More schools should opt for uniform dress code to decrease bullying, crimes on campus
Art by Accolade artist Karen Lee

Many of my friends spend too much time and effort on deciding what to wear to school. However, this is something students need to stop focusing on when getting ready for school — especially when school exists for educational purposes.

Eliminating the distraction of clothes will only boost levels of concentration on education and learning. One of the most obvious reasons why students should be required to wear school uniforms is because it keeps them focused on their education, not on their clothes. A bulletin published in 2012 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals states, “When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork.”

Additionally, teenagers often tend to focus on what they appear like in front of others, increasing peer pressure and bullying solely based on one’s looks. Many girls outwardly express their insecurities on social media because of the standards that models set for them through clothes and body shapes since a young age. Oxford High School in Anaheim requires school uniforms, and my friends who go there say they feel less pressured on what they look like compared to middle school, which is when they got to choose what to wear. By introducing school uniforms, it sets a level playing field for all, which leads to less focus on looks.

On the other hand, many students wear expensive, branded outfits and accessories to our school such as Louis Vuitton or Gucci, but other families don’t have the money to afford multiple brand outfits for their kids. This sets up different levels of social classes within our school and creates unnecessary social pressure. Thus, we can eliminate that socioeconomic barrier in clothes through the introduction of school uniforms.

Finally, a predominant reason to have students wearing the same outfit is that it deters crime and increases student safety. In a study done by the Long Beach Unified School District in 2013, after two years of a district-wide, kindergarten through eighth-grade mandatory uniform policy, reports of assault in the Long Beach district’s schools decreased by 34 percent, fighting incidents went down by 51 percent, sex offenses were cut by 74 percent, robbery dropped by 65 percent, possession of drugs went down by 69 percent and vandalism was lowered by 18 percent according to thegreyhoundnews.com.

One might say that mandating the wearing of the same clothes stops students from expressing their creativity and individuality; however, most would agree that they would rather see bullying, peer pressure and violence decrease than improvements in grades or AP tests.

Simply put, school uniforms encourage students to focus on their studies, create a level playing field and ensure a safer environment. Although they diminish freedom of expression, they also diminish economic and social barriers between students, which is the perfect opportunity that schools —including Sunny Hills —needs.

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