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Essay on Not a Magic Solution to School Problems

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Not a Magic Solution to School Problems


School uniform policies are often referred to as a Band-Aid solution. They help hide more serious problems at the school by giving the school a nice look. Surveys of students and teachers show that in general people believe a well-dressed person is more intelligent and better behaved. Politicians like the look of school uniforms; many of them support this cause until the schools ask for more money. Uniforms are often implemented in schools that are overcrowded and have lower test scores. Many administrators think uniform create school pride; some even say that school pride increases test scores. There is a large amount of propaganda available about school uniforms; however, few articles provide hard evidence or statistics. The ACLU has disagreed with many dress codes and policies. Because most evidence about school uniforms is anecdotal, schools should only adopt uniforms in co-operation with other programs.

During the 1996 presidential elections, incumbent William Jefferson Clinton introduced an intriguing scenario to the public’s eye. His plan was to offer school uniforms as a tool for the principals and parents to use to help stop crime in their schools. He offered his plan in a way to get an immediate and emotional response by talking of the “murder” of innocent children. He gave three examples of so called children getting wounded or killed for their expensive clothes. Ironically, in each of these examples older teen were the victims. One boy in Detroit was shot for his expensive shoes; another, from Fort Lauderdale “was robbed of his jewelry.” The third was from a suburb of Washington D.C.; he, an honor roll student, was “caught in the cross-fire” during the robbery of another student’s jacket (Transcript). Notice all of the examples are from larger cities.

Former president Clinton continued his speech by urging the parents to take action. He had the Secretary of Education send the “Manual on School Uniforms” to each school district in the nation. Clinton wanted school uniforms to be a way for parents and schools to improve school safety and discipline, but he knew that uniforms wouldn’t solve the problems by themselves. He said uniform policies should be implemented at the same time as other programs to reduce truancy, drug use, gangs, gangs, and weapons in schools (Text). The need for other ...


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...nts, children like policy of wearing uniforms.” The Indianapolis News 2 May 1994, Home Edition: D1. Online. Newsbank. NewsBank NewsFile Collection. 2 February 1999.

Noble, Sean. “Parents fashion debate on school uniforms in U46.” Courier-News (Elgin, IL) 10 March 1996. Online. NewsBank. NewsBank NewsFile Collection. 8 February 1999.

Ritter, John. “Uniforms changing culture of the nation’s classrooms.” USA Today (Arlington, VA) 15 October 1998: 1A. Online. NewsBank. NewsBank NewsFile Collection. 1 February 1999.

“Text of Presidential Memo to Secretary of Education on School Uniforms.” U.S. Newswire 24 February 1996. Online. NewsBank. NewsBank NewsFile Collection. 8 February 1999.

Tousignant, Marylou. “TRYING UNIFORMS ON FOR SIZE: POLICY FAD MAY NOT FIX, SOME WARN.” Washington Post 1 March 1996, final edition: A1. Online. NewsBank. NewsBank NewsFile Collection. 2 February 1999.

“Transcript of Presidential Remarks on School Uniform Program.” U.S. Newswire 24 February 1996. Online. NewsBank. NewsBank NewsFile Collection. 8 February 1999.

Zirkel, Perry A. “A Uniform Policy.” Phi Delta Kappan 1 March 1998: 79. WilsonWeb http://vweb.hwwilsonweb.com (5 February 1999).


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