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School uniforms

What is your position on School uniforms in Public schools?

  • It should be up to the district - I see no issues with it.

    Votes: 22 36.1%
  • Totally disagree - economic, social, or government impediment issue. [please post]

    Votes: 22 36.1%
  • The parents should decide via election

    Votes: 14 23.0%
  • Not sure either way

    Votes: 3 4.9%

  • Total voters
    61

Schweddy

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What is your position on Public school systems requiring uniforms to attend?
 

WKL815

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Is thinking the parents should decide via election reasonable?
 

Schweddy

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This option has been added.
 

WKL815

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Thanks. I wonder what would happen if parents got to decide.
 

Schweddy

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Somehow, I just knew you were going to select that one. ;)

Interesting take, one would hope that the parents are involved in the district already.
 

WKL815

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I remember thinking that uniforms would be a welcome relief from having to decide what to wear each day. I've only ever worked in two places, Office Max in Plano and where I work now - both places - it was my decision what to wear, so I've never had an opportunity to grow to hate it.
 

heyjoeo

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I disagree. Why? Because uniforms suck. Period.
 

Fantasea

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The questions to be decided first are:

What is the purpose of having schools in the first place?

"What is the amount of tax money I pay for education? Home owners pay school taxes directly; renters pay it indirectly through their landlords. It is also paid as part of income taxes. No one escapes paying for education.

Are we getting our money's worth? Are we satisfied with the drop out rates, the failure of graduates to be able to read their diplomas, the need for students wanting to go to college to take high school remedial courses first, etc., etc.?

What are some of the reasons that students don't learn? Distractions, for one. Teen aged boys ogling girls who expose every possible inch of skin and lingerie aren't developing an understanding of math or science. Girls who spend every waking minute struggling to squeeze out every last bit of glamor in order to attract attention are not concentrating on the lesson of the day.

'Gang' or 'clique' related garb only exacerbates the problem by further stealing attention away from studies.

Those who lean toward the outlandish and 'freaky' styles in clothing, makeup, and grooming all but guarantee that their distraction to others will effect themselves adversely as well.

All of this has a negative effect on the classroom teacher who has to struggle to teach kids who are pre-occupied with other things. In many respects, the teacher's effectiveness may be compared to a car that gets half the gas mileage that it should.

The applicability of several old adages come to mind. "Clothes make the man." "Birds of a feather flock together."

Even businesses that permit employees to observe 'casual dress Friday' have discovered that productivity drops noticably on that day.

The experience of schools that observe a strict dress code or require uniforms shows several benefits. Class discipline and grades improve. Parents report that there is a cash savings because they don't have to keep up with every fad that comes along.

When kids rule the roost, what can be expected? They nag the parents and the parents cave in.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the US, in spite of spending many times more than most countries to educate each child, places far down the list in terms of achievement.

Don't we deserve a bigger bang for our buck?

Who knows. Uniforms might even cut down on teen pregnancy.

Ask a few teachers for their input on the question.
 

bryanf

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I personally think that uniforms can be a good thing. They teach a degree of discipline, and that life isn't always about what s/he wants to do or wear. Sometimes, we have to live up to someone else's stanndards.

That's a fact of life that I don't think an unreasonable addition to school curriculum.
 

Mr.America

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Honestly, I would like to see uniforms in my school. It is alot better than watching the "homies" pants hang down to their knees. :D
 

Winter Ivy

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Fantasea said:
The questions to be decided first are:

What is the purpose of having schools in the first place?

"What is the amount of tax money I pay for education? Home owners pay school taxes directly; renters pay it indirectly through their landlords. It is also paid as part of income taxes. No one escapes paying for education.

Are we getting our money's worth? Are we satisfied with the drop out rates, the failure of graduates to be able to read their diplomas, the need for students wanting to go to college to take high school remedial courses first, etc., etc.?

What are some of the reasons that students don't learn? Distractions, for one. Teen aged boys ogling girls who expose every possible inch of skin and lingerie aren't developing an understanding of math or science. Girls who spend every waking minute struggling to squeeze out every last bit of glamor in order to attract attention are not concentrating on the lesson of the day.

'Gang' or 'clique' related garb only exacerbates the problem by further stealing attention away from studies.

Mandating uniforms doesn't change this: in fact, it can simply turn the uniform into a sex symbol. (Why else do you think so many porn videos have students dress in plaid or, in Japan, as sailors?)

Those who lean toward the outlandish and 'freaky' styles in clothing, makeup, and grooming all but guarantee that their distraction to others will effect themselves adversely as well.

