, conformity, sit there- be quite, be the same, do this and don’t think for yourself. For me, part of growing up was growing into my own identity, which was expressed in clothing, music, hair etc.
Oh wait – I forgot everyone’s favorite argument –
- What about the kids that come to school dressed inappropriately?
Here’s my take on it – I am not against a dress code (that is reasonable) – I am against being told exactly what I have to wear. School is not a prison. School is not a dystopian society. School is not a totalitarian regime.
People give it up – I want to hear your opinions – please be respectful. That is all I ask. And know that even though you might be all for uniforms and I am not, it doesn’t make either of us ‘bad’ or ‘good’ – it just makes us have a difference of opinion.