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Differing views on school uniforms

READ MORE: Differing views on school uniforms
It is that time of year again. Parents and students are shopping for all those back-to-school necessities. But, while some will be shopping for the latest fashions, others will keep it simple, with school uniforms. While some parents and students stock up on the latest back to school fashions, others, like those who attend Rocky Point Primary, get ready to dust off their uniforms. Some parents like the idea of uniforms. They say they help prevent competition among peers. Uniform supporter Carol McLean said, "I liked it because everybody was equal and they all looked great in them. I thought." Other parents worry about the costs that comes along with them. Sherri Beaman, who opposes uniforms, said, "…because it limits your choice of clothing. So you have to pay a little bit more money to get nicer clothing that's not ill fitting." Whether they like uniforms or not, kids and parents will have to be ready for the start of school. For those that do not want to spend top dollar, there are ways to save. If you are willing to go through the racks at your local Salvation Army or childhood consignment shop, you might be able to find uniform dress code pants or even a solid color polo. However, if your child is not comfortable it presents a whole other problem. Pender County School Board Chair Tom Roper said the uniform program was designed to fit every family's budget. He said since beginning the uniform program at Rocky Point a few years ago, the staff has had only positive comments, and parents are yet to complain to the school board. Eleven schools in New Hanover County and two in Pender County currently use a uniform dress code. Roper said that some schools have set aside money to help parents purchase uniforms. If you need assistance, contact your schools principal to find out what aid your school offers.

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Source of Funds

Where does the money come from for SMOD closets and uniform elements purchased for financially struggling families?

School Uniforms

School uniforms represent not only an affront to a child's individuality, but an erosion of their civil liberties. Rules that serve no meaningful purpose represent abuse of authority, and are a betrayal of the trust our children have put in us. Students should be made to feel that they are partners in the educational process-not victims of it. Compelling schoolchildren to dress alike indicates a lack of confidence in their ability to learn to make responsible choices. SMOD/school uniform advocates rely on perceptions-not statistics-to support their arguments. Uniforms promote a false confidence in a superficial sense of order by creating the illusion that things are better than they really are. There are no scientific studies that show uniforms improve a student's behavior, or their ability to learn. In fact the opposite is true. Uniform schools rank at the bottom academically, and actually have more disciplinary problems than those who don't. It is unrealistic to attempt to eliminate gang violence by diluting the visual impact of gang presence, as members will always have a way of signifying their alliance. Uniforms just make it more difficult for the rest of us to figure out what's going on. There will always be variations to exploit, even within the limitations of the most draconian of dress code policies. Unless all the uniforms are procured from a single manufacturer, the quality of the garment itself will betray the socioeconomic status of its wearer. It is just foolishness to imagine you can ensure equality by legislating sameness. Uniforms are detrimental to student morale. Polls have consistently shown they'd much prefer to keep their options open. The most common type of uniform utilized in US public schools today is identifiably preppy. This is a style traditionally associated with a socially irresponsible, acquisition-based lifestyle. All modes of dress are representative on some level. There is no truly generic statement. The educational process should be a community effort, with parents, students, teachers, and administrators working together in the interest of a common goal. Uniforms create a bone of contention where none need exist. They interfere with personal expression, and foster resentment in what should be an atmosphere of mutual tolerance and respect. Educators need to focus on the real issues. They need to spend more time encouraging an appreciation of diversity and less time waging war on fashion trends they just don't like.

Good Point

I think you have made some very important points. The actual statistics I've found do not bear out the claims of improvement in performance or safety I have heard that "research shows". Here in Forsyth Co., NC it seems the opposite is true. I would like to see programs emphasizing early intervention and community involvement in stead of all this wrangling over clothes.

The Real Problem Is...

Ok people, I don't think anyone see's what the real problem is and why uniforms should be mandatory. First off, yes, the kids nowadays wear inappropriate clothing to school (both guys and girls) but i did the same some 20 years ago - long hair, earrings, town jeans, etc. and was dead-set against 'dressing appropriately' BUT times have changed... The reason for uniforms is to make everybody equal ONLY DURING SCHOOL HOURS (not after, not on weekends, not during football games, etc.) - no more people being picked on for having hand-me downs or Wal-Mart clothing. These people picked on can (and have proven they will) turn the tables around and take it out on the other children/teachers with a Blaze of Glory (IE bringing guns to schools and shooting). People can be creative and educated without the newest, most 'needed' clothes at moment - but not fitting with the in crowd can and will lead to violence sometimes. And believe it or not, clothes make up a big-part of whether one is accepted or not. Saying shirts must be tucked in, skirts to knees, etc. is all good and dandy as a rule, but if its not the 'in' type of stuff then the picking continues. Get real people - it not about money, clothes is about popularity and in the end the SAFETY OF YOUR CHILDREN!

