Uniform policy: Is it time to get rid of it?


Victoria Perez '24

Some UHSSE students wearing the school uniform.

The uniform policy of University High School is a topic highly debated by the students and staff members that care enough to debate about it. There are two sides to the debate where mainly staff says that it is needed, yet it seems students beg to differ. I have heard all the reasons for a uniform policy, yet additional reasons why they can all easily be avoided.

The main thing when it comes to uniforms is that not everyone has an outfit to wear every day for school, it is understandable but at the same time, outfits should not be the main worry. Comfortability should be. Especially when it comes to accommodating people who have different views on things.

Personally, I dislike the school uniform because of how it affects me and makes me feel. But, I can’t really accommodate myself because of the strict uniform policies on uniforms. I would feel much more comfortable in my own clothes with different, yet comfortable textures, and the same is for many more students.

Now, no one is saying there should not be any type of policy. There should not be anything derogatory on the clothing but at the same time, expression is something that this school is big on, and in the same way, it should be allowed by all means.

An example when it comes to schools that are lenient on school uniforms is the Academy of International Studies.

This school still has a dress code in place for kids who would much rather wear uniforms for reasons that they can’t provide an outfit for each day, but they also have the diversity that most kids ask for when it comes to being allowed to wear whatever they want. Kids are allowed to express themselves through clothing if they so choose, and they accommodate the kids who would like to express themselves through fashion. If kids are more comfortable in school and it does not feel like a cold prison, grades might even go up. If people feel comfortable in the place they’re in they’re more likely to be more progressive on most things. Another thing I would like to add is that I am aware that most of the decision-making is done by the board of education, yet this statement still stands even for them.

The board of education may make most decisions for schools but that doesn’t make staff members in schools powerless. Enough people agreeing, the more likely things will change. But to get back on topic, another reason provided by some is that it can show a class division. This should also be held to the standards of school sweaters for example if it’s truly such a large worry to some. If bought on your own they can cost around 30 dollars, and since UHSSE no longer provides school sweaters, kids are forced to look at that as their only option.

There is no financial accommodation for students when it comes to fleeces, yet there would be absolutely no needed accommodation if kids were allowed to wear whatever they wish, including sweaters. This could also be backed up by the fact that a medical condition called anemia affects around 30% of the population, and I’m sure students of UHSSE aren’t immune to the possibility. There is no accommodation for them, and considering the fact that well-known symptoms of anemia are feeling cold and being more prone to infections which are caused by a lack of red blood cells, what happens when they don’t have the money for a fleece? Nothing, they’re told to suck it up and wear a long sleeve. I doubt a class division from wearing normal clothes is the main concern for students.

But to directly disprove that, perhaps teach students better morals if that’s such a large worry.

We come here to learn so not much is changing if you teach students to treat others kindly. Also if that isn’t a really popular option considering we are high school students and should act like adults, keep those standards to everything. When referencing anything else we are likely to be described as mature and “the future”, yet those same words are no longer brought up when talking about if we can be “trusted” with the possibility of wearing what we want. But to bring everything back around especially in today’s society with the word freedom being referred to a lot, students should be given the freedom to wear whatever they want. When it comes to different weather conditions or the fact that our school is freezing cold, we can provide ourselves with the correct clothing so we are not overheating or border lining on hypothermia.

Individuality and self-expression are something that this school is popular on with rather progressive views and stances and why shouldn’t students have that opportunity tenfold? If bullying is a concern that has entered your mind then responsibility should enter right after. If we were given the freedom to wear what we want, we are also graced with the responsibility of possibly receiving positive or negative comments from others. Although we are high schoolers and we’ve learned responsibility through the years, it’s an optimistic view that most know to treat others kindly. But even then if bullying is a possibility then that’s why we should be given the freedom to choose if we want to wear uniforms or not.

Another thing to add is that some may believe that uniforms are a symbol of unity when it comes to its students. There can be a positive unity in more freeing and liked ways, such as wearing our badges around our necks to show the school we go to. There are plenty of other routes we could go, yet they’re not chosen. To bring things back around to the stance that inequality and class division is more likely without uniform, I hope most are aware that even uniforms can not stop inequality. Nullifying the looks and appearances of others isn’t any more of a good way to promote equality. Why worsen others’ experiences to prevent others from acting negatively? It is getting people nowhere and helps no one.

Another thing I’d urgently like to add is that it’s best to recognize if the uniform policy is in place for the “well-being” of the students or if it’s an opportunity to control. A person in the place of authority isn’t immune to rather negative views, and if the only reason we have uniform is due to control, perhaps that should be recognized. Now there’s no sureness that that’s even a possibility, but to give every reason possible to prove the fact that uniform policies should be removed every possibility is introduced. To add even if it’s not in place due to a need for control, it may be seen as such. It’s known that no individual likes being told what to wear or do, especially teenagers. So there’s a possibility that uniforms in place may promote rebellion.

The last stance I’d like to add is self-image. To be frank school uniforms are unattractive and disliked. Of course, school is a place for education and not a place for fashion but being forced to wear unflattering things around others can surely harm the self-images of growing teens. Being constantly shown in a dull light due to clothing you’re forced to wear is extremely detrimental to some people and proves, yet another reason our school should give students the opportunity to wear what they want. These are all stances to disprove others who believe uniforms should stay in place, some will agree and some won’t. Either way, uniforms should be removed.