Not necessarily. I'm not sure if your city has an arts magnet, but in my experiences with them (my sister and her friends are CAPA alums), "freaky" styles only affect students adversely if they live in an intolerant area. If anything, it's good to have a few "outlandish" kids around: they can teach tolerance and how one's outer perception alters others' behavior.

All of this has a negative effect on the classroom teacher who has to struggle to teach kids who are pre-occupied with other things. In many respects, the teacher's effectiveness may be compared to a car that gets half the gas mileage that it should.

Honey, teens are teens: they're always going to be preoccupied. I would worry less about what kids wear and more about substantive changes.

The applicability of several old adages come to mind. "Clothes make the man." "Birds of a feather flock together."

And how are you going to learn that if you can't really alter what you wear?

Even businesses that permit employees to observe 'casual dress Friday' have discovered that productivity drops noticably on that day.

The experience of schools that observe a strict dress code or require uniforms shows several benefits. Class discipline and grades improve. Parents report that there is a cash savings because they don't have to keep up with every fad that comes along.
But not if they do casual dress Wednesday. Correlation is not causation.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the US, in spite of spending many times more than most countries to educate each child, places far down the list in terms of achievement.

Only if you look at the average. Many of our wealthy suburban districts produce children that are as well-educated as any other nations, and our education for gifted kids is still top-notch. The fact that our averages are still abysmal simply indicates that we need to follow other nations' lead and centralize education funding and curricula.

Ask a few teachers for their input on the question.

The ones I know think that the uniform debate simply distracts attention from more important matters.
 

Schweddy

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First of all... Welcome to Debate Politics.

:wcm

Mandating uniforms doesn't change this: in fact, it can simply turn the uniform into a sex symbol. (Why else do you think so many porn videos have students dress in plaid or, in Japan, as sailors?)
It is the young AGE thing that is sexy. If they can take a 40 year old and make her look like she is 18 in a plaid skirt - it will sell.

Not necessarily. I'm not sure if your city has an arts magnet, but in my experiences with them (my sister and her friends are CAPA alums), "freaky" styles only affect students adversely if they live in an intolerant area. If anything, it's good to have a few "outlandish" kids around: they can teach tolerance and how one's outer perception alters others' behavior.
I agree with this to a point, but only in character. There will always be the silent and loud types. The really unique characters will stand out regardless what they are wearing.

Quote: Ask a few teachers for their input on the question.
The ones I know think that the uniform debate simply distracts attention from more important matters.
The one I am married to one that really likes the idea of school uniforms. I just asked her and this is her quote "I think it will put the focus where it needs to be instead of a fashion show". Her words not mine. BTW, she is a junior high art teacher. She is not in a magnate school, but would love to be.
 

Winter Ivy

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vauge said:
First of all... Welcome to Debate Politics.

:wcm

Thanks :)

It is the young AGE thing that is sexy. If they can take a 40 year old and make her look like she is 18 in a plaid skirt - it will sell.

I'm not doubting that age is part of it. I've just noticed that segregating society according to age in such a noticeable way doesn't prevent boys' minds from wandering: instead, it gives them a very tangible focus. If we want boys to stop thinking about sex, we should probably start injecting them with androgen-suppressing hormones.

What's worse is that it seems to make girls a target. I didn't spend that much time in Japan, but from my experience there, it seemed that much older men targeted girls in school uniforms than girls in normal street-garb. And when I say "targeted" I mean "blatantly pinching strangers' breasts" targeted. America doesn't seem that bad, but the women I know who went to Catholic school said they had more problems with sketchy men following them while wearing uniforms than in normal clothes. (It probably doesn't happen at all in suburban areas, but it seems like most of the uniform proposals are in urban centers.)

I agree with this to a point, but only in character. There will always be the silent and loud types. The really unique characters will stand out regardless what they are wearing.

Two problems. First of all, most people aren't "really unique." Secondly, there are many different ways to be "loud" and "quiet." Loud/quiet in social terms seems to deal more with extroversion/introversion, while loud and quiet in terms of fashion seems to have more to do with artistic ability. One problem I have with uniforms is that it reinforces the idea that, if you're good at one thing, you're good at all things -- and if you're not worth being noticed in one arena, you're not worth being noticed in any. (Which seems to be why so many kids go to the extreme ends of the rainbow with their hair color in the first place.)

The one I am married to one that really likes the idea of school uniforms. I just asked her and this is her quote "I think it will put the focus where it needs to be instead of a fashion show".

