Loss of Individuality
Most children remember the first time their parents allowed them to dress themselves in anything they wanted to wear that day. Writer Gary Stein from the Sun Sentenial says,“there is nothing wrong with kids figuring out that a certain shirt and pair of shorts is or isn't OK for school. Will that create some embarrassing fashion crimes? Without a doubt. It's called part of growing up." This allows children to make their own choices and develop a sense of individuality. That sense of individuality, however, can be tarnished during the school day through khaki pants, colored polos and ties.
Being too similar to others can make individuals feel deprived of their distinctiveness as unique individuals, which might keep them from thinking or saying what they want. The 1960’s, also known as the burgeoning baby boom generation, was the time of growing disposable income. This became a focal point of all clothing marketers, and fashion became a means of student expression and identity. Individuals begin the process of finding out who they are at a young age, and with uniforms in the public school system, this process is significantly slowed and substituted with
conformity and sameness.
A child’s personality shines through his or her choice of outfit and how they pair certain pieces together. Colors, patterns, and graphics are a great indicator of a child’s interests and beliefs. School uniforms deny students the option to express themselves through their choice in clothing, and for many,
thoughts and ideas may never be heard. In 1969, a case of two high school students, John F. Tinker, 15, Christopher Eckhardt, 16, and junior high student Mary Beth Tinker, 13, were part of a group of parents and students who had met in
the Eckhardt home in December of 1965. The group decided to express its disapproval of the war in Vietnam by wearing black armbands throughout the holiday season. Before the students could protest, the principals of the Des
Moines schools heard and adopted a dress code policy that forbade any student from wearing an armband to class. If a student was asked to remove an armband and refused, he or she would be suspended immediately. On 16 December 1965, the defendants wore the armbands to school and were suspended from each of their respective schools. The parents of the children sued the school district and their case eventually making its way to the US Supreme Court.
Similar instances have occurred when schools deny students of making a point and standing up for what they believe in. The First Amendment of the United States
Constitution goes out to protect the rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference, so why are students denied that right in classrooms and hallways of their schools every day?
During an economically strenuous time, many families are on a “tight budget”. As best as they can, parents work to provide their children with a place to sleep at night, food
on the table, and clothes on their backs. On top of the clothes children must wear outside of school, the cost of a school uniform set can burn a hole through parents’ pockets. Experts believe that it increases the amount of clothing parents will have to buy for their children because the
children will still need clothing for the time they are not in school. Uniforms can be more expensive for families who rely on hand-me-down clothing from friends and family or purchase clothes from local thrift stores. In a society, as of 2011, where one in two Americans have fallen into poverty or are barely getting by on earnings that classify as low income, another wardrobe set can be out of the question. This could ultimately result in these families’ children to go without an education because uniforms cannot be supplied.