I am against taking away my children’s right to self expression

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When we were getting ready to move back to El paso I did some research on the schools my munchkins would be attending and I knew before hand that much to my dismay my son would be in a school with uniforms, but everything on the elementary website said C would not.  I just found out that for the first time this year her school is implementing uniforms.

I am 100% against school uniforms.  I believe it is unethical and takes away their rights to express themselves as individuals.

I have a hard time seeing any benefits from making students wear uniforms.  While people who are pro uniform will say it is done to stop bullying of children who can not afford name brand and designer clothes, or it is done to save parents money, I fail to see how.

Let’s address the whole bullying issue that so often gets brought up when debating school uniforms.  The only way that it would actually stop bullying is if students were made to wear the same brand pants, and shirts, as well as the same brand, style and color of shoes, backpacks, and supplies.  If not then you have 1 student going to school in let’s say khakis, a white polo, a Vera Bradley backpack and Nike Sneakers, and another student going to school in khakis, a white polo, a $4 backpack and Walmart sneakers.  How does this stop bullying?  Now let’s say they changed the rules and did as I suggested, everyone would now look like little robots, exactly alike and it would probably stop bullying over clothing, that is of course if no one sees the children on the weekend or after school, and that only stops bullying in one area.  Let’s be realistic kids can be cruel and if they want to pick on someone they will find a reason.  I grew up as a chubby girl, okay that is actually being nice to my previous self, I was a BIG girl in the last year of elementary and through middle school, Do you know what is completely unflattering for a BIG girl?, A white polo tucked into light khakis…If I would have been made to wear that I most likely would have skipped school often, if anything I think this creates a new reason for someone to be picked on, and someone please explain to me what having a tucked in shirt has to do with anything?

As far as saving money is concerned, let me tell you how much it costs if you can actually find a pair of khakis that fits the criteria of the school in Mens sizes, which is what my 6th grader wears, $30-$40 each,  I can almost guarantee it is much more than the pair of jeans I can buy at Fallas Paredes here in El paso or on 3rd Ave in the Bronx, and then add to it the custom logo shirts you are required to buy from the school, that last about 2 weeks before they start fraying, or the 500 new white shirts you have to buy because you just forced me to dress my kid in white and honestly you are probably doubling the amount I normally would pay, but we aren’t done yet, because we all know most parents also go out and buy their children outfits that are not uniforms to wear when they are not in school, so now you have tripled my cost for school clothes and all in the name of savings.

Plus schools these days are not stopping with what your children are or are not allowed to wear, they are also controlling, how your hair is cut, styled, and what color it can or can not be, rather or not you can have tattoos(including non permanent tattoos), which hats are or are not acceptable to wear during the winter(My son was told the last time he attended an El paso school that he could not wear his pikachu hat because it resembled a toy).  They are telling our children they can not wear makeup, and not that I am for young girls piling on makeup but seriously who are they to tell my child she can’t wear blush and lip gloss), even what nail polish is acceptable, if any nail polish is acceptable at all

My sons school this year even regulates that they can not have a pullover hoodie but can have a hoodie that zips up, however it must be unzipped once entering the school(so if he is cold too bad?), and he is also not allowed to wear shorts at all (did I mention it is currently still reaching triple digits here?)

I just think that schools are going overboard and no one is standing up and doing anything about it for fear of our children being the outcast.

Sound off…what do you think? For or against school uniforms? Why?

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7 responses »

  1. I went to two different parochial schools growing up. One had a strict dress code. No denim, nothing with words on it at all and other rules. The other had uniforms. My parents loved uniforms because back to school shopping was a breeze but I hated them. Not everyone looks good in skirts and button-downs. I hated the uniforms. They were the worst.
    Mini is in public school and they have a few rules (she’s in elementary school) but they can pretty much wear what they want. She has her own style. She dresses for comfort. She got guff from a girl in her class last year for not wearing dresses and having a “boy” lunch box (Cars 2), which upset her but she kept her lunch box AND her “boys” sweats. I’m proud of her for it!

