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School Uniforms Essay

School Uniforms Essay | Short and Long Essays, Importance and Benefits of School Uniforms

School Uniforms Essay: School uniforms should be utilized in educational systems. Uniforms are both as useful for schools just as for the pupils. Wearing outfits will help construct a feeling of solidarity inside the school. Rather than everybody as a different group, everybody will be in a similar group. Wearing regalia will help free pupils of the pressure of what to wear in the first part of the day. Wearing school outfits will help improve understudy distinction and improve their confidence. To start with, wearing coordinating outfits can cause pupils to feel equivalent. Helpless pupils would at this point don’t feel rejected on the grounds that they are not wearing name-brand garments like the more extravagant children.

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What is a School Uniform?

In straightforward words, we comprehend that the Uniform or material which is recommended by the school for pupils to wear in school is called school uniform. Generally in all schools uniform is mandatory.The Uniform gives balance and comparability between the pupils, everything being equal. These days, all schools keep the principles of wearing a normalized uniform for all pupils.

How to Write a School Uniform Essay?

To write an essay students should know the proper format. Also, they should be well aware of the topic on which they have to write the essay. Writing an essay on school uniforms requires the knowledge of the merits and demerits of wearing a school uniform. Students should list down the advantages of uniforms in schools.

Remember these points while writing the essay on school uniform:

  • Give introduction on school uniform in the first paragraph
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a school uniform
  • Explain how wearing a uniform brings changes in students
  • Conclude the essay in the last paragraph

Short Essay on School Uniform 150 Words in English

School uniforms are the solitary most apparent fundamental components of any school. We can distinguish the understudy by assessing their regalia.

It is said that, in the sixteenth century, Christ’s Hospital School originally utilized the school uniform. There has been a discussion everywhere in the world on whether the subject of school uniforms is positive or negative. Common liberties activists say that school uniforms are removing their opportunity of wearing anything. In guard, the School Committee says they give a school uniform to instruct them in order and solidarity.

School uniforms can build the pay of a custom-fitted local area. And furthermore, a business organization can bring in cash by creating school regalia. School uniforms are a conventional clothing standard including a shirt and full gasp for young men and pullovers and creased skirts for young ladies. School dress can lessen fabric harassment.

Yet in addition, these days youngsters are more cognizant about their design sense and sexual direction, so they don’t prefer to wear a similar unisex clothing standard. However, after every one of those contentions and dubious speculations, we can say, school regalia are as a matter of fact pride for an understudy.

Benefits of School Uniforms

Long Essay on School Uniform 650 Words

Schools are instructive establishments where kids go not exclusively to learn course readings however to develop as a general person. Schools likewise have the assignment of showing youngsters the desire for garments and mention to them what is proper for what event. School outfits are a basic type of garments for pupils during their visit at school during school hours, and outside during true school exercises. A school uniform is normal in a large portion of the schools. They have direct requests to wear the school uniform as a matter of course.

The necessity of School Uniform

Initially, school is where we all progress at an extremely youthful age. In a single word, life starts at school. It’s schooling, as well as school, gives us the stage to sustain our confidence, feelings in the beginning phase of life. The significance of making companions, functioning as a group we get familiar with every one of these in school. What’s more, wearing a similar dress unquestionably brings a feeling of solidarity among pupils. In each school, there are pupils from various foundations yet with the school uniform everybody becomes one-the lone character rules at that point is every one of them is the delegate of a similar school. This is an incredible inclination of harmony. This likewise assists kids with defeating the inadequacy (or predominance) complex which here and their kids have due to the climate they have been raised in. School outfits streak out a large portion of the drops of social contentions.

As school makes our crucial nuts and bolts of the future it is critical to cause one to feel as a piece of the school. A youngster with a specific school uniform constantly feels that he has a place with the school. It makes the youngster more cognizant about his distinction which thus helps to build fearlessness. A kid would be more thoughtful to his kindred cohort who has a similar uniform as his. As referenced before there would be consistently a blended group in each school. Some of them are rich, some have a place with the upper working class and some lower than that-this distinction remains all over, aside from those 8 hours in school due to the school uniform. The supposed status cognizance doesn’t exist with this.

Benefits of School Uniform

Another admirable sentiment comes up while examining the benefits of school uniform is younger students go through two most significant progress times of life in school-they burn through 12 long a long time in school-from adolescence to teen, from adolescent to youth-the school observer the progressions ( both physical and mental) happen inside one. During these changes, somebody barely thinks often about the world. That time there is a propensity among us all to disrupt the norm which should be managed cautiously and strategically.

Now wearing school regalia assumes a quiet yet urgent part in our lives. It ingrains a profound established feeling of control in the psyche mind. Subsequently, typically even the riskiest formally dressed understudy wonders whether or not to do any underhandedness outside the school as the moment suspected plays to him that he will let down his school with his activity. School uniform assists an understudy with focusing on his necessities-where school and scholastics start things out.

Even after some elegantly composed diagrams of papers on school uniforms, the contention on whether a school uniform abuses the pupils’ privilege of articulation will stay a ceaseless conversation. Be that as it may, truly, wearing of regalia should all rely upon the conditions and the picture a given school is attempting to depict. In any case, the significance of school uniforms appears to win the day today even as I compose this end and surprisingly after so many school uniform articles have been composed. On the last note, we should attempt to discover perpetual methods of tackling the developing issues looked at by pupils. We ought not to depend on school regalia to swipe the issues away from view, this does the pupils nothing but bad.

Importance of School Uniform

The uniform is a necessary piece of our life. The dress is a character of somebody. Through the dress, we become acquainted with which school the understudy is. The educator has a crucial part in picking a dress. He chooses the school uniform by taking a gander at all the classes. Uniform symbols, alongside schooling, order, and decorum help in altering the state and course of society.

Wearing legitimate clothing expands our trust in the public arena since it positively affects our work and thinking. These days, our local area has gotten a matter of rivalry for our kids. It appears to be that their dress is influencing them every day.

The wearing of our kids has additionally become an essential factor somewhat for the criminal occurrences occurring in the public eye. In an understudy’s life, the educator and parent are the types of God. School dress is viewed as a recipe for equity.

Advantages of School Uniform

  • School uniforms are a need in many schools to achieve consistency in pupils.
  • School uniform binds together all pupils, paying little heed to their social, strict, and monetary foundation.
  • It imparts a feeling of having a place in the pupils.
  • It assists with restraining pupils and keeps everything under control since they are not occupied by their special garments.
  • pupils don’t have to object about what to wear each day in the event that they have school regalia.
  • It is hard for low-pay families to purchase school regalia each spending year, and it might make a strain in their financial plan.
  • School outfits force consistency and consequently make pupils a mass of anonymous kids and with no singularity.
  • It is hard for pupils to check their friend’s monetary condition in the event that they are wearing school dresses.
  • pupils can be not kidding about their examinations and figure out how to endeavor to be deserving of the custom.
  • School dress can make pupils unoriginal.

FAQ’s on Schools Uniforms Essay

Question 1. What students should wear uniforms in school?

Answer: Uniforms are both as useful for schools just as for the pupils. Wearing uniforms will help fabricate a feeling of loneliness inside the school. To start with, wearing coordinating uniforms can cause pupils to feel equivalent. Helpless pupils would presently don’t feel barred in light of the fact that they are not wearing name-brand garments like the more extravagant children.

Question 2. How to write an essay on a school uniform?

Answer: Start with an introduction, discuss the debate going on school uniforms by students, write the cons and pros of school uniforms. Explains the advantages and changes that wearing a school uniform can bring in students. End the essay with a conclusion.

Question 3. What is good about school uniforms?

Answer: School uniforms have been demonstrated to raise test scores, support confidence, diminish savagery and wrongdoing, and make a feeling of freshly discovered pride in pupils. They assist youngsters with zeroing in on learning and homework, not on the thing every other person is wearing or whether they fit in. Outfits are not the answer for the entirety of the issues that adolescents, instructors, and schools face today, however, examination and insights propose that they might be a positive development.

Question 4. Should students wear school uniforms?

Answer: Yes, all students should wear school uniforms since it represents discipline and equality among students in school.

77 School Uniforms Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best school uniforms topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 most interesting school uniforms topics to write about, 👍 good research topics about school uniforms, ❓ the school uniform question essay.

