School Uniforms: Where They Are and Why They Work
A safe and disciplined learning environment is the first requirement of a good school. Young people who are safe and secure, who learn basic American values and the essentials of good citizenship, are better students. In response to growing levels of violence in our schools, many parents, teachers, and school officials have come to see school uniforms as one positive and creative way to reduce discipline problems and increase school safety.
They observed that the adoption of school uniform policies can promote school safety, improve discipline, and enhance the learning environment. The potential benefits of school uniforms include:
- decreasing violence and theft -- even life-threatening situations -- among students over designer clothing or expensive sneakers;
- helping prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school;
- instilling students with discipline;
- helping parents and students resist peer pressure;
- helping students concentrate on their school work; and
- helping school officials recognize intruders who come to the school.
As a result, many local communities are deciding to adopt school uniform policies as part of an overall program to improve school safety and discipline. California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia have enacted school uniform regulations. Many large public school systems -- including Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Miami, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle and St. Louis -- have schools with either voluntary or mandatory uniform policies, mostly in elementary and middle schools. In addition, many private and parochial schools have required uniforms for a number of years. Still other schools have implemented dress codes to encourage a safe environment by, for example, prohibiting clothes with certain language or gang colors.
source:U.S. Department of Education