The teachers I know who taught at schools with uniforms noticed something interesting: uniforms did not necessarily prevent a fashion show. The Payless/Prada divisions still existed; the only difference was that it took teachers a while to catch on. After all, if you've spent years looking at students' clothes pre-uniforms and seeing the difference between $20 jeans and t-shirt ensembles compared to $5,000 Gucci outfits, it's difficult to spot the difference between $10 and $1,000 patent leather shoes. (I know the New York Times had a good article on this a few months ago, but it looks like it's archived.)

Her words not mine. BTW, she is a junior high art teacher. She is not in a magnate school, but would love to be.

Teaching is definitely most rewarding when your students like your subject as much as you do. :)
 

Fantasea

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasea
The questions to be decided first are:

What is the purpose of having schools in the first place?

"What is the amount of tax money I pay for education? Home owners pay school taxes directly; renters pay it indirectly through their landlords. It is also paid as part of income taxes. No one escapes paying for education.

Are we getting our money's worth? Are we satisfied with the drop out rates, the failure of graduates to be able to read their diplomas, the need for students wanting to go to college to take high school remedial courses first, etc., etc.?

What are some of the reasons that students don't learn? Distractions, for one. Teen aged boys ogling girls who expose every possible inch of skin and lingerie aren't developing an understanding of math or science. Girls who spend every waking minute struggling to squeeze out every last bit of glamor in order to attract attention are not concentrating on the lesson of the day.

'Gang' or 'clique' related garb only exacerbates the problem by further stealing attention away from studies.



Mandating uniforms doesn't change this: in fact, it can simply turn the uniform into a sex symbol. (Why else do you think so many porn videos have students dress in plaid or, in Japan, as sailors?)

Plaid is already a very popular choice for school uniforms in the US. Since it seems to be the ambition of most teen and sub-teen girls to portray themselves as classroom sex goddesses, do you think that this may be the reason for the popularity of plaid? If so, the idea of uniforms should spread like wildfire, shouldn't it?

Quote:
Those who lean toward the outlandish and 'freaky' styles in clothing, makeup, and grooming all but guarantee that their distraction to others will effect themselves adversely as well.



Not necessarily. I'm not sure if your city has an arts magnet, but in my experiences with them (my sister and her friends are CAPA alums), "freaky" styles only affect students adversely if they live in an intolerant area. If anything, it's good to have a few "outlandish" kids around: they can teach tolerance and how one's outer perception alters others' behavior.

I don't believe that one is obliged to tolerate anything and everything that punk and rock stars dump on us that filters down to their groupies and wannabees, along with kids who see their mission in life as punishing their parents.

The problem with tolerance is that it has a desensitizing effect on humans. As caucasians who spend any length of time in the Orient have observed, every day, the almond shaped eyes of the locals seem a little rounder. Eventually, while the difference still exists, it is no longer apparent.


Quote:
All of this has a negative effect on the classroom teacher who has to struggle to teach kids who are pre-occupied with other things. In many respects, the teacher's effectiveness may be compared to a car that gets half the gas mileage that it should.


Honey, teens are teens: they're always going to be preoccupied. I would worry less about what kids wear and more about substantive changes.

Evidently, you're not a teacher.


Quote:
The applicability of several old adages come to mind. "Clothes make the man." "Birds of a feather flock together."


And how are you going to learn that if you can't really alter what you wear?

It is not only in the Declaration of Independence that things are self-evident.


Quote:
Even businesses that permit employees to observe 'casual dress Friday' have discovered that productivity drops noticably on that day.

The experience of schools that observe a strict dress code or require uniforms shows several benefits. Class discipline and grades improve. Parents report that there is a cash savings because they don't have to keep up with every fad that comes along.
But not if they do casual dress Wednesday. Correlation is not causation.

When productivity drops on every Friday that is 'casual dress Friday', I believe that causation has been established; at least to the satisfaction of the employer whose business is effected.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the US, in spite of spending many times more than most countries to educate each child, places far down the list in terms of achievement.



Only if you look at the average. Many of our wealthy suburban districts produce children that are as well-educated as any other nations, and our education for gifted kids is still top-notch. The fact that our averages are still abysmal simply indicates that we need to follow other nations' lead and centralize education funding and curricula.

It's not the money. It's the fact that teachers no longer have control of their classrooms. Learning takes place only on the days the troublemakers and incorrigibles play hooky. Ask any teacher who works in a below average school.

The quick remedy is to expand the Cleveland, Ohio voucher program which enables parents to remove their children from a failing school and place them in a school of their choice. For your information the USSC has ruled that vouchers, as used in Cleveland, do not violate the Constitution.

Lousy schools will either have to clean up their act or fold.



Quote:
Ask a few teachers for their input on the question.



The ones I know think that the uniform debate simply distracts attention from more important matters.

The polygraph that screens stuff before I read it is flashing red. This is an indication that your last statement may be less than accurate.

