Uniforms Should Not Be in Schools

Haley Goode, Staff Writer

Public schools generally do not have uniforms. Students are free to express themselves in fashion, whether it is a fancy dress and heels, clothes they have made
themselves, or pajamas they wore the night before. Either way, there is freedom in what students choose to wear, every day of the year, but for some kids, private and/or
religious schools can have a strict dress code and established uniform. However, I am not sure if having a uniform is actually helpful due to the experience and studies done. If
uniforms genuinely helped kids, why wouldn’t it be implemented in most schools?

For example, I attended Forest Ridge, a catholic all girls private school. Every day was the same outfit: white collared shirt with a green cardigan over, plaid skirt, green knee highs and flats. On some special occasions, we would have free dress to wear normal clothes, but the school made it a privilege and something that the kids could look forward to as a special day to show classmates how they express themselves. There are multiple arguments that having a uniform is helpful for some. Not having to pick something out everyday, worrying about if others are going to judge your
outfit, and everyone looking the same. For some, this can be comforting, especially with today’s pressure of being “trendy” and getting clothes from designer brands. With uniforms in place for multiple schools throughout Seattle, it is common for older schools like Forest Ridge, Holy Names, and O’Dea to keep tradition since they are older
religious, traditional schools.

In some cases with today’s generation, it seems to be looked down upon with the idea of having a school uniform. Also, depending on co-ed schools, some kids might not feel their best selves being in a uniform everyone else is wearing. According to Parenting Science, studies show that because of school uniforms in place, it can create cultural conflicts when certain religious groups are asked to dress in a way that goes against their dress code and beliefs. Another point is the cost. Schools want kids to look professional, which in some cases can mean expensive. The average spending parents do on their kids’ uniforms is $100-$600, according to Vocational Training. Hundreds of dollars for clothes can be an unrealistic number for parents of mid to low income.

Another point to be made about uniforms is also considering the dress code. Public schools generally have a dress code: no profanity, explicit content, nothing offensive or provocative. Most private school uniforms are pretty conservative, being solid colors, long socks, long sleeves, and long shirts. Compared to Issaquah, recently the dress code has been changed in the student handbook. The obvious features stay, like no hate speech and any advertising of drugs or alcohol, but as far as clothing, students at school have a good amount of freedom to feel comfortable in what they wear. Looking at private school uniforms, we should feel lucky we can wear what makes us confident and happy.