school uniforms

The logic and common sense solution would be to enforce rules already in place so schools do not have to make a choice to go to uniforms.My child attended a non-uniform school but attends a uniform school now and I have seen no different.They still wear sagging pants,sleeveless shirts,etc.I'm at school voluntering several times at week and if they think uniforms stop bullying and the popularity of students they are mistaken.The logic in this crazy world seems to get worst everyday.I'm 100% on board for the safety of our children but come on people-this is ridiculious.Why do we change the rules when they already had rules from the get-go? The same rules apply with uniforms as did without(just in uniform colors.)Wishes school officials would use their heads when it comes to our children.Punish the bully ,call parents about students not adhereing to dress code.If you can't reach the parent,make them sit in the office until you do.The probelm lies within the leaders of ours schools not holding students and parents accountable.Accountablility is a great life lesson to teach children so they turn out to be amazing adults so with that said," I SEE NO NEED FOR UNIFORMS !!!


Wow! That's pretty alarming. I guess the kids at your school buy their uniforms from the same manufacturer? Here, families are still buying their uniform elements from the stores they can afford. With limited choices of approved apparel many do end up going to WalMart and Target where others who can afford it go to the mall or Land's End. Not much difference is made in Class Conflict as a result. I sure hope this doesn't lead to someone bringing a gun to school because their SMOD apparel alienates them from the popular crowd.


You folks have to remember just why school uniforms are coming back in. The parents of a lot of kids let them wear the most ridiculous clothing to school (Hookers & Gang-bangers comes to mind). The parents BUY this clothing for them. If you are against the new "dress code" it is probably because YOU are one of the parents that is causing it. Think about it. I have no kids in public school any longer but when I did they dressed appropriately. Mine never dressed like hookers & thugs anyway. You parents that have that problem may need to address that issue as well. You talk about individuality? Your kid is already dressing like ALL his crack showing peers, whats so individual about that?

Parental responsibility

Good point! I would also like to add that most schools already ban this type of clothing. Why aren't they enforcing it? How are further restrictons making it easier?

Dress codes are fine and

Dress codes are fine and necessary, but uniforms are just another way for government to control our lives. In private school, I say, OK, let them run THEIR school as they choose. No child HAS to attend any private school. In public school, however, I say no to uniforms. They are funded by the taxpayers and have no right to tell students what they can wear other than setting basic guidelines. Most of this stems from parents and school officials losing control of their children, but this is definitely a step in the wrong direction. If a kid shows up at school not meeting the guidelines, send him/her home. There is no need for uniforms.

I think students should be

I think students should be able to wear what they please.

Governments in our closets

I am afraid that you are right. Government forces eroding away our rights in an effort to save us from ourselves is nothing new but has gotten worse and worse in recent years. They are in our cars, on our phones and now they want in our closets. What next? Taking the elastic out of our underpants so we don't accidentally snap ourselves? Why aren't more parents up in arms over this intrusion into our lives? Why aren't administrators enforcing existing dress codes instead of making new ones?

The real issue here is not

The real issue here is not school uniforms. it goes much deeper than that. Its the fact that once again the government is trying to dictate how to raise our children. The focus of school has gone from an institute of higher learning to a babysitting service. This tree hugger philosophy of "I can't discipline my kid because they will hate me" has taken over. Students changing clothes on the bus? If you didn't buy them, where did the clothes come from? Let me guess, they borrowed them from a friend. Then the question is raised what kind of people is your child hanging with? Any way you want to look at it, it always falls back on the parents. If our school system spent more time educating our kids and less time babysitting, our students wouldn't be so far behind right now. But then the liberals in raleigh and washington wouldn't really feel in control, now would they? Question, explain to me what a dress code is going to do for the dropout rate? Uniforms should be paid for by the government if they are going to have them. But they won't. The military has their uniforms paid for by the government. Stupid liberalist thinking.

yeah your obviously a moron!

yeah your obviously a moron! I'm in the military and I can assure you the government does NOT pay for our uniforms. We pay for each and everything. It comes out of our 1st and 2nd pay check, while we are in bootcamp. Uniforms for the first and second issue run over 2,000 dollars so the government should NOT have to pay for SCHOOL uniforms if they can't even pay for military personnel. Also, not only do we have to pay for our first set of uniforms, but while we are in we have to pay for the haircuts and other uniforms, shirts, shoe polish, and what not. Since i've been in i've spent and extra 600 on uniforms and I've been in for a year. My husband has been in for almost 3 and he has spent not only the 3200 while he was in bootcamp but an additional 2000. And we don't get paid much. So check your facts!! If you are so worried about the price, work more hours or send your kid to a different school.

huh ?

it sure has changed a lot since i was in the Army. we didn't pay for the afore mentioned services.