  • School Uniform and Maintenance of Discipline Some prefer to implement the use of school uniform citing various benefits such as improvement of discipline in schools while others see the whole issue of school uniform as a cover up of failed social […]
  • Mandatory School Uniforms: Pros and Cons Finally, opponents of school uniforms claim that the ‘sense of community’ that is believed to be an advantage is, in fact, imposed on students and borders on some form of extreme uniformity.
  • School Uniforms: Conflicting Opinions It might be wise to teach a child from the early age what clothes it is suitable to put on when they go to school.
  • Fashion in Society: School Uniforms and Self-Expression The use of school uniforms can actually enhance a child’s personal character development as “such requirements of standardized dress also include a symbolic rhetoric of legitimate authority, a reservoir of institutional and organizational values of […]
  • School Uniforms: Conflicting Viewpoints Over the course of the previous assignment, I have stated that I do not support the enforcement of school uniforms for the following reasons.
  • LA School Uniforms as Mandatory Attire for All Students On the one hand, school uniforms have to be mandatory in all LA schools in order to make students concentrate on their educative processes, and on the other hand, students may feel a kind of […]
  • School Uniform Dress Code Should Be Enforced
  • Market Structure of School Uniform in Medway
  • Public Schools Should Adopt A School Uniform Policy
  • The Chief Benefits of School Uniform
  • The Effects of a School Uniform Policy on Conflict Reduction and Academic Performance
  • How School Uniform Can Reduce Social Inequality
  • Is the Enforcement of School Uniform Indoctrination
  • Advantages Of The Mandatory School Uniform
  • The Complexity of the Issue of a Standard School Uniform in American Schools
  • Scholastic Performance, Resolving Conflict, and the Impact of a School Uniform Policy
  • The Pros and Cons of Wearing School Uniform
  • Effects of Implementation of a School Uniform Policy
  • Why School Uniform Should Not Be Abolished
  • School Uniform: Good Tradition or Outdated Habit
  • School Uniform Policy And Student Achievement
  • Why The School Uniform Policy Is Such A Bad Idea
  • Positive Outcomes of School Uniform Use
  • School Uniform Is Not A Public School Tradition
  • School Uniform Is Beneficial And Essential For The Success
  • The Mandatory System of Wearing School Uniform
  • Penetrating the High School Uniform Business in the US
  • Does Wearing School Uniform Have An Influence On Student
  • Should School Require Students to Wear a School Uniform?
  • The Controversial Issue on the Mandatory Wearing of School Uniform
  • Students Should Wear School Uniform
  • The Advantages and Disadvantages of Wearing a School Uniform
  • The School Uniform Movement And What It Tells Us About
  • School Dress Issues and Public School Uniform Codes
  • Why Do Students Need A School Uniform
  • Implementation of School Uniform
  • School Uniform Policy Increase Student Self Esteem And Improve Learning
  • Importance Of Uniform In The Middle School Uniform
  • Why School Uniform Is Not Always The Best
  • The Implementation of School Uniform Policies
  • School Uniform Policies Around The World
  • Pros on School Uniform in Public Schools
  • Speech About Why Student Should Wear School Uniform
  • The Pros Of Having A School Uniform Policy
  • Vote for School Uniform: Vote for a Bright Future
  • Introducing and Analyzing the School Uniform Concept
  • What Are Reasons Why Schools Need to Implement the Idea of School Uniforms?
  • Should School Uniforms Improve Our Education System?
  • Why Do School Uniforms Cause Controversy?
  • Are School Uniforms Beneficial or Not?
  • Why Should School Uniforms Be Enforced?
  • Should School Uniforms Improve Academic and Social Behavior?
  • Why Should School Uniforms Not Be Forced on Students?
  • How Are School Uniforms Stereotyped Throughout Children’s School Years?
  • Why Should Middle School Pupils Wear School Uniforms?
  • Should School Uniforms Hinder Psychological Development?
  • Why Should the High School Student Wear Uniforms?
  • Are School Uniforms Cure Violence and Gang Prone Violence?
  • Should School Uniforms Help Rein Student Violence?
  • How Do School Uniforms Impact Public High Schools?
  • Should Public School Uniforms Be Banned?
  • Are School Uniforms Effective for Students?
  • Should Children Wear Uniforms to School?
  • Are School Uniforms Necessary for Students?
  • Should College Uniforms Always Be Banned?
  • Are Teenagers Hidden Behind Their School Uniforms?
  • Should Mandatory School Uniforms Be Implemented in Public Schools?
  • Why Are School Uniforms Used as a Method of Assimilation?
  • Should School Uniforms Make Schools Safer for Students?
  • What Are Advantages and Disadvantages of School Uniforms?
  • Why Is It Important to Wear Uniforms in the School?
  • Do Uniforms Make Schools Better?
  • How Do Uniforms Affect Students?
  • Who Created School Uniforms?
  • How Do Uniforms Make Students Feel?
  • Do Students Work Better Without Uniforms?
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IvyPanda. (2023, October 26). 77 School Uniforms Essay Topic Ideas & Examples.

"77 School Uniforms Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." IvyPanda , 26 Oct. 2023,

IvyPanda . (2023) '77 School Uniforms Essay Topic Ideas & Examples'. 26 October.

IvyPanda . 2023. "77 School Uniforms Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." October 26, 2023.

1. IvyPanda . "77 School Uniforms Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." October 26, 2023.


IvyPanda . "77 School Uniforms Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." October 26, 2023.

School Uniforms - List of Essay Samples And Topic Ideas

School uniforms, often seen as a tool for promoting equality and focus in the educational environment, have been a topic of debate in many school systems around the world. Essays on school uniforms could explore their impact on student identity, academic performance, and school climate. Discussions might also delve into the arguments for and against school uniform policies, including issues of freedom of expression, socio-economic disparities, and the enforcement of such policies. Furthermore, analyzing case studies of schools with and without uniform requirements, and examining the cultural and historical factors influencing the adoption of school uniform policies can provide a nuanced understanding of this contentious educational issue. We have collected a large number of free essay examples about School Uniforms you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

The Positive Effects of School Uniforms

Students should wear school uniforms. The argument against school uniforms is that they restrict the freedom of expression and only minimally improve a school. But an argument can be made that uniforms make getting dressed in the morning easier for all parties involved. Schools no longer have to worry over what students are wearing, parents needn't shell out large amounts of cash, and the students just have to get up and put no effort into what they will wear saving […]

Pros and Cons of Wearing School Uniforms

Pros of uniforms. There are many students that see uniforms as their least favorite thing to wear,but uniforms do more than you think. Uniform keep students focused on their work so they may succeed in life. Uniform bring your school pride and could give the school more students and give you more friends.uniform may improve attendance and discipline. Uniforms decrease bullying and teasing .Uniforms can make get ready in the morning easier and improve punctuality in which could really improve […]

Persuasive Speech Final Outline

Attention-getter: Have you ever questioned how much the clothing you wear affects your life at school? I’m sure we have all heard of the argument between wearing a school uniform versus not having one. Today, I will be explaining to you why wearing school uniforms are more beneficial for students than having none. Relevance to audience: This matters to us all because it is important for a society to know the kinds of effects that certain aspects have on our educational […]

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Should Kids Wear School Uniforms

No, people should not wear school uniforms because if people wear school uniforms you can never express yourself and how you live. But if someone wears something inappropriate then the principle will take care of it. Wearing a uniform would also cause massive student obedience and take away valuable instruction time. Public schools already have dress codes which ban provocative, revealing, gang-affiliated, and hateful clothing. According to the Researchers at the University of Houston school uniforms seem to be decently […]

School Uniforms: a Controversial Issue

School uniforms have been a controversial issue in the United States. Students, teachers, and parents have varied feelings about the need for students to wear uniforms. While some point to the need for all learners to look alike and for discipline purposed, others contend that the requirement for all learners to wear uniforms takes away students' freedom of self-expression. Despite the reasons identified by opponents, school uniforms are necessary for schools and all stakeholders need to embrace it. Most students […]

Importance of Uniform in School

Now, more than ever, public schools are looking to school uniforms as one of many ways to address complex social and academic issues both in and outside of the classroom. As a “safe haven” of sorts, schools are expected to protect children from conditions of poverty, crime, and family strife. It is through the implementation of select programs and strategies that schools have attempted to change behavior and target young children to shape prosocial attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, through stricter, […]

Why we should have School Uniforms

Educators and experts who are in support of school uniforms believe that buying kids uniforms gives them a positive behavior. For instance, it is believed that when students wear uniforms, they feel more professional and behave better. Many educators also theorize that students can become distracted by fashion trends and clothing with symbols on it. Therefore, when all students are dressed in regulated uniforms, there is less focus on fashion in the classroom and more focus on learning.When there's no […]

Are School Uniforms Good or Bad

School uniforms are a common trend in the modern school system. Students, teachers, and parents all have their own thoughts and opinions on school uniforms. While each side of the debate has their strong reason I am against school uniforms. Many people believe students should not have to wear school uniforms (like me). I support this argument with the reasons that school uniforms do not improve attendance, academic preparedness, or grades. David L. Brunsma, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Virginia […]

School Uniform – Dress for Success

The Macquarie wordbook defines the thought of uniform as; dress of the same style, materials and colour worn by a group.. For many decades, students have become more concerning about fashion instead of education. Now, public schools have debated whether students should wear school uniforms.A dress code enforces discipline toward learning by changing a person's attitude toward success. Students generally act the way they are dressed. With fewer fashion distractions, school will be seen as a priority for teaching and […]

Should Students have to Wear School Uniforms?

Should schools have school uniforms? What are the effects they have on students? School Uniforms tend to have positive effects on students. According to, School uniforms keep students focused on their education, Not Fashion. Students usually worry so much about what they look like and don't worry so much about their education. One of the main reasons for having school is to get an education, not to be focused on fashion. Another positive effect of school uniforms is that […]

Rethinking Attire: the Downsides of School Uniforms

Arguments for and against school uniforms have long been made, with the goal of fostering unity and discipline as well as stifling individual expression. While there are many advantages to school uniforms, it's also vital to weigh the drawbacks. This article seeks to provide a balanced analysis of the drawbacks of school uniforms, including potential effects on children, families, and the learning environment. The restriction of personal expression that school uniforms impose is one of the main reasons against them. […]

The School Dress Code Argument: Balancing Expression and Uniformity in Middle Schools

Middle Schools around the country have been neglecting the standards and have controversial rules for students. Schools do not let kids express themselves with clothing, and the lunches they serve are barely edible. Studies have proven that students need to triumph more regularly with the restrictions. First, the meals that schools give their students might not be that bad, but for some schools, there is not enough food, healthy food, and expired foods. Many students have resorted to bringing lunch […]

Controversy Derives from Differences in Beliefs, Values, and Morals

"Controversy derives from differences in beliefs, values, and morals. School uniforms have become a very controversial topic this day in age due to the new social climate centered around questioning powers that be. There are many pros and cons included in the discussion as a result of varying ethnic values. Although, according to “History of Uniforms” by Michelle Meleen, uniforms are said to have been around since the 16th century. Over the past few years concerns that individuality and equity […]

Rethinking School Uniforms: are they Really that Great?

