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POSSIBLE DEBATE MOTIONS: This House would abolish school uniform School uniforms should not be introduced This

House believes that were all individuals This House rejects uniformity CONTEXT The question of whether children should wear a uniform to school always makes for a lively debate, and not only among students! In some countries school uniform is normal and most schools make their students wear one. Britain is the most obvious example of this, but in many other countries with strong links to Britain uniform often has to be worn to school - examples include Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and many other African countries. Uniform is also required at almost all schools in Japan. In other countries, particularly in continental Europe, the USA and Canada, uniform is very rare in state-funded schools, although private schools may have one. Debates about school uniform have been going on for decades in different countries and districts, but during the 1990s state schools in the USA began to adopt uniforms. At first uniform rules were seen as a way of stopping children dressing in gang colours in troubled urban areas. Later, claims that introducing uniform leads to better discipline and educational results encouraged other school districts and schools to make a change. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have been in favour of school uniforms. Other countries have picked up on this trend - for example, there has been talk of making German children wear uniforms. This topic looks at a very large number of arguments about uniforms. Not all of these will apply in every country or school, so take care only to select the ones that are relevant for your debate. The proposition (affirmative or government) side here is arguing for uniforms to be scrapped, but the case could easily be reversed if your debate is about introducing uniforms instead. ARGUMENTS PROPOSITION We all have a right to individuality, to make personal choices and to express our personality. This right of free expression includes the way we choose to dress. Making everyone wear the same school uniform infringes on (goes against) our rights and is a misuse of authority. The right to choose what to wear is particularly important for young people, who often have few other ways of expressing their personality or making choices about their lives. There is no good evidence that links school uniform to improved results. A few schools in the USA reported better test scores after they started having uniform, but most of these made other changes to the running of the school which could have helped instead. Studies looking at lots of schools, with and without uniform, have not found any link between what children wear and school results. Only a few inner-city schools have had problems with children wearing gang colours. Many of these have got rid of the problem not by introducing uniform, but by simply having a dress code which bans such gang clothes and symbols. In fact, uniform boosts a gang state of mind by marking children out and dividing students from different schools against each other. This can increase conflict between young people outside school, leading to bullying and violence. OPPOSITION Having all the students wearing the same uniform helps to create a sense of belonging and a good school ethos (culture or spirit). By showing that the school expects high standards, expectations are raised and students respond with better behaviour. US schools which introduced school uniform reported improved discipline.

Schools with uniforms obtain better educational results. This is because there is better discipline and so the school setting makes learning easier. Without the distraction of checking out what all the other students are wearing (or how much flesh they are showing), students find it easier to concentrate and do better in tests.

Uniform is a social leveller - it makes all the children at a school equal no matter what their family background or income. If students can choose their own clothes, then the rich kids compete to show off their expensive designer labels and costly sneakers (trainers). Children from poorer families get picked on for not being able to afford lots of pricey outfits. Schools in the USA have used uniform to overcome the problem of students wearing gang colours if they were allowed to choose their own clothes. Clothes with particular colours or symbols marked rival groups of students out as linked to street gangs. This often led to fighting inside and outside the classroom. If everyone has to wear the same clothes to school, this problem is removed.


Uniform is often not practical or pleasant to wear. Designs are often old-fashioned and ugly. Clothes that are designed to be worn by all shapes and sizes of student fit no one really well. For cheapness uniform items are often made of polycottons which are hot in warm weather but dont keep children properly warm in winter. Children in uncomfortable outfits are unlikely to learn much. There is no proper research that shows that introducing uniform cuts crime in schools. Uniforms can actually lead to more violence, as they make students from rival schools much more obvious in the street or on the bus. Us-and-them feelings are made worse by uniform, and bullying and fighting between students from different schools can increase.

Uniform has practical advantages. Students dont have to waste time thinking what to wear at the start of each school day. The clothes are designed to be comfortable and safe, with no long trailing sleeves, skirts or hoods to catch on dangerous equipment in workshops or science lessons. It is also very helpful on trips as staff can quickly spot all the students from their school, keeping them out of trouble and making sure no one gets lost. Introducing uniform can reduce crime in schools, especially violence and theft. Headteachers at several US schools report lower levels of violence and crime after uniforms were introduced. This is partly due to better discipline, but also because students no longer come to school wearing desirable designer clothes or $100 trainers (sneakers). Uniform also helps makes schools safer as it makes intruders much easier to spot. Anyone not in uniform can easily be seen and reported. School uniform can satisfy religious and cultural needs. In areas with lots of children from different backgrounds (such as British cities) it is common to consult parents and the local community. For example, Muslim girls can be allowed to wear loose long trousers and tops in school colours, instead of the skirts or dresses worn by other female students.

