School Uniforms

It’s like an eagle flew by and dropped this on my lap.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/fashion/08cross.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1

This article helpfully sheds light on the increasingly different ways in which dress codes (or lack of it) cause problems at US schools. Some children have taken to cross dressing just to be “different”. Reminds me of that television ad for sauce

It’s different
What’s different
Nothing…it’s different
It’s sauce!

Why doesn’t the American Public School system just have uniforms and be done with it like the rest of the world? The argument that some families may not be able to afford it sounds thin to me. They have to afford some clothes, why not uniforms? The emotional scarring, the warring among the different factions within a school and frankly the jarring styles non-uniformity produces far outweighs the feeble consideration that people can’t afford uniforms.

Let’s start with a little exercise shall we? When children wear uniforms, let’s list the disciplinary problems pertaining to clothes alone:
1) Clothes are dirty/Shoes are dusty
2) Shirt not tucked in

Indecent exposure will immediately be reprimanded. Aside from cutting holes in your clothes, there is little chance of indecent exposure when uniforms are worn.

A school is an institution of learning – to treat it as anything else is sacrilege. While at School, what matters is the sharpening of the mind and honing of the senses – everything else is perfunctory, and should not occupy the minds of students and administrators longer than that.

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13 thoughts on “School Uniforms”

  1. As with everything else related to schools in America, uniforms are a scam.

    Uniforms – since they have to be ‘uniform’ have to be provided by one or more vendors, who rip you off. $30 for a pant, $25 for a t-shirt and so on.

    We spent $300 for 5 pairs of uniforms for Sahana. So, yes, there is an iota of truth when they say some people may not afford it.

    I won’t get started with the public schooling system, particularly in California, you know where it stands. I have no idea why we live in California. Seriously.

    1. Anand, I agree with private schools making uniforms a scam, but that is because there is no standard. If public schools said: White shirts, grey pants and maroon cardigans – doesn’t matter where you pick them up from, it shouldn’t be hard to do.

  2. The bane of the world now is this so-called concept called tolerance. This is the most misunderstood, misinterpreted concept in the history of mankind. If you have different preferences and a “sense of self”, you damn well keep it out of the mainstream. If you expect others to be tolerant to your views and opinions and expect to be respected in society, learn to respect society first.

    If you dig into the reasons behind any problem, almost universally, you’ll find the press behind it. New byte hungry press is willing to take on any scrap of information, no matter how damaging or insulting to the society at large and fight it out in the open. For the benefit of a minority, the public at large is being put to a lot of hardship.

    Uniforms are no solution, you should see the way kids dress here in England where there is a uniform culture. The uniforms are an excuse and the universal trend among kids here is to wear skirts and shirts that became short around 5 years ago, but nothing can be done because technically they are in uniform! Schools can do nothing about it, for any action is promptly bandied about by the press as unjust and unnecessary.

    The notion that at the age of 12 or 13, an individual is capable of making an informed, un-emotional decision that affects his or her lifestyle is plain BS. At that age, the only decision they can make is what to eat and that is also wrong 99% of the time!!!

    Lord save the world (not sure He’s got the ability to now – the press won’t let Him do it, His intervention would discriminate against Aethists!!)

    1. That is a spirited comment, and one I agree with entirely. I believe children should be protected for a while, and teenage when hormones are splurging freely and doing the chicken dance in them is not the best time to give them freedom to do what ever they want.

  3. Nice blog…and awesome response Anand.B.

    Anand S, Scams are everywhere. But It is not difficult for public schools to come up with guideline on school uniform and leave it to Targets & Walmarts to fight for the customers.

    I have more to say.. but let me think bit more and say…

      1. Ah!! Ofcourse…Who else can say ,
        ” I have more to say.. but let me think bit more and say…” :-)LOL..

        Sorry !! Had to comment…

  4. Uniforms are just a tiny part. I have heard lot of unbelievable stories from my nephew, when he attended high school here.Teenagers cannot make decisions. Period.

  5. I couldn’t agree less. Uniforms go a long way in handling biases and bridging gaps among students! It’s stupid to say some may not be able to “afford” it. And besides little ones look so cute in uniforms.

  6. I was quite shocked too when I heard about the lack of uniforms in US Schools!! A sense of discipline and decorum go a long way in moulding a child’s personality. I think ‘dressing right’ is an integral part of that. Also clothes are often a reflection of social status so kids must surely be facing peer pressure about the number and quality of clothes. It is ridiculous!!

    1. Exactly my point. Imagine us – relatively poorer kids in a school full of RICH kids. If not for the school uniforms, we would have been seeing a psychologist every week!

  7. I searched for this blog again and simply had to update it!! Winter is slowly creeping in here in Dubai. Since the kids go to the school bus early in the morning, I told them to start wearing their woollens. The little one was happy and put it on promptly. The teenager of course cannot be convinced about anything in one try!! He said he would be the only ‘sissy’ in his class wearing a ‘dumb’ sweater! However Karan got a ‘cool’ jacket from Marks& Spencers- something like that is okay to wear, he said!! I told him he could go to school with his bottom frozen, but no jacket. He braved it for two days. On the third day, the school sent a note – ‘Winter uniforms should be worn to school from Monday until further notice.’ That includes a navy blue sweater with the school logo on it. Problem solved.

    1. Exactly…see! I love uniforms till they are old enough to understand the differences in incomes and accept themselves as persons and not reflections of parents’ economic status.

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