Let's talk about school uniforms. You know, those crisp shirts and pleated skirts or trousers that are supposed to make everything in school hunky-dory. On the surface, uniforms seem like a brilliant idea – they're touted to keep things equal, tidy, and distraction-free. But here’s the thing: dig a little deeper, and you'll find that this one-size-fits-all approach might be missing the mark. First off, think about self-expression. Remember being a teenager and figuring out who you were through the […]

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How To Write An Essay On School Uniforms

Introduction to the debate on school uniforms.

When writing an essay on school uniforms, it’s important to introduce the topic by presenting the ongoing debate surrounding it. School uniforms have been a contentious issue in education, with arguments for and against their implementation in schools. Begin by outlining what school uniforms are and their purpose in educational institutions. Set the stage for your discussion by briefly highlighting the main arguments from both sides: those who see uniforms as a tool for promoting equality and discipline, and those who argue they suppress individual expression and can be economically burdensome. This introduction should offer a balanced view, preparing the reader for a detailed exploration of the topic.

Exploring the Arguments for School Uniforms

The first part of the body of your essay should explore the arguments in favor of school uniforms. Discuss how uniforms can contribute to a sense of school identity and pride, potentially fostering a more focused and serious educational environment. Examine the perspective that uniforms can reduce peer pressure and social conflicts arising from dress choices, thus promoting equality and inclusivity among students. It's also worth mentioning the potential for uniforms to simplify dressing routines and possibly reduce costs for parents in comparison to buying regular clothes. Ensure that your discussion is supported by relevant examples, studies, or statistics.

Addressing the Counterarguments

Next, shift your focus to the arguments against school uniforms. One common argument is that uniforms inhibit personal expression and individuality, which are important aspects of child development and self-esteem. Discuss the financial aspect, particularly the burden on families who may struggle with the cost of specific uniform items. Explore the viewpoint that uniforms do not necessarily improve academic performance or discipline, as claimed by proponents. This section should critically analyze these counterarguments, offering a nuanced perspective on the potential downsides of school uniforms.

Concluding with a Thoughtful Assessment

Conclude your essay by summarizing the key points from both sides of the debate. Offer a thoughtful assessment of whether the benefits of school uniforms outweigh the disadvantages or vice versa. You might also consider presenting a middle ground or alternative solutions, such as more flexible dress codes. Reflect on the broader implications of the school uniform debate, such as what it reveals about societal values, educational priorities, and the balance between conformity and individuality. A well-crafted conclusion will leave the reader with a clear understanding of your stance on the issue and the complexity of the debate surrounding school uniforms.

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Argumentative Essay: School Uniform

The idea of school uniforms seems like an antiquated concept for many North Americans. Unless a child attends private school, it is not normally practiced by children and families. Yet around the world, wearing school uniforms is the norm. Students studying in schools requiring school uniforms generally perform very well academically and seem happy wearing the same outfit every day. There are many benefits to wearing school uniforms that schools in Canada and the United States should incorporate into their public schools.

One of the biggest concerns in schools these days is bullying . Students are harassed physically, verbally, and socially. The latest trend in bullying is cyberbullying. Often, the cause of bullying stems from people being different for not wearing the “right” clothes. If someone looks richer, most people feel like they have a higher social status or more power. To the contrary, uniforms allow children to learn on a more level playing field, with less judgment about clothing choices, brands of clothing, or physical appearance.

A lot of students who wear uniforms claim that they feel more proud of their school. Wearing school colors gives students a feeling of being more connected to their school and classmates. If there is a sense of community and connectedness among the students, the use of foul language, gang behavior, and crimes like vandalism are largely eliminated. Wearing school uniforms can also help people gain more self-confidence because they know they are a part of something bigger.

One of the main concerns people have about wearing school uniforms is conformity. People fear that by making children look the same, their individuality will be suppressed. However, this is not the case. Accessories, such as bracelets and hair clips, can jazz up a school uniform. Besides, students can wear their own clothing after school and during weekends. An individual’s personality is not wholly expressed by fashion alone. Personality is determined by the way a person moves, feels, thinks, and talks. Wearing a school uniform neither defines a child’s personality nor erases it.

There are even more advantages to wearing school uniforms in public schools in addition to those previously mentioned. It means lower costs for parents during back-to-school shopping. However, the idea that bullying might be alleviated is the leading reason why schools should implement the wearing of uniforms. The other is the fostering of school pride. Students will not lose their personality but will merely learn new ways to express themselves.

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Should Students Wear Uniforms?

Two friends debate the question of whether students should be required to wear uniforms. Who makes the better argument?

Learning Objective: to analyze and evaluate two opposing argument essays

  • Purpose This debate has a clear purpose: to present arguments for and against school uniforms.
  • Structure The debate consists of two short letters: one presents a case for why students should be required to wear scool uniforms, and the other explains why students should not have to wear uniforms.
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity Vocabulary: some challenging academic vocabulary (e.g., aspects, individuality, punctuality) Figurative language: rhetorical questions
  • Knowledge Demands The retail store Forever 21 is mentioned.
  • Anchor Standards R.1, R.2, R.4, R.6, W.1, W.4, W.5, L.4, L.6
  • Grade 6 RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.4, RI.6.6, W.6.1, W.6.4, W.6.5, SL.6.1, L.6.4, L.6.5
  • Grade 7 RI.7.1, RI.7.2, RI.7.4, RI.7.6, W.7.1, W.7.4, W.7.5, SL.7.1, L.7.4, L.7.5
  • Grade 8 RI.8.1, RI.8.2, RI.8.4, RI.8.6, , W.8.1, W.8.4, W.8.5, SL.8.1, L.8.4, L.8.5
  • Grade 6 6.1; 6.2; 6.11; 6.14; 6.18; 6.19; 6.26, 6.27
  • Grade 7 7.1, 7.2e, 7.11; 7.14; 7.18; 7.19; 7.26, 7.27
  • Grade 8 8.1, 8.2e, 8.11; 8.14; 8.18; 8.19; 8.26, 8.27
  • Lesson Plan

Presentation View

Close Reading, Critical Thinking, Skill Building

1. preparing to read.

  • Give students a minute to preview the text features­—the headlines, illustrations or photos, any charts or graphs, etc. Ask students what they think the article is going to be about.
  • Project the  Vocabulary Definitions.
  • Follow up with the Vocabulary Activity to practice using the words that are highlighted in bold in the debate.


  • Read both texts once through as a class.
  • Ask: “No matter what you personally think about the issue, which author do you think makes the better argument?” Take a poll and tally the results on the board.
  • Project the first text. For this text only, have students complete the Scavenger Hunt box at the end of the article, modeling text marking on your whiteboard while students mark their magazines. Or print and distribute the  Scavenger Hunt graphic organizer  to help students develop their arguments. Note that a lower-level version of the graphic organizer that does not include counterargument is available.
  • Have students complete the Scavenger Hunt box in the magazine and/or the  Scavenger Hunt graphic organizer  for the second text in small groups.

As a class, discuss the question at the end of the Scavenger Hunt: Who makes the stronger argument? Then ask:         1. What do the authors agree about? What do they disagree about?         2. How do the images support each author’s argument?         3. What is each author’s tone? Explain your answer.

  • Divide students into groups according to which author they think makes the best argument. Have the groups stand on opposite sides of the room.
  • Students should then debate: One student offers a reason (support) for his or her opinion; a student from the other group responds.
  • Students should quietly switch sides if at any point during the debate they change their position on the issue; be sure to ask any student who does this why he or she did so. Encourage students to use evidence to support their opinions.
  • At the end of the debate, compare the number of students who support each author with the number who supported each author before the debate.
  • Have students complete the  Write an Argument Essay activity sheet  and write their essays. 
  • Students should revise their essays using the  Argument-Essay Checklist .

Do uniforms make schools better?

by: Marian Wilde | Updated: March 1, 2024

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Do uniforms make schools better?

Schools, parents, and students frequently clash over the issue of regulating what students may and may not wear to school. These controversies often pegged to the culture war of the moment touch on everything from gender and sexuality to politics, race, and religion. In 2021, a group of about 50 students in Georgia protested their middle school’s dress code for being discriminatory against BIPOC girls by wearing t-shirts every Friday emblazoned with the words “sexist,” “racist,” and “classist.” In 2022, a fight between students, staff, and police officers broke out at a Pennsylvania high school when hats and hoodies were banned as part of a revision by the school board to the school’s dress code. And in 2023, two Michigan middle schoolers, via their mother, sued their school district after they were banned from wearing “Let’s Go Brandon” sweatshirts.

Are school uniforms the best solution to this contentious debate? If every student is wearing the same outfit, will a host of campus problems be solved? Researchers are divided over how much of an impact — if any — dress policies have on student learning. There are multiple studies with conflicting conclusions, plus books such as 2018’s The Debate About School Uniforms , but the argument wears on, with a list of pros and cons on each side.

Why do some public schools have uniforms?

In the 1980s, public schools were often compared unfavorably to Catholic schools. Noting the perceived benefit that uniforms conferred upon Catholic schools, some public schools decided to adopt a school uniform policy.

President Clinton provided momentum to the school uniform movement when he said in his 1996 State of the Union speech, “If it means teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.”

The pros and cons of school uniforms

According to proponents, school uniforms:.

  • Help prevent gangs from forming on campus

  • Encourage discipline

  • Help students resist peer pressure to buy trendy clothes

  • Help identify intruders in the school

  • Diminish economic and social barriers between students

  • Increase a sense of belonging and school pride

  • Improve attendance

Opponents contend that school uniforms:

  • Violate a student’s right to freedom of expression

  • Are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence

  • Make students a target for bullies from other schools

  • Are a financial burden for poor families

  • Are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes for a free public education

  • Are difficult to enforce in public schools

Uniforms vs. dress codes

Schools and districts vary widely in how closely they adhere to the concept of uniformity.

