The dress code in public and private schools has remained a thorny issue since America’s independence. Attempts by individual schools to introduce dress codes have historically been fought off by parents and interest groups. This resistance has robbed the country and many independent schools the chance to practically illustrate how the effectiveness of such a policy in improving educations systems. This essay will argue the importance of dress through various reasons that are contained in concurrent sections.
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Most, if not all, small communities in the United States have rules and regulations on how residents should conduct themselves. In fact, such societal codes help establish order and structure in respective communities. Lack of the same leads to abuse of liberties and corruption of morals becomes a daily occurrence. In this understanding, individual members of the society are quick to ensure that local codes are well respected by their fellow residents and visitors.
Leads on these communities are further tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that all were acting in accordance with the codes. Considering that are small communities in all rights, they should be accorded the liberty to determine dress codes for its members, which has not been the case throughout two centuries of independent America. People against dress codes claim that such laws intrude into individual liberty, which is a big understatement because society codes are most intrusive.
Dress codes issues in America have been serious to an extent that students have historically taken school administration to courts because of infringing on individual free expression contained in the 1st and 14th amendments (Libertarian Rock). In 1969, for instance, students in Des Moines, Iowa, won a court case against their school after being suspended for wearing a black armband as a Vietnam War protest (Bartlett 1003).
Such court cases have made schools wearier regarding suspensions and disciplinary actions relating to the school dress code. Some students have, on the other hand, take advantage of schools administrations’ in their fears to tolerate dressing modes little do they know they are blocking the development of proper learning environments.
An elevated education experience requires students to be provided with the right atmosphere with minimal distraction. The mode of dressing academic institutions is part and parcel of this environment and there should be no argument about that. Unfortunately for most5 of America’s academic institutions, teachers are expected to be at the forefront of following decent dress codes; students seem to be free to wear whatever they feel like. One only wonders why there have to be double standards among individuals comprising a social community. It is high time for America to call an end to double standards, failure of which could lead to deterioration of an already sorry situation.
According to Ballis (126) eliminating the dress code helps reduce possibilities of ridicule on students that may not be fortunate enough to afford the latest fashion. This arises from fact that students tend to compete on the ones among them having most of the latest fashions, leading to the unfortunate ones feeling out of place. Some even get public humiliation for wearing yesteryears styles to an extent that they feel depressed, which could further affect educational attainment. This dilemma can easily get controlled through the dress code, which equalizes the students. Bartlett (998) notes that countries with dress codes (many actually have school uniform uniforms laws) do not experience the ridicule challenges that affect the American educations system.
The sense of equality among students thus leads to higher attainment levels among children that would have otherwise dropped from schools or would have transferred from one institution to the other looking for a better educational environment. Other than improving educational morale, dress codes helping improve student safety in schools. For instance, dress codes provide gangs with challenges of displaying their insignia or colors (Ballis 125).
Taking such measures would therefore lead to a reduction of inter-gang-related violence that has been threatening to learn in American schools. All these positive results form key foundations of creating better education environments that allow students to achieve their respective academic goals and proceed to higher institutions of learning.
Enacting dress codes in schools also serves as a good way of cultivating discipline among students. Understanding that there are rules and regulations that govern how they express themselves would indeed be vital for them in their respective academic and working careers. Students who are subjected to dress codes are more likely to continue observing how they dress, express, and present themselves to other people.
In addition, students with such experience are more likely to increase self-confidence, because they ensure being well presentable to their peers and superiors, which is an all-important attitude to develop in the early stages of their lives. Dress codes also help students overcome peer pressure that hugely affects student behavior. The slow erosion of peer pressure will therefore improve the school environment and therefore education attainment levels.
The erosion of peer pressure and student cliques has a high tendency of improving integration in the respective student body in terms of culture, talent, and interests. This would create cohesion among students as they get to know and interact with each other. In this regard, the diversity in the student body would become the fabric that holds school society together. The equality developed through the dress code would therefore form a key foundation for a better school environment for students from all backgrounds. The implementation of dress codes would go a long way into solidifying cohesion in smaller communities that host schools with such laws.
Having a dress code is, therefore, an important tool for developing an appropriate educational environment. The most important aspect of the dress code is equalizing students from various backgrounds, and thus enable them to mix with each other without creating cliques that hamper educational activities. Such a result has been termed to provide kids from unfortunate families to retain their morale and thus complete education like their counterparts. Further, cohesion enables teachers to concentrate on academic issues without being distracted by disciplinary measures that need to be addressed on a constant basis.
Opponents of the school dress code need to consider these positives before they embark on admonishing the measure. Considering that it is improper to force students in adhering to dress codes, individual schools should embark on undertaking elaborate measures of convincing students on the virtue of this matter. Schools administration should first educate parents and other stakeholders on educational and societal benefits that would accrue from implementing dress codes in schools. Parents should then take on the mantle of helping their children understand the real reason for dress codes and how their educational experienced would be enhanced.
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Ballis, Samuel. ‘Dress Codes in Public School.’ Southwestern Law. 62 (1999): 125–145.
Bartlett, Larry. ‘Trends in Education Law,’ Urban Lawyer. 37 (2004): 956–1010.
Libertarian Rock. Dress Code & American Constitution. 1999. Libertarian Rock. Web.
PS Parents. Dress Code. 2004. PS Parents. Web.