Uniforms: To wear or not to wear?

Published 9:03 pm Thursday, May 21, 2009

As a high school student, I would have probably balked at the idea of high school uniforms.

It’s been interesting to listen to people’s reactions since Jemison schools began working uniforms into the dress code. Some students look at it as a form of punishment, while others don’t seem to mind the uniforms but are not crazy about them.

While I haven’t talked to as many parents, most of what I am hearing is that parents — for the most part — approve of the effort.

As an adult, the concept of school uniforms certainly makes sense to me. It kind of creates a level playing field in the area of fashion, though the students must sacrifice certain freedoms in the process.

With uniforms, I would guess, you don’t have near as many dress code violations. And, most principals and teachers seem to think, you don’t have as many discipline problems.

The idea that simply wearing different clothes can change student morale may seem like a myth, but there must be some truth to it. To somewhat echo what an educator once told me, it’s harder to act like a thug when you’re not dressed like one.

The new dress code has made me more aware of my appearance when I cover events at Jemison High School. Sometimes, I admit, I don’t tuck my shirt in simply because not as many people are doing it. But when I go to Jemison High School, I find myself wanting to tuck my shirt in.

But I could see where, as a student, I would hate the idea of uniforms. Teenagers are in their element when they’re wearing jeans. When there are already so many rules to follow, you don’t want to give up your freedom to wear denim. Face it — blue jeans are as American as barbecue.