What’s a dress code?

Generally, dress codes are more relaxed than uniform policies. Sometimes, however, dress codes are quite strict with requirements that are potentially viewed as biased based on race or gender. In 2020, two Black male students in Texas, cousins with West Indian heritage, were suspended for wearing dreadlocks in supposed violation of the district’s hair and grooming policy, part of the dress code. The elder one, a senior, was told he couldn’t attend prom or graduation until his dreads were trimmed. In 2022, girls on the track team at an Albany, NY high school were sent home for wearing sports bras at practice.

Uniforms are certainly easier for administrators to enforce than dress codes, largely because the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) can be depended upon to protect a student’s “right to express themselves.” The ACLU believes dress codes are often used to, “shame girls, force students to conform to gender stereotypes… punish students who wear political and countercultural messages. Such policies can be used as cover for racial discrimination… Dress codes can also infringe on a student’s religious rights…” To successfully enforce a dress code, insists the ACLU, the school must prove the student’s attire, “is disruptive to school activities.”

The ACLU’s dress code stance is regularly supported by federal courts , like the 2023 lower court ruling in North Carolina that ended a charter school decree that girls couldn’t wear pants to school. ACLU lawyers claimed this violated Title IX because the dress code “discriminated against female students by limiting their ability to fully participate in school activities, such as using the playground.” The U.S. Supreme Court later declined to take up a case challenging the lower court’s ruling.

Check with your school to see what the dress code is, as they can be fairly specific. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, the dress code prohibits :

  • Symbols, mottoes, words or acronyms that convey crude, vulgar, profane, violent, death-oriented, gang-related, sexually explicit, or sexually suggestive messages.
  • Symbols, mottoes, words or acronyms advertising tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.
  • Symbols, mottoes, words or acronyms identifying a student as a member of a secret or overtly antisocial group or gang or that identifies a student as a member of an organization that professes violence or hatred toward one’s fellow man.
  • Visible and permanent tattoos/brands incompatible with the standards set forth herein shall be covered to prohibit their display.
  • Excessively large or baggy clothes

What’s a uniform?

School uniforms worldwide can widely range from nondescript to bizarre. (Extreme examples from China, Australia, and the UK on this YouTube video ) Most public school outfits in the USA are quite casual, with a “ common type ” for boys often a polo shirt in a solid color, with pants in khaki, black, or navy blue. A girl’s uniform is often a skirt and a white buttoned-up shirt. Dress shoes are frequently required for both genders.

In the United States, low-income families spend an average of $249 on a child’s school uniform annually, far less than the typical Australian student’s $578. But still, the cost is sometimes viewed as unfair because public education is intended to be free, paid by tax dollars, not “a stress for families on lower incomes.” The ACLU believes that public schools should provide free school uniforms , because the expense is unconstitutional, and it increases wealth inequity.

What research says about school uniforms

In 2006, Virginia Draa, professor at Youngstown State University, reviewed the impact of school uniforms at 64 public high schools that had larger percentages of economically disadvantaged and minority students than other urban schools. Her conclusion surprised her: “I really went into this thinking uniforms don’t make a difference, but I came away seeing that they do… I was absolutely floored.” Her analysis determined that the schools with uniforms improved their students attendance, and graduation rates rose an average almost 11 percent.

In 2022, Ohio State University and University of Pennsylvania researchers reached a contrary opinion in their report titled “ School Uniforms and Students Behavior: Is There a Link? ” Their view was that, in general, evidence that school uniforms improve social skills in the students was “inconclusive.” The solitary praise they provided to uniform-wearing was noting there was “some indication that low-income students in schools that required uniforms demonstrated better school attendance than low-income students in schools that did not.”

What to believe? Jury is still out.

What do students think about uniforms?

A student discussion: pros and cons of uniforms

Editor’s note: This video is part of our high school milestones series about communication skills. The students in this video discuss the pros and cons of school uniforms.

A University of Nevada, Reno, survey of 1,848 middle school students, published in 2022, revealed that 90 percent did not like wearing a uniform to school . Only 30 percent believed the uniforms “might reduce discipline issues, a mere 17 percent thought the uniform helped them focus at school, 34 percent believed their school was safer due to the uniforms and 37 percent said, “I worry less about my appearance” due to the uniform requirement.”

An earlier study, also in Nevada, displayed similar unpopularity with newly instituted uniforms among middle school students. However, when the researchers looked into school discipline and local police records and compared them to the prior year’s data, discipline referrals were down 10 percent, there were 63 percent fewer police log reports, and incidences of graffiti, fights, and gang-related activity were all down.

It’s a big issue

A new trend is the mounting pressure to establish dress codes for teachers. Apparently, the same casual mindset toward revealing outfits is cropping up in the ranks of our teachers.

The debate over uniforms in public schools encompasses many larger issues than simply what children should wear to school. It touches on issues of school improvement, freedom of expression, and hot-button culture wars. It’s no wonder the debate rages on.

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essays about school uniforms

Should Students Have to Wear School Uniforms?

  • History of School Uniforms

Traditionally favored by private and parochial institutions , school uniforms are being adopted by US public schools in increasing numbers. According to a 2020 report, the percentage of public schools that required school uniforms jumped from 12% in the 1999-2000 school year to 20% in the 2017-18 school year. School uniforms were most frequently required by elementary schools (23%), followed by middle (18%), and high schools (10%).

The first recorded use of standardized dress in education may have been in England in 1222, when the Archbishop of Canterbury mandated that students wear a robe-like outfit called the “ cappa clausa .” The origin of the modern school uniform can be traced to 16th Century England, when the impoverished “charity children” attending the Christ’s Hospital boarding school wore blue cloaks reminiscent of the cassocks worn by clergy, along with yellow stockings. As of Sep. 2014, students at Christ’s Hospital were still wearing the same uniform, and according to the school it is the oldest school uniform still in use. When Christ’s Hospital surveyed its students in 2011, 95% voted to keep the traditional uniforms. Read more history…

