Story last updated at 2/4/2009 - 12:14 pm
Editor's note: This is part of a series of essays written by Floyd Dryden eighth grade students in Samantha Davis' class. One essay will appear each week in the CCW through April 29.
Do you remember when you were little and your parents dressed you? How your clothes always looked like they were meant to be paired together, or how you wore those horrid stretchy pants? And yet, everybody was friends. After you left elementary school you started to notice cliques becoming more predominant and peoples' looks changing, right? Puberty is the main culprit, but so are clothes. That's why Floyd Dryden should adopt school uniforms.
Uniforms help with self-esteem issues. Many kids are teased for not having name brand clothes or being "unfashionable." A lot of these kids drop out because of continuous negative experiences, not because "it was too hard." My own mother was one of these teens; only having four shirts and two pairs of jeans would be hard for any kid. 53 percent of Floyd Dryden students that I surveyed said they had not felt "judged" or "excluded" because of their clothes; 69 percent of those teens wear name brand. Not only do uniforms help with self-esteem issues but they also help students avoid distraction.
Students' attentiveness is better with uniforms because they aren't worried about new trends in school or how their outfit 'ranks.' Plus, test scores improve. As expected, 83 percent of kids I interviewed would rather hang with friends than do anything involving school. That's a no-brainer but did you know that a lot of kids spend more time focused on their hair and clothes than schoolwork?
"If I have money I'll go shopping, if not I'll do homework," said Floyd Dryden student Abbey Wilwert. Besides helping to avoid distractions, it's also less spendy to have uniforms.
Study finds the average American will spend $300 per child on school clothes alone. But because of name brand and other companies of that sort, it has risen greatly. A pair of blue jeans you can get at any mall or store range from $20 to $50, but designer jeans can cost up to $200, if not more! "My parents usually spend about $300 each time I order clothes. I think I've ordered like three or four times and I'm not done yet," says Jessica Ballantine, an eighth grader at Floyd. Obviously, uniforms would be less expensive.
Many people argue with the fact that uniforms "limit personal expression," but that's one of the very few points that they have, and probably the only one taken into consideration. It's not even a very good point at that, considering the wearer could always edit their uniform - while still being within reason - by changing their hair or make-up or adding accessories, even your shoes could helps some. So maybe we shouldn't have an exact outfit that immediately stops you from showing your own style but one that limits the originality that could discriminate others in a negative way.
Uniforms should be applied to Floyd Dryden. They help decrease fighting and violence, avoid distraction(s), and are less spendy. Would you rather go to pre-K days when everybody was friends or stay in the divided cliques of middle school where you're probably not accepted anyways?