As a young person myself, I try to conquer the need to know about the millions of things we as teenagers think about everyday and how society molds our perspective and so in this blog I would like to discuss the school uniform.
Catholic High Schools students in Windsor-Essex are required to wear uniforms whereas Public High Schools have a dress code but students are permitted to wear what they please. To uniform or to not uniform, that is the question.
In 1987, Cherry Hill Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, introduced what is believed to be the first school-wide uniform policy as “a means of reducing clothing costs and social pressures on children.” Which does make sense, you buy a couple pair of pants and some shirts, maybe a skirt and you’re good for at least six months. With students dressing the same, they are less prone to bullying based on the way they dress or the expense behind the clothing their parents purchase for them.
Uniforms are popular in independent public schools and separate elementary schools but some communities view uniforms as a way for society and the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB) to strip students of their individuality and creativity.
The WECDSB views clothing as a distraction for students as they should be focusing on their academics and not the way they dress to learn.
“The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board recognizes that a written student dress code and/or a school uniform code encourages respect, responsibility, safety and unity within each school. This code is aligned with the teachings of the Catholic Church.” – WECDSB Policy handbook.
Expenses play a huge part in the way students dress, students who attend non-uniform schools, would realistically purchase about twenty different pairs of pants, and thirty shirts to wear if they were to wear a different outfit everyday. Students who attend schools where uniforms are required, usually spend less than those who purchase clothes for school due to the uniform being worn multiple different times during the course of one week due to the limit of options.
As uniforms are becoming more popular within educational environments, more students are becoming more creative with hairstyles, footwear and acceptable accessories to set themselves apart from the others within the school. Uniforms can eliminate the competition of who looks better and decrease the influence of cliques and gangs.
The downside to uniforms is it inhibits students from being able to identify with themselves and who they are as a person through their style and comfortability. These dress codes also encourage the covering up of female body parts, where at our age, we should not be looked at humans beings, not as sexual objects.
To uniform or to not uniform, no matter what school we go to, we can express ourselves in different ways then the clothes on our backs and the standards we are expected to meet.
If you would like to read more about this topic please check out this blog as well.
Join me as I take on questions, topics, and all you need to know about why Youth Matters!