Pro & Con Arguments

Pro 1 School uniforms deter crime and increase student safety. In Long Beach, California, after two years of a district-wide K-8 mandatory uniform policy, reports of assault and battery in the district’s schools decreased by 34%, assault with a deadly weapon dropped by 50%, fighting incidents went down by 51%, sex offenses were cut by 74%, robbery dropped by 65%, possession of weapons (or weapon “look-alikes”) decreased by 52%, possession of drugs went down by 69%, and vandalism was lowered by 18%. [ 64 ] One year after Sparks Middle School in Nevada instituted a uniform policy, school police data showed a 63% drop in police log reports, and decreases were also noted in gang activity, student fights, graffiti, property damage, and battery. A peer-reviewed study found that schools with uniform policies had 12% fewer firearm-related incidents and 15% fewer drug-related incidents than schools without uniforms. [ 25 ] [ 69 ] School uniforms also prevent students from concealing weapons under baggy clothing, make it easier to keep track of students on field trips, and make intruders on campus more visible. Frank Quatrone, superintendent in the Lodi school district of New Jersey, states, “When you have students dressed alike, you make them safer. If someone were to come into a building, the intruder could easily be recognized.” [ 6 ] [ 38 ] Further, school uniforms create a level playing field among students, reducing peer pressure and bullying. When all students are dressed alike, competition between students over clothing choices and the teasing of those who are dressed in less expensive or less fashionable outfits can be eliminated. Research by the Schoolwear Association found that 83% of teachers thought “a good school uniform… could prevent bullying based on appearance or economic background.” Arminta Jacobson, Founder and Director of the Center for Parent Education at the University of North Texas, states that uniforms put “all kids on the same playing field in terms of their appearance. I think it probably gives them a sense of belonging and a feeling of being socially accepted.” [ 5 ] [ 91 ] And, school uniforms prevent the display of gang colors and insignia, reducing gang activity and pressure to join on school property. The U.S. Department of Education’s Manual on School Uniforms stated that uniform policies can “prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school” in order to “encourage a safe environment.” Educators in the Long Beach Unified School District have speculated that the sharp reduction in crime following the introduction of school uniforms was a result of gang conflicts being curbed. Osceola County, Florida School Board member Jay Wheeler reports that the county’s schools had a 46% drop in gang activity after their first full school year with a mandatory K-12 uniform policy. Wheeler explains that “clothing is integral to gang culture… Imagine a U.S. Armed Forces recruiter out of uniform trying to recruit new soldiers; the success rate goes down. The same applies to gang recruitment.” [35] [37] [67] [ 35 ] [ 37 ] [ 67 ] Read More
Pro 2 School uniforms keep students focused on their education, not their clothes. 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.” And a study by the University of Houston found that elementary school girls’ language test scores increased by about three percentile points after uniforms were introduced. [ 1 ] [ 15 ] Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advocates school uniforms as a way to help students focus on learning: “Take that [clothing choices] off the table and put the focus on school, not on what you’re wearing.” Chris Hammons, Principal of Woodland Middle School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, explains that uniforms “provide for less distraction, less drama, and more of a focus on learning.” [ 30 ] [ 70 ] Wearing uniforms also enhances school pride, unity, and community spirit, which can boost interest in education. A study of over 1,000 Texas middle school students found that students in uniform “reported significantly more positive perceptions of belonging in their school community than reported by students in the standard dress group.” Christopher P. Clouet, former Superintendent of the New London Public Schools in Connecticut, stated that “the wearing of uniforms contributes to school pride.” Arnold Goldstein, PhD, head of the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, points out that uniforms help troubled students feel they have the support of a community: “There is a sense of belonging.” Further, “teachers perceived an increase in the level of respect, caring, and trust… throughout the school” and “students are made to feel ‘important’ and as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform,” according to a peer-reviewed study. [ 3 ] [ 20 ] [ 31 ] [ 33 ] Plus, school uniforms can improve attendance and discipline. A study by researchers at the University of Houston found that the average absence rate for girls in middle and high school decreased by 7% after the introduction of uniforms, and behavioral problems lessened in severity. School uniforms make getting ready for school easier, which can improve punctuality. When uniforms are mandatory, parents and students do not spend time choosing appropriate outfits for the school day. According to a national survey, over 90% of US school leaders believe school uniform or formal dress code policies “eliminate wardrobe battles with kids,” make it “easier to get kids ready in the morning,” and create a “time saving in the morning.” Tracey Marinelli, Superintendent of the Lyndhurst School District in New Jersey, credits the district’s uniform policy for reducing the number of students running late. Lyndhurst student Mike Morreale agrees, stating that “it’s so much easier to dress than having to search for clothes and find out that something doesn’t match.” A Youngstown State University study of secondary schools in Ohio’s eight largest school districts found that school uniform policies improve rates of attendance, graduation, and suspension. [ 1 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 27 ] [ 32 ] During the first semester of a mandatory uniform program at John Adams Middle School in Albuquerque, NM, discipline referrals dropped from 1,565 during the first semester of the year prior to 405, a 74% decrease. Macquarie University (Australia) researchers found that in schools across the world where uniform policies are enforced, students “are more disciplined” and “listen significantly better, there are lower noise levels, and lower teaching waiting times with classes starting on time.” [ 68 ] [ 89 ] Wasted time in classrooms is reduced because uniform policies save valuable class time because they are easier to enforce than a standard dress code. Doris Jo Murphy, former Director of Field Experiences at the University of North Texas College of Education, states, “As an elementary assistant principal in two suburban districts, I can tell you that the dress code took up a great deal of my time in the area of discipline… I wished many times that we had uniforms because the issue of skirts or shorts being too short, and baggy jeans and pants on the boys not being pulled up as they needed to be, would have been a non-issue.” Lyndhurst, NJ school district superintendent Tracey Marinelli had a similar experience before a uniform policy was introduced: “Kids were spending time in the office because they were not fulfilling the dress code… That was time away from class.” [ 5 ] [ 6 ] Read More
Pro 3 Students’ legal right to free expression remains intact with mandatory school uniforms. The 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which concerned the wearing of black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, confirmed that students’ constitutional right to free speech “does not relate to regulation of the length of skirts or the type of clothing.” Wearing one’s own choice of shirt or pants is not the “pure speech” protected by the Constitution. [ 18 ] [ 28 ] In Canady v. Bossier Parish School Board (3-0, 2001), the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a school board’s right to implement a mandatory uniform policy, stating that requiring uniforms for the purpose of increasing test scores and improving discipline “is in no way related to the suppression of student speech. [Students] remain free to wear what they want after school hours. Students may still express their views through other mediums during the school day.” [ 18 ] [ 29 ] Besides, students can still express their individuality in school uniforms by introducing variations and adding accessories. Junior high school student Amelia Jimenez wrote in her op-ed for the Pennsylvania Patriot-News that “contrary to popular belief, uniforms do not stop students from being themselves. Uniforms do not silence voices. Students can wear a variety of expressive items, such as buttons or jewlery.” Students can inject their personal style into their daily look with hairstyles, nail polish, and colorful accessories such as bags, scarfs, and fun socks. 54% of eighth-graders said they could still express their individuality while wearing school uniforms. [ 61 ] [ 62 ] [ 65 ] Further, students dressed in uniform are better perceived by teachers and peers. A 1994 peer-reviewed study found that students in uniform were perceived by teachers and fellow students as being more academically proficient than students in regular clothes. The study also found that students in uniform were perceived by peers and teachers as having higher academic potential, and perceived by peers as being better behaved. Students need to learn a balance between free expression and working within the confines of expectations. [ 4 ] Read More
Con 1 School uniforms do not stop bullying and can actually increase violent attacks. “Overall, there is no evidence in bullying literature that supports a reduction in violence due to school uniforms, explains Tony Volk, Associate Professor at Brock University. The oft-quoted improvements to school safety and student behavior in the Long Beach (CA) Unified School District from 1993-1995 may not have resulted from the introduction of school uniforms. The study in which the findings were published cautioned that “it is not clear that these results are entirely attributable to the uniform policy” and suggests that the introduction of new school security measures made at the same time may have been partly responsible. [ 64 ] [ 85 ] Further, a peer-reviewed study found that “school uniforms increased the average number of assaults by about 14 [per year] in the most violent schools.” A Texas Southern University study found that school discipline incidents rose by about 12% after the introduction of uniforms. And, according to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of Education Evaluation and Management, fights in middle schools nearly doubled within one year of introducing mandatory uniforms. [ 14 ] [ 26 ] [ 72 ] [ 73 ] Discipline problems increase in part because school uniforms emphasize the socio-economic divisions they are supposed to eliminate. Most public schools with uniform policies are in low-income neighborhoods (47% of high-poverty public schools required school uniforms vs. 6% of low poverty schools), emphasizing the class distinctions that uniforms were supposed to eliminate. Even within one school, uniforms cannot conceal the differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” David L. Brunsma explains that “more affluent families buy more uniforms per child. The less affluent… they have one… It’s more likely to be tattered, torn and faded. It only takes two months [after a uniform policy is implemented] for socioeconomic differences to show up again.” [ 9 ] [ 23 ] Read More
Con 2 School uniforms do not improve attendance, academic preparedness, or exam results. A study that analyzed a national sample of 10th graders found “no effects of uniforms on absenteeism, behavioral problems (fights, suspensions, etc.), or substance use on campus” and “no effects” on “pro-school attitudes, academic preparedness, and peer attitudes toward school.” [14][66] Brunsma also found a “negative effect of uniforms on academic achievement,” and later found that uniforms were equally ineffective on elementary students and eighth graders. A peer-reviewed study found “no significant effects of school uniforms on performance on second grade reading and mathematics examinations, as well as on 10th-grade reading, mathematics, science, and history examinations… [I]n many of the specifications, the results are actually negative.” [ 2 ] [ 14 ] The problems arise because focusing on uniforms takes attention away from finding genuine solutions to problems in education. Spending time and effort implementing uniform policies detracts from more effective efforts to reduce crime in schools and boost student performance. More substantive improvements to public education could be achieved with smaller class sizes, tightened security, increased parental involvement, improved facilities, and other measures. Tom Houlihan, former Superintendent of Schools in Oxford, North Carolina, stated that school uniforms “are a distraction from focusing on systematic and fundamental transformation to improve our schools.” [ 12 ] [ 14 ] [ 42 ] That uniform policies are a distraction is most evident when we realize that the push for school uniforms is driven by commercial interests rather than educational ones. Americans spend around $1 billion on school uniforms every year. Retailer J.C. Penney Co. says school uniforms are “a huge, important business for us.” In one year alone, uniform company Lands’ End spent $3 million on marketing efforts directed at public schools and districts. Multiple studies used to promote the effectiveness of uniforms were partly funded by Lands’ End, and at least one of those studies is “so wholly flawed as to render itself useless,” according to David L. Brunsma. Reuters reported that retailers were “sensing their opportunity… stepping up competition in the uniform aisles and online. Walmart has set up ‘uniform shops’ or temporary boutiques within some stores.” [ 14 ] [ 32 ] [ 43 ] [ 44 ] [ 74 ] The commercialization of school uniforms in public schools also undermines the promise of a free education by imposing an extra expense on families. Parents already pay taxes, and they still need to buy regular clothes for their children to wear when they’re out of school and for dress-down days. The Children’s Commission on Poverty (UK) found that over “95% of parents on low incomes reported difficulties in meeting school-related costs,” including uniforms, despite their children attending tuition-free schools. Anderson, Indiana, parents Laura and Scott Bell argued against their children’s school uniform policy, saying the $641 for their children’s uniforms broke the guarantee of a free public education. In York County, Pennsylvania, a local NBC affiliate reported that some children were missing class because their families couldn’t afford to purchase the required uniforms. And, all of that is before the uniform policies themselves are examined. Most operate like dress codes and are classist, racist, and sexist. [ 10 ] [ 84 ] [ 94 ] Read More
Con 3 School uniforms restrict students’ freedom of expression. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that all individuals have the right to express themselves freely. The U.S. Supreme Court stated in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) that “it can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” [ 8 ] [ 28 ] In Sweden, a government agency, the School Inspectorate, determined that uniforms were a human rights violation because “dress and appearance should be considered an individual expression, decided by the students themselves.” Clothing choices are “a crucial form of self-expression,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, which also states that “allowing students to choose their clothing is an empowering message from the schools that a student is a maturing person who is entitled to the most basic self-determination.” [ 7 ] [ 39 ] Uniforms take away the ability to use clothing as means of expressing support for social causes. Students at Friendly High School in Prince George’s County, MD, were not allowed to wear pink shirts to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month and 75 students received suspensions for breaking the school’s uniform restrictions. Removing these choices can delay the transition into adulthood. Adults make their own clothing choices and have the freedom to express themselves through their appearance. Denying children and teenagers the opportunity to make those choices may make them ill-prepared for the adult world. Adolescents see clothing choices as a means of identification, and seeking an identity is one of the critical stages of adolescence, according to the late developmental psychologist Erik Erikson. [ 11 ] [ 75 ] [ 76 ] [ 79 ] [ 80 ] When students have to wear the same outfits, rather than being allowed to select clothes that suit their body types, they can suffer embarrassment at school. Child and teen development specialist Robyn Silverman says that students, especially girls, tend to compare how each other looks in their uniforms: “As a body image expert, I hear from students all the time that they feel it allows for a lot of comparison… So if you have a body that’s a plus-size body, a curvier body, a very tall body, a very short body, those girls often feel that they don’t look their best.” A study by researchers at Arizona State University found that “students from schools without uniforms reported higher self-perception scores than students from schools with uniform policies.” Some students also find uniforms less comfortable than their regular clothes, which may not be conducive to learning. [ 21 ] [ 24 ] [ 75 ] Further, school uniforms promote conformity over individuality. Chicago, Illinois, junior high school student Kyler Sumter says: “They decide to teach us about people like Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and Booker T. Washington… We learn about how these people expressed themselves and conquered and we can’t even express ourselves in the hallways.” Troy Shuman, a senior in Harford County, Maryland, said the introduction of a mandatory uniform policy to his school would be “teaching conformity and squelching individual thought. Just think of prisons and gangs. The ultimate socializer to crush rebellion is conformity in appearance. If a school system starts at clothes, where does it end?” [ 9 ] [ 60 ] In schools where uniforms are specifically gendered (girls must wear skirts and boys must wear pants), transgender, gender-fluid, and gender-nonconforming students can feel ostracized. Seamus, a 16-year-old transgender boy, stated, “sitting in a blouse and skirt all day made me feel insanely anxious. I wasn’t taken seriously. This is atrocious and damaging to a young person’s mental health; that uniform nearly destroyed me.” Late satirist George Carlin asked, “Don’t these schools do enough damage, making all these children think alike? Now they’re gonna get them to look alike, too?” [ 40 ] [ 86 ] Beyond student preference, parents should be free to choose their children’s clothes without government interference. One of the founders of the Wilson County (Louisiana) Parents Coalition, Richard Dashkovitz, states: “It’s time we let the government know that we are fed up with this. Quit dictating to us what my child should wear… [T]he government is intruding into our private lives, roles as parents and the lives of our children.” According to another parents’ rights group, Asserting Parental Rights — It’s Our Duty, mandatory uniform “policies trample parents’ right to raise children without government interference.” [ 10 ] [ 16 ] Read More
Did You Know?
1. The first school district in the United States to require all K-8 students to wear uniforms was Long Beach, CA, in Jan. 1994. [ ] [ ]
2. Americans spend around $1 billion per year on school uniforms. [ ] [ ]
3. Students at Eton, one of England's most prestigious schools, were required to wear black top hats and tails on and off campus until 1972. [ ]
4. US schools with a minority student population of 50% or more are four times as likely to require uniforms than schools with a minority population of 20-49%, and 24 times more likely than schools with minority populations of 5%-19%. [ ]
5. A government agency in Sweden declared that mandatory school uniforms were a human rights violation, stating that students should decide their dress and appearance as "a matter of the individual's freedom and integrity." [ ]

