Should Children Wear Uniforms to School

Should children be allowed to wear uniforms to school? The debate on wearing uniforms to school has been going on for decades. Some schools in America give in to the students, but not in Singapore. Recently, there was a ‘Design Your Uniform’ competition, but I find it ineffective, as not many schools would want to change their school dress code. Firstly, 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 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. Furthermore, those who are dissatisfied with it may ‘customize’ the dress code themselves. Because children don’t like wearing uniforms, they fight against it in many clever ways, like shortening skirts, wearing non-regulation shoes and hosiery, tying their ties in funny ways. Of course, schools in Singapore disallow this, and therefore may punish the students, which in the end results in a poor teacher-student relationship.

This may lead to the disgrace of school uniform and obviously, the school. To me, I feel that the school 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 poly-cottons which are hot in warm weather, making the study condition in school even worse for children, as Singapore is already a very hot and humid country itself.

The worst would be an assembly days, where the children have to wear ties to school. You may say that having a uniform helps students and parents resist peer pressure. In schools with no uniform, children may feel the need to dress in certain ways in order to fit in. This can often mean buying a lot of expensive and fashionable clothes that families cannot really afford. It can also mean girls being pressured into wearing skimpy 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 don’t want to.

But rather than introduce school uniform, why not have a dress code instead? This has all the benefits of uniform without the many disadvantages. While uniforms force all children to wear the same clothes, dress codes give students a lot of choice on what to wear. Only a few unsuitable things are banned – for example, very short skirts, crop tops, bare shoulders, etcetera. Hence, I agree to schools not wearing school uniforms. It may benefit both the educators and teachers if this is allowed.

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