Forcing children to wear uniform can ignore their religious and cultural needs. For example, Sikh boys, Orthodox Jews and Islamic girls all express their religious beliefs through the way they dress, and uniform stops them doing this. In particular, school uniforms are often not modest enough in covering the female body to suit Muslims. Taking away this freedom of religious expression can also lead parents to choose private faith schools, limiting integration and the mixing of different cultures. Very few countries feel the need to put most of their children in school uniforms. Mostly it is a British thing not shared by the rest of the world. Outside Britain, most schools with uniforms are private schools trying to set themselves apart from the state education system. Uniform is almost unknown in European countries, yet their schools often have high standards of behaviour and learning. Until the 1990s uniform was very rare in the USA. Since then some US schools and districts have introduced uniform, but the large majority of schools still do not have it. Some of those which did adopt uniform have since given up on it again. Uniforms are expensive and can be hard for parents to afford - it is like a tax on sending your child to school. After all, it is not as if children wont need other clothes too, for evenings, weekends and holidays. Special clothes like uniforms are only produced in small quantities, and so are more costly than normal clothes. Often, they can only be bought from one or two special shops, which also pushes the price up. The cost of uniform often means that parents dislike it and it can lead to a bad relationship between them and the school. Schools waste a lot of time trying to enforce uniform rules. Because children dont like wearing uniform, they fight against it in many clever ways (e.g. shortening skirts, wearing non-regulation shoes and hosiery, tying their ties in funny ways, etc.). Schools in the US often allow parents an opt-out from uniform, which means teachers have to check what list a child is on at the start of every lesson.

School uniform is a tradition worth keeping. In countries like Britain many schools have had uniforms for over a hundred years. The exact clothes can be updated with the times, but the overall look of the uniform provides a link with the schools past. Wearing it encourages pride in the school and gives out a good image to outsiders.

Uniform is usually cheaper than letting children choose what they will wear to school. Young people feel pressure to dress in the latest thing and not to wear the same outfit often. This often leads their parents to spend 100s of dollars on clothes each year. With uniform taking away this pressure, there is usually a much smaller overall cost for the parents. Families who are hard-up can often get help with the cost of uniform, or buy it second-hand. For these reason parents often like uniform. At some schools it is parents groups that start campaigns to introduce it. Students will always kick against the system, whatever that is. If there is a dress code instead of a uniform, they will try to bend those rules instead. For example, how short a skirt is too short? Are crop-tops allowed? What about hats or hoods which hide the students face? Most problems of enforcing uniform rules in the USA are because uniform is voluntary, or students are allowed an opt-out from it. If uniform must be worn by everyone there is much less confusion and enforcing the rules is quicker and simpler.

Rather than introduce school uniform, why not have a dress code Having a uniform helps students and parents resist peer pressure. instead? This has all the benefits of uniform without the many In schools with no uniform, children may feel the need to dress in disadvantages. While uniforms force all children to wear the same certain ways in order to fit in. This can often mean buying a lot of


clothes, dress codes give students a lot of choice what to wear. expensive and fashionable clothes that families cannot really Only a few unsuitable things are banned - for example, gang afford. It can also mean girls being pressured into wearing skimpy colours, very short skirts, crop tops, bare shoulders, etc. clothes to try and look sexy at a very young age. It could even include Muslim girls feeling that they must wear a headscarf even though they dont want to. Wearing a school uniform is not good preparation for working. Only a few jobs require uniforms, and many of these are low-paid service jobs - not what we want our young people to aim for. After all, their main role-models at school - the teachers - dont have to wear a uniform. Well-paid jobs used to require a suit, but this has been changing in recent years and smart-casual clothes are much more common now. Even if you have to wear a suit, you still have a huge choice of styles, colour and accessories with which to express your personality. This isnt true of school uniform. Wearing a uniform helps to prepare students for the world of work, where uniforms are often worn. People like nurses, soldiers, shop assistants, the police and railway staff wear uniform as part of their job. Many other workers are expected to wear suits really just a grown up sort of uniform, with little choice about it. Just like these adults, students should dress in uniform when they are in school, getting on with work. After all, students and adults can both change into their own casual clothes at the end of the working day, when they are off duty.

