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No School Uniforms

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Essay title: No School Uniforms

No School Uniforms

Constructive Speech

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin once said this, and I think It applies well to the proposed implementations of a uniform.

Today, my worthy opponents try to persuade us to change our school dress code to involve a uniform. We must realize that this would not be a solution to our schools’ problems in Tazewell County, but perhaps another problem that we as students have to worry about.

In 2002, Adolfo Santos did a study to see how school uniforms really affected students’ behaviors in Huston, Texas. He calculated the percentages of in school and out of school suspension rates for before and after the uniforms were implemented. His statistics showed that in school suspension rates were dropping greatly before the uniforms were assigned. They dropped from 40% two years prior, to 30% the year before the students began wearing uniforms. Amazingly, that year the punishments rose back up to 49%. The out of school suspensions also rose 10% in the first year after uniforms, and 13% in the second. Since percentages are a bit confusing in this case, here is how Santos obtained them, “The suspension rates are a function of the number of times the school

reported in-school suspensions and out-of-school suspensions divided by the total number of students in the school. For example, a school that has 1,000 students and reports 100 in-school suspensions would have an in-school suspension rate of 10 percent.”

In another study conducted in 1998 by David L. Brunsma, from the University of Alabama, and Kerry A. Rockquemore, from Notre Dame states that, “Tenth grade data from The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 was used to test empirically the claims made by uniform advocates. The findings indicate that student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems, or attendance. Contrary to current discourse, the authors found a negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement. Uniform policies may indirectly affect school environments and student outcomes by providing a visible and public symbol of commitment to school improvement and reform.” This study was conducted in Long Beach California, where the social income gap is much larger than our own here in Tazewell.

So, since we can clearly see here that uniforms aren’t going to help our students become better people, what are the other reasons we might use them in our schools? Well, one huge reason is to close the gap between income levels to make our students seem more equivalent. However, we must realize that true equality between everyone is an unattainable and unrealistic goal for our society.

For example, say our school system does decide to implement school uniforms without a strict code on accessories. Naturally, there will still be teenage girls wearing $150 Dooney and Bourke watches and carrying $1500 Louis Vuttion bags, while some walk proudly with their satchels purchased at Wal-Mart and Family Dollar. I doubt that would make much of a change in the clique problem. And if we are so adiment about making our students forget how much income their families bring in, is the school system going to put a stop to one boy driving to school in a convertible Eclipse while the other rolls along in a ’91 Beretta? I doubt it.

We are hindering the children with this equivalency mess. When we grow up and go out into the real world, I guarantee you when we interview for a job, we aren’t going to be assigned a uniform so we can look the same as that 130 lb. blonde with double D breasts.

Another point is that outsiders and weapons are easily

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