School uniforms are a hotly debated topic of conversation. For many years leaders in public education have discussed whether or not to join their private education counterparts in requiring uniforms for all students. However, in private education, uniforms have been the standard for decades and there is clear research showing the positive impact these policies have on students.
Uniforms Eliminate The Pressure To Look Good
The social pressure to be acceptably attractive to your peers ramps up sometime in the late elementary school years and continues on for the rest of our lives. These days fashions for young people seem to be leaving Disney princesses and cartoon characters behind and opting instead for smaller versions of adult women’s clothing. This shift has created an entire market of clothing that is often age-inappropriate and not suitable for the classroom. By adopting a uniform policy, schools make it possible for students to spend less time focusing on their outer appearance and more time focusing on school and just being kids.
Decreases Students Awareness Of Economic Inequality
Part of the pressure that children (and adults) feel to look good is about keeping up with the latest trends in fashion. For students who come from lower-income families, getting the next best outfit or even having a large variety of outfits from which to choose, may not be a possibility. Many students experience a sense of being ostracized or even bullied because their wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs or pieces that are no longer on-trend. This is part of the reason why uniforms are seen as creating an even playing field. Mandating that everyone wears a uniform removes the opportunity for kids to judge each other based on what they’re wearing.
Builds A Greater Sense Of Schools Spirit
Being part of a community of like-minded people all working toward the same goals is motivating and inspiring to both children and adults. Private education plays up this feeling by requiring that students wear uniforms. Wearing a uniform to school increases students’ feeling of belonging, unity, and even school pride. Including school colors or allowing students to wear clothes matching a theme for spirit days can create a further feeling of community.
In private education, learning is always the central goal, and uniform policies help to keep the focus on learning and off of some of the social constructs that make students different from one another.
For these reasons and more St. Barnabas School is proud to take the stance we do on school uniforms. If you’d like more information about our uniforms, or to see our campus up close, contact us today. We’d love to give you a tour of campus.