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Should Students Wear School Uniforms Essay (Tips and Sample)

School uniforms essay

School uniforms are a hotly contested debate, which makes it a controversial topic preferred for school essays. Even though writing a school uniform essay should be easy, students' confessions after being assigned both long and short essays on school uniform show mixed results. Most students who have been given an essay on school uniforms have highlighted it as exciting and tricky.

Well, to write an essay that will score you an excellent grade, you need to understand your perspective, viewpoint, or stand before writing. As yourself, whether you will support school uniforms or you will be against them in your essay.

In most cases, the essay can be argumentative where you argue either for or against, then proceed to state your stand on whether or not you support school uniforms in learning institutions. You can also write an informative essay or a persuasive school uniform essay.

This article covers some aspects to consider when writing such an essay, some suitable topics, and general advice on how to write an outstanding school uniforms essay.

How to begin a School Uniforms Essay

You aim to demystify the school uniforms debate. Therefore, you need to strategize on how to begin the essay. Like other essays, starting with an essay hook would make it interesting to the readers. After the hook, head straight to writing some background information on school uniforms. You can then incorporate a thesis statement that presents your central stance on the paper.

Here is a sample school uniform hook:

A recent study by North Dakota State University revealed that an average American household spends close to 3.8% of their income on clothing, translating to approximately $2000 annually per household.

The hook above is essential when you argue from a cost perspective where you say that school uniforms save families from expenditures on buying different clothes for kids, which equalizes the rich and poor households.

In your background, you can try reference instances when school uniforms have stirred public debates. Inform your reader about these debates and highlight the key issues you will handle in your essay.

At the end of the introduction paragraph, state your thesis statement.

What goes to the body of a school uniform essay?

With the introduction done, you now need to develop the body paragraphs. As a general rule, always maintain a single idea per paragraph. If you are doing your essay in a five-paragraph essay format, ensure that the body of your essay takes 80% of the total word count while the introduction and the conclusion each take 10%.  

Here are some key ideas you can incorporate in the body of your essay:

  • Explain the essence of having school uniforms on students, teachers, and learning institutions. Issues such as security and safety, uniformity, and promoting togetherness or unity as benefits. It is easy to spot a student in uniform. School uniforms also enforce some self-respect and self-worth among students. As well, uniforms foster a sense of belonging among students.
  • Explore the issue from a cost-saving perspective for the parents. Unlike having different clothes daily, having a few pieces of school uniforms reduces the expenditure per household.
  • Connect school uniforms to issues such as creativity, comfort, and affordability. Lack of funds, for instance, can hinder some families from sending their children to school as they have no school uniforms.
  • You can also present the pros and cons of school uniforms
  • Connect the school uniforms to identity formation
  • School uniforms equalize students, which boosts their self-confidence
  • School uniform makes students not be imaginative
  • In the end, present recommendations that can solve the school uniform quagmire in schools

Like any other essay, ensure that your essay about school uniforms is engaging. Take a multi-stakeholder approach if you are recommending a policy.

If you have real-life examples of how school uniforms are beneficial, present them to support your body paragraphs. As you strive to present your viewpoints, ensure that each paragraph transitions to the next paragraph.

If possible, benchmark your arguments on schools that have successfully implemented school uniforms.

How to end an essay on school uniform

Like the introduction, the conclusion of your essay matters a lot. It can be the only place a marker checks to know what your stance was when writing your school uniforms essay.

Let your readers know whether school uniforms are good or not. Do not just stop there explore the why and why not for each of your points.

If there are recommendations, especially if you were writing an essay based on a school uniforms case study, present them in the conclusion.

DO not introduce new ideas that are not in your essay. However, crystalize and relate to your thesis and make sure your readers enjoy your essay to the last dot.

Sample School Uniforms Essay Topics

School uniform essays differ in perspective or stance, which hugely depends on the choice of topic. We can advise you to choose a school essay topic that has practical points and one that you can support with evidence from scholarly literature.

  • Is school uniform a good thing?
  • The importance of school uniforms
  • Should students wear uniforms?
  • Pros and Cons of school uniforms
  • The negative impacts of school uniforms
  • Rhetorical analysis of school uniforms
  • Positive effects of school uniforms
  • Are school uniforms a dress for success?
  • Why schools should have uniforms
  • History of school dress code
  • School uniforms in private and public schools
  • Should all schools have the same uniform?
  • Are school uniforms necessary?
  • School uniforms and diversity
  • School uniforms and student discipline
  • Comparison of school uniforms in U.S. and Japan

School Uniforms Essay Check List

With your essay written, ensure that it ticks most if not all these lists of facts that make a school uniform score great grades.

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Sample Argumentative Essay on Should Students Wear School Uniforms

Disclaimer – DO NOT COPY this sample essay. It is meant to help you see how you can present your essay ideas given your perspective/viewpoint. Submitting any part of this essay as your own might land you in trouble. We will not be in any way be a party to such consequences. If you need a model essay based on your selected topic for research purposes, please place an order or contact our support team for assistance with outlines, potential references, and some ideas on writing an excellent essay on school uniforms.

Numerous debates have been carried out on whether students should wear uniforms or not. Parents, teachers, students, and school administrations have all given their views on school uniforms with different arguments and opinions on all sides. Supporters of school uniforms argue that school uniforms are essential as they give students an identity and foster discipline, while others argue that uniforms are annoying, uncomfortable, and lack creativity. Regardless of the position one takes on students wearing uniforms, it is clear that uniforms are an essential part of students, and students wearing uniforms is more advantageous to both the students and schools. Thus, all students should wear uniforms as the uniforms instill a sense of discipline and identity, erase differences between the students, and are less costly (thesis statement)

School uniforms eliminate the differences between students in regard to their social and economic backgrounds ( School uniforms promote equality ) . Schools have students from different social and economic backgrounds. The school environment has students from both poor and rich families. Hence, uniforms are important as they are modest and identical clothing that propagate a sense of equality among the students (Freeburg and Workman, 6). Accordingly, all students should wear school uniforms to avoid a situation where some students feel inadequate for being able to afford expensive clothing like their more affluent counterparts. A learning environment and education, in general, are supposed to bridge the social-economic differences that exist in society.

Parents can save much money that would otherwise go to buying a wide variety of school clothes for their children ( school uniforms save parents money spent on clothing ). School uniforms provide a cheaper and more consistent alternative to regular clothing. If students are allowed to wear regular clothing to school, parents and guardians have to buy clothes that are in line with the latest fashion trends and the individual tastes of their children, both of which can be expensive. In this case, students should wear school uniforms that are affordable and identical to save parents money that can be used for more important things (Baumann and Krskova 1003). Affordability is essential for parents considering the enormous expenses associated with bringing up children in the modern era. Therefore, all students should wear uniforms as uniforms protect the financial interest of the parents and guardians.

