Back to School Uniforms

“Students Wear School-Sanctioned Dress,” Images courtesy of National Center for Education Statistics,, 2013.

Despite inconclusive research about school-sanctioned clothing, an increasing number of public schools are instating strict dress codes and/or uniforms for their students in hopes of fostering “better grades, better behavior, increased self-esteem and school pride.” Though popular with educators and parents as a straightforward and cost-effective way of enforcing discipline, there has been little to no evidence that dress codes and uniforms are actually benefiting students in the aforementioned ways.

The notion that school-sanctioned dress is conducive to a better learning environment also implies that the students’ loss of individuality and freedom of expression is beneficial – or, at least, less important than what they can potentially (or supposedly) gain. Regardless of the student’s own belief in the “better learning environment” or not, dress codes and uniforms force them to conform to the standards dictated by the education system, or face disciplinary action.


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