A heart Surgeon in scrubs is easily recognized and trusted due to the familiarity and air of professionalism that is exuding from his simple hospital attire. Would a patient agree to undergo a complicated medical procedure if the Surgeon was dressed in anything else? What about his right to individuality and freedom of expression?
The education of our children is just as dire and complex as open heart surgery. The education of our future consists of many lives that are all connected and make up our great society. Their success in education and development is vital to the livelihood of our great nation. Proper and greater education ensures a better way of life for all. The idea of uniforms is not a new concept in today’s society. It is however debated by many in the United States.
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In many nations around the world, wearing school uniforms is a common and long standing tradition. The United States Department of Education should take the education, development and safety of children just as serious as a heart attack. It is out of necessity that most reforms are initiated and that is apparent in the increased number of schools that are incorporating school uniform policies today. There are many benefits to wearing school uniforms that the United States should make mandatory all the public school systems in the United States which would reduce the negative aspects associated with bullying by increasing security, camaraderie and equality.
There is a war within our children’s schools and Facebook pages. The war consists of aggressive behavior that lashes out and impacts the young. Many government agencies and schools are taking action to help children cope and prevent school bullying. The government developed a website called Stopbullying.gov for this purpose. The website was initiated by the government in response to the negative aspects of bullying being observed in our society. The StopBullying.gov “coordinates closely with the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee, an interagency effort led by the Department of Education that works to coordinate policy, research, and communications on bullying topics”. It is an active tool to report and educate the public regarding bullying in our society. Bullying in United States contributes to “… negative physical, school, and mental health issues.” in kids that have experienced bullying. These negative aspects of bullying do not bode well for the development and education of the children or the nation’s future. Many of the governments statically data indicates that a national move to school uniforms is a positive course of action to ensure less bullying occurs.
The implementation of school uniforms has become a necessity in many public schools already to propagate and strengthen the similarities and equality among the student body in an effort to reduce bullying. Without the uniform policy students might have a stronger inclination to obsess on appearance. Uniforms help by reducing some of the known risk factors associated to trigger bullying. Uniforms could help reduce the bullying in schools everywhere that is a result of a negative focus on a particular person for the type of attire worn. Stopbullying.gov is a federal government website managed by the U.S Department of Health & Human Services.
According to the long study and governments statistics gathered children are at higher risk if they “are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool.”” It should not matter how one looks and dresses, as much as how one carries oneself and acts. This lesson is at times hard to convey or teach children. In many early and recent clinical psychological research studies, this is unfortunately actually a natural and primitive way human brains process and create connections, associations and relationships.
According to psychology professor David G. Myers, the author of Exploring Psychology in Modules “There are many studies that indicate that we often form more positive impressions of beautiful people than of those who are deemed unattractive.” He goes on in detail about the recognized “…factors that facilitate interpersonal attraction to suggest how people could be influenced to feel more positively.” It is recognized scientific fact that we are all already susceptible to the influence of physical factors. The children are even more so susceptible to make quick judgments on fellow students based on the appearance of their peers if left to their own devices. School uniforms are therefore a perfect tool to educate and broaden their perceptions of each other and establish equality.
The United States should make uniforms a national mandate in all schools to increase the security at schools. It should be implemented due to the need to secure schools. In addition to the negative impact bullying has on education and development there is also an even far darker side to tell. “The Lone Wolf Scenario” as Fox News has used and described the term. It is a term regrettably becoming more steadily frequent in today’s society. The term is usually used to describe a horrific event that at times involves a student harming other students by deadly means and sometimes results in the loss of a life or more. The media also has recorded accounts of bullying and evidence of the aftermath. The stopbullying.gov site has stated there is “A very small number of bullied children who might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a recorded history of being bullied.” Uniforms act as an equalizer and thus contribute to the overall safety of a school. Also consider that students and strangers can be easily identified and escorted off the premises highly efficiently. By making school uniforms mandatory at all public schools it would help preserve and promote better life and security for the children.
In an effort to increase camaraderie the uniform helps increase the exposure understanding and trust students have for one another. By again frequently appealing to other factors such as proximity, similarities, and reciprocity. According to psychology Professor David G. Myers explanation the frequency of any or all of the psychological key factors increases or strengthens interpersonal attraction that is developed between people. Interpersonal attraction is defined in his book as a mental personal connection that is developed through variety of factors on different levels.
[By the amount of positive feelings that is felt by another person in their connection. The attraction exhibits itself in many ways, including things such as pleasure, friendship, lust, and admiration. There are some key factors to consider to explain the strength and cause of interpersonal attraction. The key factors that could be clearly defined are physical attractiveness, proximity, similarity, and reciprocity.](Myers)
School uniforms influence the students’ by creating a sense of unity. In essence schools that use uniforms are more likely to have a sense of community. A professor at the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, Arnold Goldstein stated that “uniforms help troubled students feel they have the support of a community: There is a sense of belonging.”(Goldstein) According to the research findings on the StopBullying.gov site a sense of camaraderie is important to diminishing bullying among children. “It is important for everyone in the community to work together to send a unified message against bullying.”(Stopbullying.gov)
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There are some concerned parents and students whom debate the legality and positive influence school uniforms would have on the current educational system. One of the biggest concerns is the limitation on freedom of expression which is an expansion on the freedom of speech. Many parents believe that the implementation is a ploy pulled by school districts as a “fix all solution”. Some think that uniforms take away the focus from finding “real solutions” to educational problems. Some debate uniforms encourage schools to spend too much time, resources and efforts implementing uniforms in schools. The concerns raised by all are very real and valid. However the significant gains contributed to the adoption of a nationwide uniform policy at school would contribute to more gains then negatives.
There has been numerous studies done to show the advantages to adopting school uniforms. Uniforms in schools are great for making sure unnecessary distractions are abated and the main focus is purely academic. Uniforms unify and promote progressiveness rather than animosity and isolation among students. There are many benefits to wearing school uniforms that the United States should make mandatory in all of the nation’s public school systems which would reduce the negative aspects associated with bullying by increasing security, camaraderie and equality. The use of uniforms serve a greater purpose and mission to ensure every child in our schools have an opportunity to access quality education in a safe environment and can reach their full potential without the negative impacts of bullying.
Fosseen, Linda Abel.“School Uniforms in Middle Schools: Enhancing Identity and Security,” Uniforms in Public Schools: A Decade of Research and Debate. N.P.: n.p., 2006. Print.
Goldstein, Arnold. “”Uniform Improvements””Psychologytoday.com. Ed. Camille Chatterjee. N.P., 1 Sept. 1999. Web. 4 Apr. 2015.
“Home | StopBullying.gov.”Home | StopBullying.gov. N.P., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2015.
Myers, David G.Exploring Psychology in Modules: With Updates on Dsm-5. S.l.: Worth Pub, 2014. Print.
“Prevention at School.”Prevention at School. N.P., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2015.
“School Uniforms – ProCon.org.”ProConorg Headlines. N.P., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2015.
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