Wearing school uniforms saves teachers, students, and administrators valuable time ( Bringing in the time-saving perspective of school uniforms ). Without uniforms, teachers and schools, administrators spend significant amounts of time regulating the dress code. For instance, time wasted deciding which clothes are appropriate, what skirt-size is too short, among other issues that arise in regulating regular clothes to make appropriate for the school environment (Ruggerone 573). Such challenges would not exist if all students wore uniforms. Consequently, students also waste valuable time because of the distractions that might be caused by clothes that their peers are wearing. Therefore, to eliminate time wastage and distractions in school, students should wear uniforms.

According to individuals and parties who oppose school uniforms, the uniforms limit the personal expression of students and can forcibly define gender roles for the children as girls have to wear skirts and boys’ trousers ( school uniforms stifle independence and creativity) - COUNTERARGUMENT . People express themselves through their clothes, which means that forcing students to wear uniforms affects their personal expressions (Masuch and Hefferon 227). Additionally, uniforms are gender-specific, which means that they can negatively impact the personalities of students as they are forced to wear uniforms that they do not feel reflect what they want to be or do with their lives. Thus, as the proponents against school uniforms argue, uniforms should be eliminated as they infringe on the independence of young students.

To sum up, there are numerous arguments that either support or oppose the wearing of uniforms by students. Supporters of school uniforms claim that uniforms give students a sense of identity and discipline, enhance social and economic equality, and save costs. On the other side, proponents against school uniforms claim that school uniforms limit the personal expression of students and force them into specified gender roles. Judging from the advantages and disadvantages of uniforms, it is clear that all students should wear uniforms as they distinguish students from civilians and enhance equality in the school environment.

Baumann, Chris, and Hana Krskova. "School discipline, school uniforms, and academic performance." International Journal of Educational Management 30.6 (2016): 1003-1029.

Freeburg, Beth W., and Jane E. Workman. "Dress Codes and Uniforms." Encyclopedia of Adolescence (2016): 1-13.

Masuch, Christoph-Simon, and Kate Hefferon. "Understanding the links between positive psychology and fashion: A grounded theory analysis." International Journal of Fashion Studies 1.2 (2014): 227-246.

Ruggerone, Lucia. "The feeling of being dressed: Affect studies and the clothed body." Fashion Theory 21.5 (2017): 573-593.


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Wearing School Uniforms essay

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Essay on School Uniforms

Students are often asked to write an essay on School Uniforms in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on School Uniforms

What are school uniforms.

School uniforms are clothes that students have to wear to school. They usually include a top, pants, and a skirt for girls. Uniforms can be different colors and styles, but they are all made to look the same.

Why Do Schools Have Uniforms?

There are many reasons why schools have uniforms. One reason is to make sure that all students look the same. This can help to reduce bullying and make students feel more equal. Uniforms can also help students to focus on their work because they don’t have to worry about what to wear.

Are School Uniforms Good or Bad?

There are both good and bad things about school uniforms. Some people think that uniforms are good because they help to reduce bullying and make students feel more equal. Others think that uniforms are bad because they take away students’ individuality.

Should Schools Have Uniforms?

Whether or not schools should have uniforms is a difficult question. There are both good and bad things about uniforms, and it is up to each school to decide whether or not they want to require students to wear them.

250 Words Essay on School Uniforms

School uniforms are a set of clothes that students wear to school. These clothes are the same for everyone in the school. The idea is to make all students look the same, no matter where they come from or how much money their families have.

Why Wear School Uniforms?

Wearing school uniforms has a few good points. First, it helps students focus on their studies rather than what they are wearing. When everyone wears the same thing, no one feels left out or less important because of their clothes. Second, it saves time in the morning. Instead of thinking hard about what to wear, students can quickly get dressed in their uniforms and get ready for school.

Safety and Unity

Uniforms also make schools safer. It’s easy to see who belongs in the school and who doesn’t. This can help keep strangers away. Also, wearing the same clothes can make students feel like they are part of a team. This feeling of unity can make school a nicer place for everyone.

In conclusion, school uniforms have many benefits. They help students focus on learning, save time, increase safety, and create a sense of unity. Even though not everyone might like wearing them, the advantages of school uniforms show why many schools choose to have them.

500 Words Essay on School Uniforms

School uniforms are specific clothing that students have to wear in school. They usually consist of a shirt, pants, skirt, and shoes. In some schools, uniforms may also include accessories like hats, ties, and belts.

Benefits of School Uniforms

There are many benefits to wearing school uniforms.

1. Equality and Safety:

2. improved focus and discipline:.

With uniforms, students can focus on their studies instead of worrying about what to wear. Uniforms also foster a sense of discipline and respect for school rules.

3. Reduced Peer Pressure:

When everyone wears the same clothes, it reduces the pressure to conform to certain fashion trends and helps prevent bullying based on appearance.

4. Cost-effective:

Arguments against school uniforms, 1. restricted individuality:.

Uniforms can be seen as限制ing individual expression and creativity, as students cannot choose their clothes.

3. Inconvenient:

Some uniforms may be uncomfortable or impractical for certain activities or weather conditions.

While there are arguments both for and against school uniforms, the benefits often outweigh the drawbacks. Uniforms promote equality, safety, focus, and discipline in schools, and they can also be cost-effective for families.

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essays about school uniforms

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The Benefits of Schools Uniforms and Why Schools Have Them

The Benefits of School Uniforms, and Why Schools Have Them | Nord Anglia Education - The Benefits of Schools Uniforms and Why Schools Have Them

School uniforms are a key way of developing a sense of togetherness among students and staff, but the topic is still one of the most widely debated outside of schools.

From dress codes to improved safety, in this article we’ll discuss the wide-ranging benefits of wearing school uniforms. 

13 Advantages to Wearing School Uniforms

Put these 13 factors together and it’s easy to see why school uniforms are important to creating a team of united students and staff.

1. Create cohesion

When students all wear the same clothing every day at school, it levels out the playing field. Any expectations on what to wear are removed and children develop a greater sense of equality.

Children of all socioeconomic backgrounds begin from the same starting point. Without uniforms, children from poorer backgrounds could feel isolated if their parents are unable to afford the latest styles of clothing.

Creating a standard promotes the idea that we are all the same. Children come together from different backgrounds and can immediately identify a fellow member of their team from the clothes that they wear, breeding a sense of cohesion and commonality that is lost when school uniforms are removed.

2. Reduce the potential for bullying

Without school uniforms, the potential for children to tease and make fun of one another is increased. People use clothing to express themselves; children are no different in this regard. Sadly, when a child expresses themselves in a different way to everyone else, it can create a point of difference between one child and another. Again, these differences can be amplified by socioeconomic disparities between one child’s family and another.

Rather than build a sense of community and equality with a school uniform, allowing children to wear what they like can create divisions between them.

3. Improve study ethic

If a child feels like they don’t fit in, or they don’t have the latest and best clothing, it can be damaging to their confidence. A lack of confidence can be one of the most significant barriers to academic growth. Introducing a school uniform removes this possibility, meaning your child has less to worry about and more reason to be confident in class.

4. Increase safety

There are significant safety concerns to not adopting a uniform in school. With their school colours on, children can immediately be recognised at a distance as a member of that school. In a situation where someone who isn’t a member of the school is on-site, they can be easily identified as not part of the school by their lack of uniform.

This can be extended to days outside of school grounds. On day trips away, children can easily be spotted among crowds thanks to their uniform. This can be especially helpful when making school trips at the same time as other schools, where large crowds of children mix with one another.

5. Fairer dress codes

When a school adopts a uniform, it creates a simple and standardised dress code. When children are allowed to wear what they like, innumerable variations mean schools must adopt a long list of dos and don’ts to formulate their dress code. These dress codes are often harsher on girls too, making for an unfair and unequal community.

By bringing in a uniform, schools can avoid complicated issues around modesty, offensive symbols, and text, and remove any need for teachers to monitor what children are wearing against this dress code.

6. Remove peer pressure

Children are often under some form of peer pressure but adopting a school uniform can remove one form of it. Without a uniform, children can develop expectations about what should be worn to fit into a certain group. Children divide themselves into cliques and the sense of togetherness that a uniform brings is lost.

7. Prepare for the outside world

School uniforms prepare children for formal scenarios that we all encounter in our lives. Depending on the situation, we’re expected to dress and look a certain way. Job interviews are a good example. Dressing professionally in working environments is expected in adulthood, and this is something your child will understand thanks to a school uniform.

8. Easy mornings for students and parents

As any parent knows, weekday mornings can be chaotic. It can be tricky enough to get yourself ready for work without having to worry about how your child is getting on too. That problem is amplified if your child doesn’t have a school uniform to put on each morning, as they take their time to decide what to wear. In the end, it could take away from what is important – your child’s studies.

Uniforms remove one more thing from the ‘to-do’ list of mums and dads every day.

9. Encourage professionalism

Some people believe that school uniforms contribute positively to a child’s behaviour in school. Their uniform develops an affinity with learning. Once they put it on, their purpose is to work hard at their studies. A sense of professionalism develops within each child, leading to more focus in the classroom.

10. Reduce Distractions

Uniforms make for one less distraction during school. By wearing what they like, children can become more focused on their school status rather than their studies. Fashion trends and owning the latest styles become the priority, and it could lead to a downturn in that child’s progress at school.

11. Focus on character

Without a uniform, what they wear can end up defining your child rather than the content of their character. Children should be prioritising the development of their personality, having the confidence to be who they are and not be defined by material things like the clothes they wear.

With a school uniform, your child can express themselves in more meaningful ways, which helps to develop their creativity.