    • I would be so proud of her too, I don’t like being put into a gender box either, I am much more comfortable in pants than I am skirts and my son took a lot of heat for liking my little pony as a toddler, while my daughter is totally into football and soccer 🙂

      • My daughter’s friends are all in dance classes but she could care less! She played baseball for the last two years and wants to play again. Her friends would all wear their skirts and dresses to bowling.. Mini wears baggy shorts and tees. As long as she is comfy with who she is, I’m good 🙂

  2. I wore uniforms for several years. I found it easier. I never had to stress what to wear in the morning. As a girl I could spend a while just trying to decide what shirt to wear. I never had to worry if the outfit clashed, because everyone wore the same thing.

    I promise you kids have lots of ways of expressing themselves. In our school it was art, and sports. My mom told me as a kid that is was life preparation. Lots of jobs have uniforms, and very strict dress codes. She was a nurse and was made to wear the ugliest color of scrubs, so in comparison my school clothing was not so bad.

    I also got that extra half hour to sleep…that was the best part

    • I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and give your take on things.

      I think my biggest problem this year is that we just moved here from NY where it is currently around 60 at the highest, while here it is still in the 90’s yet our children are not allowed to wear shorts or skirts, somehow I do not think they will be able to give me one valid reasoning behind this choice, I can see no short shorts or skirts, but none at all? And while children do have ways to express themselves I feel they are given little opportunity at all to do so in school, maybe during art class(however my oldest is not artistic and really doesn’t enjoy art) at lunch they aren’t even allowed to talk anymore, and everywhere else they are to do what they are told to do, with little room for expression, and since sports here are not available until 8th grade, that option of expression is out as well. I also do not have the money to replace multiple white shirts a year or light khaki pants, to me those colors are disastrous on kids and since I have to buy men’s uniform pants they run about $30-$40 a piece, not an amount I want to spend regularly.

      As far as preparing them for life as adults and the workforce, when you are an adult you are able to choose where you work, as a child you are told which school to attend unless you can afford private school. You also get paid for wearing a crappy uniform in the workforce. I also feel like our children will grow up one day and have to be responsible adults and make choices that require things such as uniforms, and as more and more gets taken away from them now they are forced to grow up earlier.

  3. Just a warning, I tend to monologue and I already know I have a lot to say =)

    First off, I spent 4 years wearing a uniform in High School. By uniform I mean that I actually bought it through the school’s supplier. Granted it was also a Catholic school (a whole ‘nother comment lol) so that’s what was done.

    When I started freshman year, there were some dress code rules that went with the uniforms. By the time I left things were ridiculous. Yes I know this was a privet schoolyard parent CHOSE to send me to, but I see the public schools moving towards this model so that’s why I’m giving this background.

    As someone who spent four years in a uniform, I can say the only positive I found was that I didn’t have to think much about what to wear each day.

    Above and beyond those that got away with wearing other brands of shirts and the brands and styles they wore on the few “non-uniform” days, there was even competition with HOW the uniform was worn. Did you have your pants tailored to they weren’t clown pants, how many times did you roll your skirt band (to see how short you could get away with having it), what shoes, purse, backpack did you have… that’s JUST the uniform and only a small number of things off the top of my head. I won’t even go into hair/makeup/jewelry!

    Some of my peers were bullied because of ther clothes, hair, body size, religious affiliation, classes they did/didn’t take… uniforms just gave us more creativity in bending/breaking rules and other ways to single out our classmates.

    My parents were lucky that I didn’t much care about name brand clothes and such (here and there of course there was something. For me it was purses in my senior year lol).

    My kids school (if they were to go) has a dress code of only certain color shirts and pants and the like. Besides the extra headache to make sure I would have enough of each item, I too felt that so many rules stifled creativity at best and at worse made kids more creative in their discrimination and cruelty. Why do I think that? Because I’ve been there, I’ve seen it and I’ve had it happen to me.

    It’s just one more reason I add to my “List of Reasons I Prefer to Homeschool My Children”. Lets be honest everyone, Uniforms really don’t help much/at all and just make getting back to school more of a headache!

    • I am totally okay with the monologue, and I enjoyed reading your take on it since you have been through it first hand. I have to agree as you can probably guess, thank you for actually taking the time to read and respond, Hopefully you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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