Arguments For School Dress Codes Essay

1043 words - 4 pages

Ensuing President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address in January of 1996, more and more public schools are implementing dress codes and uniform policies in their schools. As a result, there has been an increase in legal controversies dealing with the issue. The reason that dress codes are not conclusively enforced is due to the application of the First Amendment to juveniles in the public school setting. The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Should children in public schools be able to wear whatever they want because of the freedoms classified in the First Amendment? I feel that the answer is no. Institutionalizing dress codes in public schools would do a great good for students and the entire academic community. I base my opinion on the fact that the pros of imposing dress codes outweigh the cons of the argument. By imposing dress codes or uniforms for students, it would eliminate opportunities for the ridicule of less popular or less fortunate students based on their attire, help prevent gang violence and gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia in schools, and generate an overall better academic concentration and discipline in the educational community.

In society today, the clothing that someone wears is basically a billboard for his or her personal, or family's financial situation. For children in public schools, fitting in with the popular, or most fashionable people is probably the most important thing to them. When children are preoccupied with worrying what to wear to school and if their clothes are `cool' enough, they do not focus on what they are supposed to be going to school for, which is developing a strong education. For example, when a child that is less fortunate than others comes to school bearing ratty or `out of date' clothing, that child is viewed as an outcast and is tormented for reasons he or she does not have control over. In turn, this affects that child's ability to focus on schoolwork and puts a damper on his or her educational ability. Also, if the popular children with fashionable clothing are only worried about picking on those less fortunate than them, their minds are diverted away from their studies. Situations like these should not happen and can be easily avoided if kids in public school were all wearing the same articles of clothing.

Gang violence has also caused great concern in public schools today. Gangs today plague all areas of the country and achieve status and recognition through clothing, jewelry, hand signals, tattoos, and graffiti. Recently, the American public has seen an increase in gang related crimes over clothing, especially in the school environment. Stabbings, carrying weapons under clothing, threatening...

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