ALTERNATIVE SOURCES Many public school systems across the country are instituting school uniforms in an effort to improve overall school performa nce and to reduce negative behaviour. Standardized school clothing has become a heated national debate with experts taking stands on both sides of the dispute. Below is a summary of the pros and cons of school uniforms. ARGUMENTS OPPOSITION The commonly cited advantages of uniforms are increased academic performance, reduced behavioural problems, increased social harmony, and reduced costs of clothing students. ACADEMIC OUTCOMES Many educators believe that students who wear school uniforms perform better academically in school, and a study done in 1998 by Notre Dame shows a slight statistical elevation in student performance among students who wear uniforms. Students are often so focused on their wardrobe that it distracts them from learning. Some experts believe that a mandatory uniform policy will remove this distraction and improve student attention, believing that uniforms set a more serious tone within the school environment that is conducive to learning and can improve student performance. They also believe that school uniforms improve student attendance. BEHAVIOURAL OUTCOMES It is generally thought that students who wear school uniforms behave more appropriately in the school environment. They beli eve that uniforms dictate a stricter atmosphere and that students who wear uniforms are more likely to follow school rules. The US Department of Education maintains that the mandatory use of standardized dress reduces violence within the school. SOCIAL OUTCOMES Uniforms can be a social equalizer. Some experts believe that, more than in any other area, school uniforms improve the social outcomes in a school environment. Clothing and fashion are often at the root of social conflict. Children are often ridiculed by other children because of the way they dress. Many children use clothing to express themselves and to define themselves. This self-expression and definition often leads to the formation of cliques in the school environment. Many students feel that they are judged according to what they wear by other students, as well as by teachers and administrators. School uniforms remove these factors from the social environment within the school, thus relieving students from the pressure to fit in. Experts believe that, by improving the social environment through mandatory standardized dress, both academic and behavioural outcomes improve.


COST In some cases, the use of school uniforms is more affordable to families because there is not as much pressure to buy expensive, trendy clothing. Uniforms are made to last, and can be washed easily and frequently. After the initial cost of buying uniform s, there is no need to spend as much money on clothing. PROPOSITION Commonly cited cons of school uniforms include a reduced amount of opportunities for self-expression, a reduced sense of individuality, possible increased costs in clothing and possible reduced comfort. Self-Expression Many educators and sociology experts argue that requiring children to wear standardized uniforms stifles their self-expression. Selfexpression is an important part of child development and some experts believe that curbing it with uniforms can be detrimental to children. Experts also believe that students who are forced to wear uniforms will only find other, less appropriate ways to e xpress themselves, possibly through inappropriate use of makeup and jewerly. Individuality Some experts believe that public education attempts to strip children of their individuality. They believe that public education does not meet the needs of children who do not fall in the norm, and that uniforms attempt to force every student into one mold. They see standard dress as yet another way for public educators to remove student individuality where they should be embracing and celebrating diversity. Some experts believe it is not in the best interest of the child to try to control socialization, which is a part of human nature. They believe that such use of school uniforms does not prepare children for the real world, in which they will be judged by their appearance. Cost There are just as many experts who believe that the cost of school uniforms is a negative factor as those who see it as a positive factor. Some experts believe that it increases the amount of clothing parents will have to buy for their children because the children will still want and need clothing for the hours they are not in school. Uniforms can be more expensive for a family who buys from secondhand stores or who relies on hand-me-down clothing from friends and family. Some experts believe the cost is a negative aspect of school uniforms because there is no use for them outside of school. Comfort Critics argue that different types of clothing feel comfortable to different people. Some children are more comfortable in a specific material or style of clothing. Uniforms reduce one's ability to choose clothing that fits individual comfort needs. Experts believe that children need to feel comfortable in order to maximize learning, and that uniforms can, in this way, deter academic success for some children. Delays Transition into Adulthood Some experts feel that self-expression and self-identification as a teenager helps prepare them to make the leap into adulthood. By forcing teenagers to wear school uniforms, it limits their ability to express in this manner, which may delay their transition into adulthood. One study done in the state of Louisiana found that the only benefits derived from school uniforms ended once the students left middle school, and that no benefits were found for high school students. Expert Opinions Many educators and experts believe that, although in theory uniforms should improve academic, behavioural and social outcomes, in reality they do not. These experts argue that the studies of schools who initiate uniforms do not report improvement in any of these areas; therefore, if the desired outcomes are not reached, there is no valid reason to standardize student dress. There are also, of course, experts who maintain that uniforms do have advantages. Every school district decides on this issue separately, usually following much debate surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of requiring students to wear uniforms.


