Should School Uniforms Be Implemented Strictly?

It happens every day of the week. You hear it in the halls, you hear it in the classrooms, it’s everywhere. It isn’t just heard but it’s seen as well. As you walk down the hall, you will see a girl or a boy in full outerwear clothing. Teachers complaining and asking students to take off that jacket or pull down that shirt.

This year is different in more ways than one specifically uniform. The uniform policy is more flexible and adaptable for the student body. This is very beneficial to students however many students are taking advantage of that. They are not wearing a Westside t-shirt or any identification that they are a student at Westside High School. Although this year is flexible, safety is still the top priority.

In 1996, the U.S Department of Justice and Department of Education adopted school uniforms due to the increase of violence in schools. It was to prevent bullying, gun violence, harassment, and to protect forms of expression.  The education system has evolved significantly since then. Many schools do not have to enforce school uniforms and

Sarah S, Sara Moayedi, Katie Mata. Photo by: Hiba Safie

instead allow the student body to wear what they want to.

Many schools do not have any specific uniform while others have designated dress wear. This discussion has been present for many years in the public school systems. For many years, as Westside has evolved and developed, the uniform has had many changes. In the beginning, there was no school uniform and students could be able to wear what they want. However, after a few years, Westside implemented a school uniform. With COVID, it changed everybody’s lives. With the recent events surrounding COVID, in 2020-21 students who did come face to face had the ability to wear whatever they choose.

With the attempt at a normal year like any other, Westside continued the school uniform however it is more free and lenient. Students can wear outside hoodies and jackets and any appropriate pants. This is the first time Westside has implemented this policy and with this, it has caused many obstacles.

I believe that school uniforms can be very beneficial to the student body. It can create a safe space for students and decrease any violence. I think implementing uniform strictly is not beneficial in any way and can hurt the students due to recent events. Before students who were out of dress code, would have to go to ISS and would lose valuable instructional time. School has not been normal for a very long period of time and face-to-face instruction is what students need. It is not beneficial for students to be taken out of their classes due to what they are wearing. With this, I believe that there should be some type of uniform. The most important thing for identification reasons is a Westside t-shirt and ID. Students should be allowed to wear outside hoodies and jackets and other pants that they are comfortable in.

With a dress code, it has proven that it makes the school environment safer. According to The National Center for Education Statistics, fights have severely been reduced with a 50% decrease and other offenses by 74%.  A less strict dress code can give students the freedom that they want while also keeping the school safe. Of course, there will always be obstacles no matter the uniform but I believe that the policy that Westside has right now is very beneficial and is one of the best ones. Teachers can enforce dress code in their own way and by giving warning to students.

Uniforms are very beneficial to our school but can also make students feel limited. Students are always the #1 priority which is why a lenient dress code is the best way to go!