You get another chance. Have you really discussed the pros and cons of school uniforms with at least a few teachers?
 

Winter Ivy

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Fantasea said:
Mandating uniforms doesn't change this: in fact, it can simply turn the uniform into a sex symbol. (Why else do you think so many porn videos have students dress in plaid or, in Japan, as sailors?)

Plaid is already a very popular choice for school uniforms in the US. Since it seems to be the ambition of most teen and sub-teen girls to portray themselves as classroom sex goddesses, do you think that this may be the reason for the popularity of plaid? If so, the idea of uniforms should spread like wildfire, shouldn't it?

The first part of your response simply appears to confirm my point, and thus undermine your original argument that uniforms reduce teenage sexual distractions.

As for the second part, the idea of uniforms for sexual prowess doesn't spread like wildfire for two reasons. The first is that teens have a very poor grasp of even simple physical causation (i.e., speeding leads to more car accidents), let alone the complex causation surrounding social trends. Secondly, our society tends to openly prize individuality over female sexuality.

Quote:
Those who lean toward the outlandish and 'freaky' styles in clothing, makeup, and grooming all but guarantee that their distraction to others will effect themselves adversely as well.

Not necessarily. I'm not sure if your city has an arts magnet, but in my experiences with them (my sister and her friends are CAPA alums), "freaky" styles only affect students adversely if they live in an intolerant area. If anything, it's good to have a few "outlandish" kids around: they can teach tolerance and how one's outer perception alters others' behavior.

I don't believe that one is obliged to tolerate anything and everything that punk and rock stars dump on us that filters down to their groupies and wannabees, along with kids who see their mission in life as punishing their parents.


If you don't believe that anyone is obliged to tolerate anything, then why do you expect students to tolerate your desire to force them to wear certain clothes?

The problem with tolerance is that it has a desensitizing effect on humans. As caucasians who spend any length of time in the Orient have observed, every day, the almond shaped eyes of the locals seem a little rounder. Eventually, while the difference still exists, it is no longer apparent.

Huh? Factual problems aside, from what I can tell, your example doesn't support your idea that tolerance is "desensitizing"; instead, it shows how the sensitivity responsible for tolerance leads to empathy and greater interpersonal understanding.

Quote:
All of this has a negative effect on the classroom teacher who has to struggle to teach kids who are pre-occupied with other things. In many respects, the teacher's effectiveness may be compared to a car that gets half the gas mileage that it should.

Honey, teens are teens: they're always going to be preoccupied. I would worry less about what kids wear and more about substantive changes.

Evidently, you're not a teacher.

First of all, this is not addressing my point. If you can't respond to my arguments, please don't waste my time.

And secondly, there was a point in my life where I spent a great deal of time teaching and tutoring high school kids. While I'm not a teacher and have no desire to be, I definitely tend to see things more from their point of view than a student's.

Quote:
The applicability of several old adages come to mind. "Clothes make the man." "Birds of a feather flock together."

And how are you going to learn that if you can't really alter what you wear?

It is not only in the Declaration of Independence that things are self-evident.

How is it self-evident? And if it's self-evident, then wouldn't enforcing uniforms go against an innate human law?

Quote:
Even businesses that permit employees to observe 'casual dress Friday' have discovered that productivity drops noticably on that day.

The experience of schools that observe a strict dress code or require uniforms shows several benefits. Class discipline and grades improve. Parents report that there is a cash savings because they don't have to keep up with every fad that comes along.

But not if they do casual dress Wednesday. Correlation is not causation.

When productivity drops on every Friday that is 'casual dress Friday', I believe that causation has been established; at least to the satisfaction of the employer whose business is effected.

Productivity drops on every Friday, regardless of casual dress. Your company may be the exception to the rule, but the statistics are so sound that that's what they're teaching in every Wharton management class.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the US, in spite of spending many times more than most countries to educate each child, places far down the list in terms of achievement.

Only if you look at the average. Many of our wealthy suburban districts produce children that are as well-educated as any other nations, and our education for gifted kids is still top-notch. The fact that our averages are still abysmal simply indicates that we need to follow other nations' lead and centralize education funding and curricula.

It's not the money. It's the fact that teachers no longer have control of their classrooms. Learning takes place only on the days the troublemakers and incorrigibles play hooky. Ask any teacher who works in a below average school.


I can do one better: I spent time tutoring in one. Control of classroms wasn't as much of a problem as resources impacting morale, at least from what I could see.

Even if it were, what individuals at one level of a system perceive to be a problem is not necessarily what the system's problem actually is. In other words, servers at a failing restaurant may perceive the problem to be poor marketing when it may simply be an economic downturn among the restaurant's targeted market.

