I believe there are more negative effects than positive concerning requiring school uniforms to be worn by public school students. Several factors need to be considered before making such a policy. These include the socioeconomic background of the majority of students; the basis for this decision (school violence?); and the opinions of the student population. Issuing school uniforms will not greatly change the school’s environment because students will still get into arguments; students will find other ways to define themselves; and it will not really save parents that much money.
Some principals believe implementing school uniforms reduces school violence. They believe students fight over clothing. However, being a high school student, most of the fights that I have witnessed have nothing to do with clothing and have no real basis other than pride. I have rarely seen anyone fight over who has better clothes. Teenagers define their personality through their choice of clothing. Dressing in your own style is one way to not follow the crowd.
Adults are always preaching to teenagers about not following the crowd and being one’s own person. Yet, these adults now contradict themselves by wanting to establish school uniforms for everyone to be “the same”. Individualism helps teens find out who they are. Russell Eppinger said “adolescence is a period when youths attempt to find their own uniqueness and individuality in various ways.” I would think adults would rather teens express themselves through their clothing than trying to find who they are with drugs and alcohol.
In regards to parents saving money by buying school uniforms, this would cause parents to have to buy two sets of clothing — one for school and one for outside of school. Teens are not going to wear school uniforms outside of school. This would actually put more financial stress on parents of a lower economic status. Plus, there would be many students trying to find different ways to individualize their uniform. Therefore saving parents money is a weak argument for school uniforms.