Upon reading “Clothes-Minded” [Current Events, May/June], I’ve determined one real benefit that was not mentioned in the research by David Brunsma. School uniforms would mean the end of trying to figure out whether a girl’s tiny skirt is within regulation of our dress code. It would end the fight with students over what is offensive and what is freedom of thought on a T-shirt. A school uniform would do away with boys who wear pants with holes in the seat so large that you see more boxer shorts than blue jeans. A school uniform, like it or not, is something that would simply do away with having to make new rules every time a fashion trend comes along that’s not appropriate for school. Can boys go without sleeves? How far down can the rip go on the side of your shirt before it’s not within code? What about death metal bands? What about T-shirts that advertise beer or drug use?
What a wonderful world it would be if I didn’t have to worry any more about the length or width or height of whatever a child was wearing. Their clothes wouldn’t distract the other students if everyone had on khaki-colored pants with polo-style shirts, which can be purchased at a reasonable price from almost any discount department store. Would these uniforms make my students perform better on state tests or give them the sense of being part of a cohesive whole? I don’t know. But I know that it would certainly do away with a lot of problems if there were a simple, inexpensive dress code that all students were required to follow.
Laquey High School
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2005 edition of Teacher Magazine as Dress Blues