Uniform requirements have been the center of heated debates for years. In 2005–06, about 14% of school principals reported to the U.S. Department of Education that their school required students to wear a uniform. That is an increase from 1999–2000, when the percentage of principals who reported that their school required students to wear uniforms was 12%.

The uniform for YES supervisors is a green shirt with a logo.


“If wearing an uniform means that the school rooms will be more orderly and more disciplined, and that our young people will learn to evaluate themselves by what they are on the inside, instead of what they’re wearing on the outside, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear uniforms,” said former President Bill Clinton in 1996.


YES teens, too, have their own uniforms. “I don’t want teens to be more focused on how they’re dressed than what they’re learning,” says Diane Miller, Senior Vice President of School and Community Programs and Partnerships at the Saint Louis Science Center.


Clinton, Miller and other proponents of uniforms say that the practice helps suppress gang violence by keeping teens from wearing gang clothing, establishes school spirit, and saves time in the morning. “Many parents feel students in uniforms look nicer and the requirement keeps families with financial troubles from worrying about their child being bullied [because they can’t buy trendy clothing]. Schools can easily become competitive runways and uniforms halt scholastic fashion shows,” according to Isaac Grauke, Manager of Sales and Marketing for Hall Closet Uniforms & Apparel. As a result, students in uniforms are better able to focus more on their studies rather than trendy clothing.


However, skeptics say uniforms stifle creativity, add to the cost of school, and can make teens uncomfortable.


These skeptics say that public education already attempts to strip children of their individuality and that self-expression is an important part of child development. Squeezing children into molds is detrimental. To cope, students find other means of expression that are less appropriate, they say. For example, sagging khaki pants for males and excessive make-up for females.


Maybe, there could be a compromise if students could design their own uniform? Miller tells SciJourner that is her responsibility to support leadership, so she is open to new design ideas.

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  1. i personally like not having to care about what i wear in the morning, but i go to an all girls school. i don’t know how a uniform would be accepted in a co-ed environment. i think the only thing i would change about my uniform is the sock restriction (yes, i’m serious, we can get in trouble for wear different coloured socks) and the shoe restriction (i understand that they don’t want people coming to school in stilettos, i think in november it’s reasonable to start wearing uggs).

  2. I personally believe students should wear uniforms to school. While I was in private school my freshman and sophmore year of high school, I realized how easy it was to just throw on a jumper and call it a day. Transitioning from private to public school made me realize that uniforms are needed.

  3. I think it’s a great idea for students to be able to design or even vote for their own uniforms. I think this would make them more partial to wearing them instead of rebelling at every turn.

  4. I believe that uniforms restrict self expression. I don’t think it is a bout what is trendy and instyle, personal I am known to buy stuff from walmart and I wouldn’t mind getting something from a thrift store. But you don’t get to show you personality. You just on of a hundred clones. I also agree with Tory, people are going to spend so much time goin against the uniforms that it would be detrimental.

  5. i have had to wear a uniform for about three years now. when we have dress down days they are not distracting, the only time its distracting is when we were allowed to dress up for halloween. normal clothes arent distracting its the costumes.

  6. I believe that uniforms are a restriction of self-expression.:sweat:wuwu:gamba:gamba:huh:arhh:shy:smile:flag:good:huh:gamba:gamba:cried:wuwu:invite:sweat

  7. I believe that though a uniform may reduce some distractions in class, it does not reduce it all. If a uniform is uncomfortable or unpleasing to the body, the student will want to fidget with the uniform to make it somehow "more comfortable" or "More pleasing to the body"
    Also, clothing is not the only reason to classroom distractions, some forget to consider that distractions could be caused by their peers or the stress of the class.