OPPOSTION EXAMPLES School uniform improves students' behaviour. Having all students wear the same uniform helps to create a sense of belonging and a good school ethos spirit. By showing that the school expects high standards, expectations are raised and students respond with better behaviour. There is research that proves the improvement of students in delinquency and academic achievement after adopted uniform cord. Firstly, let me show the examples that show the change of major delinquency. At the Long Beach unified school, after it introduced the school uniform, school crime decreased 36 %, fights decreased 51%, sex offences decreased 74%, weapons offences decreased 50%, and assault and battery offences decreased 34%. Secondly, Raffner Middle School noted improvements in students' behaviour Using US Department of Education software to track discipline data, leaving class without permission is down 47%, throwing objects is down 68%, and fighting has decreased by 38 %. Staff attributes these changes in part to the uniform code. Thirdly, I want to give the example about improvement in student's academic achievement. Maymont Elementary school principal identified many benefits of the uniform program, including improved behaviour, an increase in attendance rates and higher stu dent achievement. Also, Mt.Royal's assistant principal stated that the uniform policy has enhanced the tone and climate of our building. She also noted that t brings about a sense of seriousness about work. PROPOSITION EXAMPLES First, I would like to ask my opponent if he is talking about private or public schools. Second, yes research has proved better behaviour in children, but school uniforms have taken a person(s) freedom of expression. Usually people express themselves through the cloths they wear at school, at a public and private schools that don't have mandated school uniforms, The First Amendment protects one's freedom of religion, and speech. press.http://topics.law.cornell.edu... . School uniforms can come into conflict of one's religion. For example, Muslims cannot wear a hijab. Definition of a Hijab: a headscarf worn by Muslim women; conceals the hair and neck and usually has a face veil that covers the face. As much as uniforms do promote school spirit and less bullying as my opponent says, students find ways to be "Rebellious" (to go against) and try to find a way to be different from everyone else like wearing jewellery or take off a extra set of clothing. You wouldnt wear uniforms outside of school in public places, There are dress codes for jobs and some fancy restaurants, but not uniforms. A story that I saw on the news, a little girl( and a few others but the news focused on mainly the girl) got suspended from g rade school(elementary school grades K-5 in some schools) because she had a pink stripe across her shoe that went against the school policy of the uniform and dress code. The family is poor and cannot afford another pair of shoes. Also uniforms are expensive , you have to get multiple uniforms and have to get it custom fit, if you grow out of it then you have to get it re sized and buy a new pair. Uniforms are just another way to get more money. The bullying problem is not solved by uniforms, it may slow it down but it is not a solution. A bully is not going to stop just because they are wearing the same thing. They are going to use attacks that don't have to deal with saying "nice shirt " or "those pa nts look stupid" but they can use personal attacks so therefore it is no solution. And schools that have uniforms are at no lower risk of a school shooting or violence than a school with no uniforms, a intruder can get a janitor cloths or get a uniform, or even a student can easily be able to sneak a firearm in. Also the behavior problem as my opponent states, that behaviour has been better since uniforms were in place by the school. Behaviour can be caused by many things, deprived of sleep (not enough sleep), no breakfast, and what time the school starts. DEFINITION According to the Oxford Dictionary, a school uniform is an outfit or a set of standardised clothes that is worn by the students in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools in various countries. The word abolish, carries the meaning of the end of existence of something or something being stopped. Therefore, the meaning of the motion School Uniform Should Be Abolished means that the uniforms that students are wearing in schools now should be stopped. ALL INFORMATION FROM THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN COMPLIED FROM THE INTERNET. CREDITS SOLELY GO TO THEIR RESPECTIVE AUTHORS. THIS DOCUMENT IS MADE SOLELY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.