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School uniforms create classroom equality

School uniforms create classroom equality
Having all students in the same clothing takes some of the socio-economic cues from fashion
out of the equation.
< Previous (6 of 6 Arguments)
Schools bring students together from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. This is both a
positive, as it exposes children to diversity and builds ethnic, religious, and socio-economic
bridges, but it can also lead to students being singled out and bullied for their economic
The Argument
With all students dressed the same way, teasing of students who might dress differently to
others (either through choice or due to economic reasons) is minimised. In a survey among
teachers, 83% thought that the adoption of a school uniform could prevent bullying[1] Aside
from minimising bullying for socio-economic reasons, school uniforms also create a level
playing field of expectations. Evidence suggests that when students are wearing nicer clothes,
teachers have higher expectations of those students. This can lead to teachers paying extra
attention and spending more time with those students while neglecting those who appear
more unkempt. School uniforms create a level playing field both among students and
Counter arguments
This is untrue. Anyone who has been to school or taught in a school will know that a uniform is
unable to conceal socio-economic differences. More affluent families have new uniforms
instead of second-hand ones. They replace uniforms when they become dishevelled instead of
wearing them until they tear. Poorer students' uniforms are more likely to be poorly-fitted.[3]
Nor can uniforms effectively curb bullying. Bullying in schools, as in wider society, is the result
of deep power imbalances that go far beyond what clothes a student is wearing. While
uniforms may reduce bullying along lines of clothing, they will do nothing to tackle the root
causes of the problem and will merely push the bullying to other avenues of attack and
victimisation. [4] Most teachers will tell you that bullies will still bully victims even when there is
a uniform policy. The nature of the bullying will merely shift to the way the victim styles their
hair or does their makeup, or what bag they carry and shoes they wear.
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[P1] School uniforms create a level playing field. [P2] They should be mandatory to avoid
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P1] School uniforms do not create a level playing field.
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“The idea is to support equality. If children are dressed in same or similar fashion, they aren’t
distracted by each others’ clothing and judgments about what others are wearing. Uniforms are
an equalizer.”
5 April 2019
Anne MichaudSpokesperson for Success Academy
“A school uniform can instil or support a sense of equality among students, as well as reducing
social status comparisons many children find challenging.”
15 August 2019
Peter WilsonDevelopmental Pscyhologist
Explore related arguments
School uniforms help avoid distraction.
Non-uniform regular clothing can be a distraction for students from the activities of learning.
Uniforms save money
School uniforms reduce the financial burden on students' parents
Uniforms save time
Enforcing uniform regulations takes less time than enforcing a standard dress code.
Uniforms make classrooms safer
School uniforms reduce violence
Uniforms establish a hierarchy
When students all look the same but teachers look different, a sense of hierarchy is achieved
that instils discipline.
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 15:18 UTC