The Issue

I absolutely agree. See my reply to above. It is heartening to know that when President Clinton was extolling the virtues of public school uniforms to the country in a national address and wasting taxpayer money propagandizing it with his famous Manual, he FAILED. I believe this means there is still hope for a "free" country. There is no substitute for parenting. Kid's will naturally try to get away with what they want, it should be just as natural for parents to create boundries and enforce consequences. Kid's coming to school in unacceptable attire? Call their parents in and hold them responsible, too. Maybe then the excuses will end and the rest of us will finally be able to chase those pesky minor government officials out of our closets.


I live in Japan now and all I can say life needs uniforms, that is that. People in all ranks of life should have uniforms in my opinion. Hospitals, police officers, fast food chains and mechanics all wear uniforms so why not bank employees, students and so on.

Life Needs Uniforms

Well you must be the laziest person I've ever met in my life. For Heaven's sake, you already have the right to wear a uniform even here in America. You didn't actually have to move all the way to Japan over this. What's you're rationale for making every one else wear one, anyway? I live in a Free Country and THAT, my dear sir, is that.


Even the nicest kid can have some pretty strange attire choices -- no more "you're NOT wearing THAT to school !!"

Not Thankful

I have never had the experience of scolding my son on his attire. The only reason I can think I would ever say "you're not wearing THAT to school" is if it weren't weather appropriate. What do you have hanging in your kid's closet, anyway? Rags and halloween costumes? It is YOUR job to keep your children's clothing clean and in good repair. What was he doing? Mixing plaids and florals. Sheez lady, lighten up.

Uniforms in school

Uniforms in school will do a lot to stifle the distractions students are currently faced with. If every child dresses equally, that removes that facet and allows focus on education. There is an attempt here to keep little teenie girls from being too risque too early and to prevent the gang boys from looking too thuggie too early. This allows FOCUS on CLASSWORK not attire. Individuality and creativity will be derived through acedemic progress, development of artistic ability and creative writing. This may even lead to more additional skills being developed such as science, mathematics, literature, proper grammar usage in speech and know educational things that have nothing to do with "wifebeater" t-shirts, rappers, T'land boots and such. I still have to resist the urge to yank those 5XXX jeans down and push them over. In my observation, it is clearly obvious that some parents don't have the common sense to have their children dress appropriately for a single hour of church. Is it really appropriate for 14 yr old girls to be sporting spaghetti strap dresses, extremely short skirts with 6" spike heels, low cut blouses to a religious event? How can the parents be relied upon to do the right thing for school 5 days a week? Do they really even care?

What church do you go to, anyway?

Holy sacrilege, Batman! Do people really bring their kids to your church like this? Our church won't even allow flip-flops. You seem to put a lot of stock in the effects of clothing on children but have you actually done a comparison of schools in your area, uniform vs non? I have gone on and have done just that. I found that whereas nonuniform schools had steady progress in areas of performance and safety, the uniform schools actually had an increase in violent acts with no academic improvemnt at all! Don't take my word for it, it is easy to check. Just click on the "Safe, Orderly Schools" tab at the top left of any school, choose as many years you can and compare trends. Claims such as yours need to be substantiated or you just end up looking foolish. PS. I hope you don't stop attending church over this, Jesus may be the only one standing between you and an assault charge.

education vs uniforms

My child attended burgaw elementary for the first half of school last year where they had to wear uniforms, we then transferred to wilmington where she attends Parsley. First, the education is better at Parsley, they actually care about what the child learns instead of what color their shirt is. My friends child still goes to Burgaw, where the education is not as high as she would like. The parents see more emphasis on what they can or cannot wear,instead of what they can be taught. I agree that students should have some rules on what to wear to school , but uniforms are not the answer. When a school has uniforms , yet fail their end of year grades, as in burgaw, freeman and others, I think they should stop worrying about if someone has on a approved belt and start worrying about if the child can spell belt.

uniforms that fit

hopefully if they are forced to wear uniforms they will have a tailor measure the kids first. maybe then will they wear clothes that fit, not clothes that show their drawers and the cracks of their butt!!!!

