Over the years, the issue of mandatory uniforms in schools has elicited a lot of debates in the public domain, in classrooms, boardrooms, and even courtrooms. As a result, many researchers, professionals, and educators have investigated various aspects that affect students being subjected to mandatory school uniforms. The first article, “School dress codes and uniform policies,” is written by Anderson Wendell and published in 2002. The article discusses the ongoing debate on the formulation of the policies that affect the school dress codes and the wearing of uniforms in school. Wendell, in this article, does not give his position on these policies, their usage, and whether they are essential or not. The author rather expresses the various arguments presented by the opposing parties on the topic.
From the article, those who support the formulation and existence of these policies cite various advantages for students to have mandatory school uniforms. For instance, the supporters cite school safety enhancement, improvement of the learning climate, facilitates students to have high esteem, and ensures that families of the students have less stress. According to the proponents, these aspects apply because when students are in uniforms, there are limited chances that they would participate in violent activities, and strangers can easily be identified in schools. On enhancing self-esteem, the proponents argue that school uniforms diminishes students being excluded based on what they wear, reduce peer pressure, students are put on more common ground, and lowering of the levels of absenteeism.
On the other hand, the opponents of these policies cite their reasons, which count as the disadvantages of having students subjected to mandatory uniforms in schools. According to opponents, having these policies in place only qualifies as the shallow solutions to address the problem that is already deepening. Additionally, they view this as a way to deprive the students of their fundamental rights and freedom. The article draws its weight from the survey in which the participants argued that for students to access uniforms, they must have the initial expense to purchase such clothes that overburden families. They also argue that there is no consistency in enforcing school codes and that issue of non-compliance arises. One of their primary concerns is the deprivation of the students’ rights to make their own choice.
The second article is about dressing diversity: politics of difference and the case of school uniforms. The article was written by Samantha Deane from the Loyola University Chicago and published in 2015. In this article, the author analyses the policies of school uniform to find out if they intend to achieve the right purpose. According to Deane, having school uniform policies in place to require students to look uniform in dress code is not enough to have the students embrace diversity differences in schools. The author argues that this is a poor way to address the differences and the diversity among students considering the policies have a shallow view that the best way to embrace such difference has sameness. The author instead argues that students do not view school uniforms as a uniforming factor but rather a procedural practice required in such settings. Thus, the author finds schools as the place to help children confront humanity and difference of others, but the use of uniform policies is not the best way to achieve the same.
Therefore, the two articles by Wendell (2002) and Deane (2015) focus on the issue of policies that regulate the issue of school uniforms. In both articles, there seems to be a perpetual argument about the school uniform policies and whether these policies are helpful or not. However, Wendell (2002) does not take any side of the issue that prevents the views and the points brought out by various parties. This author also does not specify the area of discussion as far as school uniform policies are concerned. Instead, he examines the roles of these policies in the entire learning environment, including the advantages and disadvantages that are attached to the policies. However, Deane (2015), on his part, seems to have taken the position on the issue and is arguing against the need for such policies in schools and questions its effectiveness in achieving the intended purpose. The author in this article is more specific to the existence of diversity and human differences in schools and does not find uniform policies as effective in helping children embrace diversity and human differences.
The authors in both articles present reliable facts on what school uniform and dress codes policies entail, their intended purpose, usage, and effectiveness. There is no doubt that such policies may have advantages and disadvantages, and the most fundamental aspect is that the policy-makers were probably aware of these aspects. However, the most important things are to look at these policies from a higher angle and help improve them so that the weaknesses are limited and enhance their strengths. For instance, both parties can come together and agree on how to incorporate proper learning with school policies such that students can see the meaning of the school uniforms. Similarly, essential issues should be taken into consideration to help eliminate the view of seeing school uniforms a punishment and denial to right of choice but rather meant to achieve a specific purpose.
Anderson, W. (2002). School Dress Codes and Uniform Policies. Policy Report.Deane, S. (2015). Dressing Diversity: Politics of Difference and the Case of School Uniforms. Philosophical Studies in Education, 46, 111-120.
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