Saturday, October 6, 2007

School Uniforms

By Tony Vega
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I think the advantages are obvious. Let's face it what our kids wear matters-It matters to them and that's very important. A mandatory, standardized policy puts EVERYONE on a level playing field-fashion wise that is. This major issue, particularly in the public school environment, is conquered due to a mandated policy. Right out the gate the uniform removes this huge fashion distraction. Something as simple as a uniform can improve a child's attention span.

A mandatory policy helps create an environment that's conducive to learning- and isn't that an important point in the world of academia? It creates a uniformed atmosphere, a stricter environment that encourages a more focused approach. A uniform will also create a sense of community, a team spirit by promoting the school they attend-it becomes "my school". A child in uniform will less likely to engage in anti social behavior. I didn't say it would eliminate negative occurrences, but it will reduce them & that can make a big difference in a kids life particularly when speaking of violent occurrences. I am not claiming it is the answer to all of the ills. If little Johnny is a "D" student a uniform will not make him an "A" student. But a B+ student may very well become an "A" student. If your kid couldn't play the drums, putting on a uniform isn't getting him a gig with the marching band-unless of course it's not talent he lacks, but just a sense of discipline....well then who knows........

A lot of critics will speak of the Individuality of the child. What happens to "self expression"? Sorry, but I must answer that with another question: Do we want our children to express themselves and exercise their "individuality" via the latest fashion brand? Self expression should not be determined by Nike or roc-a-wear.

A mandatory uniform policy will promote self expression & individuality in areas such as art, poetry, writing, painting. Let our children express themselves with a brush, a pen, their own fashion sense through design and the creativity of their imagination. Isn't this what we want our children to do? By guiding our children, leading, and pointing them in this direction indicates that we are being parents. Remember we are talking about children and they need our guidance, nurturing, leadership, and of course love -that goes without saying.... I think we can all agree with that.

So.... why when it comes to the issue of uniforms we want our children to have this complete independent, free reign to express themselves through wardrobe? And oh no.. we can't stop them we may stunt them, come on folks we're not hindering our children-we are affording them an opportunity to express themselves in areas that are productive and free of unnecessary distractions.

After 3:00 they have plenty of time to flourish as an individual via baggy jeans, baseball caps, custom tee-shirts, coach bags, and whatever else will make you believe your children will excel with this wonderful freedom of self expression.

I hope you've noticed the use of the terms "mandatory" and "standardized", without that it's almost pointless. You can't have a mixed bag, with that issues that other wise aren't present are created. And the following questions are born: "why doesn't Suzy have to wear her uniform and I do?", "Come on it's picture day can't I wear regular clothes?" Without a standardized policy it's just a come as you want to, dysfunctional system.

I'm not quoting any sources or experts here. These are my ideas, based on the experience of being a Dad & raising children through the public school system & one into college. And patrolling the mean streets of NYC as a Police Officer and a Sergeant of Police from Staten Island North to Brooklyn North.

Hey if you would rather listen to Dr. Spock go ahead.....

If your reading this thank a teacher. If you're reading this in English thank a soldier.

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