Depends on who's side are the tailors are on

Or maybe... the tailors will rebel and make the properly fitting attire LARGER so that it sags and shows even MORE dreaded butt cleavage. Did you ever think of that? Your comment is even more moronic than the guy from Japan. Although his is still my favorite.


I had to wear a uniform when I was in elementary school, because I went to a Catholic school. Once I hit public school I swore I would never agree with uniforms again. However, as a mother of a 12 year old boy, I am glad that Trask Middle School has decided to go to a more standard dress code. On more than one occassion I have seen 11, 12, and 13 year old girls wearing clothes that are absolutely not appropriate for their age and boys that wear their pants down below their boxers and frankly, I am glad that someone put a stop to it. I was actually behind a bus one day last year and I watched a girl change her entire outfit on the bus from one that I am sure her mother approved to one that I would not have let my daughter leave the house in. Sitting in class next to someone wearing hardly anything is quite distracting and can lead to more serious problems with girls attracting the wrong kind of attention. I know there are parents that are complaining, but Trask's code is a little more relaxed than others. At least, for now, students do not have to wear only khaki pants or tuck in their shirts and wear a belt and girls are still allowed to wear skirts that are the right length. The students can still wear jeans as long as they are worn at the waist. For those of you that still want to complain, why don't you at least give it a school year before you decide that this is a bad idea...and then come up with a better one.

School Uniforms

I just want to say that I agree with you. I am currently a freshmen in college but my high school changed over to uniforms before my sophomore year. Yes, it did take awhile to get use to but after awhile, I grew to accept it and i think personally that it really is a good idea. We could wear any color polo except for red and blue for obvious reasons and non demin pants. We had plenty of days where we could earn opportunities where we got days that we did not have to wear smod. The teachers had to follow the same dress code too, it was not exactly the same but they could not wear jeans unless it was a dress down day for the students as well.

Now, my major is middle grades education and as a freshmen i am going out to the schools observing and there has been times when i was thinking like seriously is that people dressed when i was at school and didnt have a dress code. It makes a big difference looking at it from the other side. I do approve uniforms, but i think that students should have some freedom with it like i had with wearing any color that we wanted, instead of only limiting it to only three or four colors.

Also, i dont think elementary school kids should have to wear uniforms mainly because they are not concerned with that latest fashion trends that they are wearing and that uniforms should start at the middle school level because i still have my polos and khakis and everytime i go to observe a classroom or go on a interview thats what i wear because you can never go wrong with a solid color polo and a pair of khakis.

A little help please?

I have four children. Regardless if they have required uniforms, I must npurchase them regular clothes. So for two of those children I am purchasing regular clothes AND school uniforms amounting to around $800 EXTRA per year for both children. This is public school. Why should I be forced to spend an extra $800 for what OTHER parents deem is necessary? This has nothing to do with equality, preservation, expression or any other tree hugging hippie excuse out there being tossed around. The bottom line is the dollar. If the school system wants to impose rules for uniforms, that is fine. However if they are going to force parents to purchase two sets of clothing, the least they could do is to subsidize the cost of the clothing with a minimal allowance or credit towards the purchase of the required uniforms.


Lady! Take a trip to WAL-MART to buy the khaki pants and polos...I AS AN ADULT can walk out with a "uniform" for about 21 bucks... UNIFORMS today are unfortunately NECESSARY because, first of all this generation is the "ME" generation...ME ME ME ME ME..God help us retiring 40 years down the road because were SCREWED. Second...SOME parents just cannot grasp the responsibilities of parenthood. If I don't approve of what my child wears...THERE IS NO DISCUSSION..IT COMES OFF..PERIOD! Some parents just don't know how to say their children come to a place of learning looking like thugs and hookers. UNIFORMS....THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

lifestyle choice

I think you need to ask yourself do your kids need two full sets of clothes. That, along with choosing to have four children, is a lifestyle choice. When you choose to have children, you accept the responsibilities, including financial obligations. Like the other comment, I think 800 dollars is absurd and exaggereated. And as it is a public school, the education is free, not all the other things that society has come to expect from our current system. Others who choose to be child free pay for your children's education, I think you can afford to dress your children accordingly to send them to school without complaining about it. Be thankful.


$800 a year?? get real... you must be buying polo or ralph lauren. khakis and polos are not that expensive.