12. Easier economics for parents

Children can be demanding when they notice their friends have something they don’t. Without a uniform, the potential for this to happen with clothing increases. Children may put their parents under pressure to buy them a new wardrobe every season or capitalise on every new trend that sweeps through the school.

With school uniforms, economics is made easier for parents. You know exactly what to buy and when to buy it, and often uniform can be used for more than one school year. School uniforms are robust and designed for longevity. They’ll last much longer than your child’s other clothing, helping you save money by not having to replace them as often.

13. Enjoy weekend style

We should still make some attempt to allow children to express themselves with their clothing. It feels good to wear something we like, helping to build confidence in who we are. After wearing their uniform five days a week, children can develop a greater sense of appreciation for their other clothes that they can wear on weekends and evenings.

At Nord Anglia Education, we strive to create togetherness and belonging among all our students in ways that stretch far beyond the clothes your child wears every day. To find out more about us and our outstanding academic programmes, find a Nord Anglia Education school near you.

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My identical twin and I only started dressing alike as adults. It's the way it should be.

  • My identical twin sister and I refused to wear the same clothes as children. 
  • It helped us feel like individuals while everyone got us mixed up.
  • As adults, we appreciate our similarities and differences, sharing clothes and memories.

Insider Today

My identical twin sister , Aimee, and I were complete opposites growing up.

Aimee loved makeup and musicals, and I loved skateboarding and blaring Avril Lavigne from my bedroom. Aimee went to dance classes while I wrote short stories and buried my head in books.

Despite our clear differences, our family, friends, and teachers often struggled to tell us apart.

While I loved being a twin, our physical similarities sometimes prevented me from feeling like my own person .

When we became old enough to choose our own clothes, it became an unspoken rule that Aimee and I would never be caught dead in the same outfit.

Getting called by the wrong name was annoying, and we felt we didn't need to give people another reason to get us mixed up.

But that all changed when we became adults.

Our parents encouraged us to dress differently

It was difficult to avoid this rule when it came to dressing for school.

Students are required to wear a uniform at most schools in the UK, so it wasn't just Aimee and I who looked similar — everyone did.

We found subtle ways to change things up. For example, Aimee and I both got school bags and jackets from Jane Norman , a popular brand that seemingly every British schoolgirl wore in the 2000s. We made sure they were completely different styles, and years later, an old friend confessed to me that looking at our bags was the only way she could tell Aimee and me apart.

Related stories

We were lucky that our parents encouraged our individual styles. Growing up, they rarely purchased identical outfits for us and would only dress us alike (begrudgingly) if the outfits were a gift from a family member.

As more people are having twins than ever before, tweaking the way twins are parented is incredibly important.

According to research by Oxford University in 2021, the number of twins born in the world reached an all-time high, with 1.6 million twins born each year. That could be partly due to delayed childbearing and techniques like IVF, in which the rate of conceiving identical twins is slightly higher than that of natural conception.

Speaking to BBC News in 2017, Keith Reed, former chief executive of the Twins and Multiple Births Association, said dressing twins differently and avoiding using phrases like "the twins" can be helpful in encouraging individuality.

"If they are used to always being together or always wearing the same clothes, then the older they get the more distressed they may become if you try to make changes," Reed told the outlet.

Things changed after we grew up

It became easier for people to tell the difference between us as we got older.

Even though we are identical, we do have a few physical differences, and these became more defined when we entered adulthood.

Aimee is a trained dancer, so naturally, my body does not look the same as hers.

We're now in our late 20s, and it's been years since somebody got us mixed up.

We lead completely different lives, though we still share a couple of the same childhood friends. But unlike when we were kids, Aimee and I now don't mind dressing alike.

We regularly borrow each other's clothes and sometimes dress similarly. For example, a couple of years ago, I noticed I had accidentally ordered two of the same white sweater dresses. I gave the second dress to Aimee, and we both wore it at Christmas.

We even posted photos of the matching outfits on social media.

I'm so glad that we have now reached the point where we aren't afraid to embrace being twins.

In order to accept our similarities, we had to explore our differences — and I wouldn't have it any other way.

essays about school uniforms

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Home — Essay Samples — Education — School Uniform — Why School Uniforms Should Be Mandatory


Arguments About Why School Uniforms Should Be Required

  • Categories: High School Middle School School Uniform

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Words: 2090 |

11 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Words: 2090 | Pages: 5 | 11 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, why school uniforms should be compulsory (essay), counterargument, works cited, fashion taking over.

  • Engel, Hallie. “The Effects of School Uniforms on the Public School System.” The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey , 10 Jan. 2019,
  • “What Are Good Reasons for Wearing School Uniforms.” American Preparatory Schools, 24 Apr. 2019,
  • Thiel, Jeff. “How To Protect Your School Against School Intruders.” How To Protect Your School Against School Intruders, 2019,
  • “The Long, Shameful List of Gunfire on School Grounds in America.”, 3 Apr. 2019,
  • Quinn, Edith. “Reasons Why School Uniforms Should Be Banned.” Synonym, 27 June 2018,
  • “Are Uniforms Good For School Security & Safety?” OSSI, 26 Apr. 2017,
  • King, Keith A. “Should School Uniforms Be Mandated in Elementary Schools?” Journal of School Health, vol. 68, no. 1, 1998, pp. 32–37., doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.1998.tb03484.x.
  • Wolfe, Elizabeth, and Christina Walker. “In 46 Weeks This Year, There Have Been 45 School Shootings.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 Nov. 2019,
  • Herrera, Sucre, et al. “Many Reasons to Attend School.” Napa Valley Register, 10 Dec. 2015,
  • “Assistance League Sites.” Go to Assistance League Sites.,

Should follow an “upside down” triangle format, meaning, the writer should start off broad and introduce the text and author or topic being discussed, and then get more specific to the thesis statement.

Provides a foundational overview, outlining the historical context and introducing key information that will be further explored in the essay, setting the stage for the argument to follow.

Cornerstone of the essay, presenting the central argument that will be elaborated upon and supported with evidence and analysis throughout the rest of the paper.

The topic sentence serves as the main point or focus of a paragraph in an essay, summarizing the key idea that will be discussed in that paragraph.

The body of each paragraph builds an argument in support of the topic sentence, citing information from sources as evidence.

After each piece of evidence is provided, the author should explain HOW and WHY the evidence supports the claim.

Should follow a right side up triangle format, meaning, specifics should be mentioned first such as restating the thesis, and then get more broad about the topic at hand. Lastly, leave the reader with something to think about and ponder once they are done reading.

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The Painter of Revolution, on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Born into slavery, Guillaume Lethière became one of France’s most decorated painters. For the first time, a major exhibition gives us the full view of his scenes of love and war.

A painting of women and families saying goodbye to departing members of the Revolutionary army.  A female statue representing France overlooks the scene.

By Jason Farago

Reporting from Williamstown, Mass.

Liberté, égalité … and that third one, what is it again?

On July 14, 1789 (exactly 235 years ago this Sunday), some idealistic Parisians stormed a not especially crowded prison. They overthrew the king’s guard. They set in train a three-pronged revolution: for individual liberty, for civil equality, and, last and rarest, for communal obligation. That July fraternity passed from the realm of genealogy into politics — and this July’s startling French legislative election , fought over race, migration and national belonging, confirms how agitated that third virtue remains. Who is my brother? In the National Assembly of 1789 and the National Assembly of 2024, some questions never get a final answer.

Far from the Bastille, at the Clark Art Institute in the Berkshires, one of the most remarkable exhibitions I’ve seen in years punches right at the heart of today’s altercations over nationality and democracy, culture and politics, and what it means to be a citizen. Guillaume Lethière (1760—1832) was a Neoclassical painter of mixed race who has never, until now, been the subject of a solo museum show. Born in the French Caribbean, almost certainly into slavery, he reached the summits of artistic achievement in Paris and Rome. As rebellions and revolutions shook both France and the Caribbean, he painted massive history paintings of heroes in togas, and portraits of men and women from Europe and the Antilles. It was Lethière’s calling, in an era where no bonds seemed stable, to give form to fraternité.

This groundbreaking show was organized over five years by Esther Bell and Olivier Meslay of the Clark, along with Marie-Pierre Salé of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where the exhibition will travel in November. Bell and Meslay have also edited an imposing 400-page catalog , bulky with contributions from leading scholars of French and Caribbean history. But “Guillaume Lethière” is not — this point is critical — a corrective exhibition, highlighting some marginal figure excluded from a white, European establishment. Lethière couldn’t have been more central to the Paris art world of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He ran one of the leading academies. He painted the empress Joséphine, a fellow Creole. Ingres drew him and his family. In a 1798 painting depicting France’s celebrity artists of that age of revolution, Lethière stands in the most prominent position, bathed in light.

Even today, at the Louvre, he is hiding in plain sight. If you’ve ever fought through the throngs in the Italian painting wing, you may remember being spat out of the Mona Lisa gallery into a grand chamber with a concession selling magnets, mugs and other souvenirs. In all my years I never really looked up in that room — but right there, hanging above the Leonardo Rubik’s cubes and Eiffel Tower figurines, are two giant paintings by Lethière, two stentorian 25-footers of antique virtue and death. A consul orders his sons beheaded for betraying the Roman Republic. A centurion stabs his daughter to save her from enslavement.

That’s our guy! As weighty as marble. As serious as the law. What you are going to see in this show is the cold beauty of Neoclassicism: a style predicated on Greek and Roman examples that found favor during the French Revolution, everywhere from painting and architecture to fashion and furniture design. Neoclassicism frowns on pleasure. It sneers at ornament. Its greatest exponent was Jacques-Louis David , the Jacobin artist/terrorist and Lethière’s great rival, who painted Roman history and myth as moral lessons for the new French republic.

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