School Uniforms: Are They Beneficial or Restrictive?

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photo via:

The topic of school uniforms often sparks a heated debate: some people are firmly against it, some are strongly for it.

There’s a lot of mixed data on whether they are helpful, and there are just too many outside factors to determine if they are really needed in the school environment.

Now, with about one in five public schools requiring students to wear them, it seems as if people are leaning more towards having them.

“It’s not necessarily a bad thing,” senior Yishmael Henderson said. “I have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, it provides unity but on the other hand it is strict on individuality.”

In the 2009-10 school year, 19 percent of U.S. public schools started requiring uniforms, 12 percent higher than a decade earlier. There is an obvious trend towards making them mandatory in schools, but students  for the most part want to keep their individuality.

“I have mixed feelings on [uniforms],” senior Mackenzie Coppedge said. “It would be easier to get dressed and you wouldn’t have to worry, but you can’t wear cool clothes. I don’t think we should have them here because everyone would be really upset.”

Former President Bill Clinton voiced his opinion and changed the minds of many people in his 1996 State of the Union speech when he said: “If it means teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.”

There isn’t much data about whether they should be instituted; anyone can find research that supports their opinion since the results are so varied. In some schools, bullying decreases because everyone is dressed the same. In other cases, dressing the same makes it easier to compare people, and it becomes a game of ‘Who Wore it Better.’

Whenever the question of individuality and self-expression gets brought up, safety and unity also gets tossed in, making it the difficult topic that it is.


“Do uniforms make schools better?.”GreatSchools. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Are school uniforms helping or hindering?.” Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2014. <