Finally, if you really believe this, I suggest you read one of Jonathan Kozol's books: they're exceptionally well-researched rebuttals to this mentality.

The quick remedy is to expand the Cleveland, Ohio voucher program which enables parents to remove their children from a failing school and place them in a school of their choice. For your information the USSC has ruled that vouchers, as used in Cleveland, do not violate the Constitution.

Lousy schools will either have to clean up their act or fold.

You can believe that all you want, but remember, the private schools aren't as cost-effective as you'd like to believe. In most states, the public school districts are required to supply private schools with books, transportation, etc. identical to public school students' on demand. If the public schools crumble, a lot of private school parents will find themselves without a solid educational infrastructure.

Secondly, America's university system is basically a sophisticated voucher system. What's happening? Costs are going up so much, and quality's going down due to the fact that they're becoming increasingly consumer-oriented, that America's rapidly losing whatever educational prestige we once had.

Quote:
Ask a few teachers for their input on the question.

The ones I know think that the uniform debate simply distracts attention from more important matters.

The polygraph that screens stuff before I read it is flashing red. This is an indication that your last statement may be less than accurate.


Honey, I went to (U)Penn. In my pre-professional track, we were "strongly encouraged" (i.e., had to) take courses where we taught and tutored kids at West Philadelphia High School. If you really want, I can give you a detailed description of the school's physical layout as it was five years ago. Your "polygraph" may flash red, but it'd be a false alarm.

You get another chance. Have you really discussed the pros and cons of school uniforms with at least a few teachers?

Yup. When I was an undergrad, Philly public schools were in the process of implementing uniforms, so it was quite a hot topic of discussion.
 

mixedmedia

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Fantasea wrote:
I don't believe that one is obliged to tolerate anything and everything that punk and rock stars dump on us that filters down to their groupies and wannabees, along with kids who see their mission in life as punishing their parents.
The problem with tolerance is that it has a desensitizing effect on humans. As caucasians who spend any length of time in the Orient have observed, every day, the almond shaped eyes of the locals seem a little rounder. Eventually, while the difference still exists, it is no longer apparent.


I do have an opinion on school uniforms and probably not the opinion that you guys might expect.
I want to comment on the above statement first by Fantasea which is really troubling.
"The problem with tolerance is that it has a desensitizing effect on humans."
What? I am flabbergasted. Tolerance has the effect of making people tolerant, not desensitized. Are you trying to say that all people should try to be alike so you don't have to relate to people as individuals or feel uncomfortable around them? Does it disturb the quality of your life to see people dressing the way they feel comfortable? Ya know, I hate to see a man wearing overalls or sandals with socks, but I will fight for his right to do so if it's what makes him feel comfortable. ;)

This is America, Fantasea, where differences are not only appreciated but PREFERRED and if I were a biased ignoramus, like many of my neighbors, I would use the standard "If you don't like it get out" line that is used so often against liberals like me in this country.
End of rant...

Now to uniforms.
The question of plaid skirts is largely a moot point because uniforms in public schools are most usually khaki or navy blue pants or skirts and white, green, or navy polo shirts. As we do here in Louisiana.
I think that school uniforms are a good idea. They go a lot further in placing the kids on an even turf and it is much easier on the parental wallet. Their "good clothes" last a lot longer. And they eventually get used to it...while incorporating personal touches that set them apart. Our schools here will usually make exceptions to the code with modest jewelry (even unusual piercings to some extent), colorful socks & unusual shoes (as my daughter does) and even somewhat extreme hair colors, etc. But the fundamental parts, the pants and tops, are strictly enforced. I think it works well here.

My sister is a high school teacher in Florida and as liberal as she is, she would prefer school uniforms. We both take issue with the clothing that is being promoted as acceptable daywear for young girls (that is a topic unto itself - the 3 B's phenomena - Barbie/Bratz/Britney, I call it). And neither of us are particularly thrilled with the "ass-crack" trend in young boys wear. Not that we think they should be forbidden from dressing as they like (or how their parents allow) when not at school, it would just lend to a more "scholarly" atmosphere to display a little more modesty in class. And I, as the most liberal person I know, tend to agree.
 

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For the record, I'm all for school uniforms.

I still have a copy of my High School dress code, and the kids today would be outraged to have to endure what we took for granted.

On another rant, I blame the parents for any lack of discipline in today's schools.

I'm gonna sound like an old foagy, but we didn't have computers, the internet, Play Stations, MP3's and IPOD's, DVD's, video recorders, digital camera's, 100 TV stations, or lunchables, and a McDonalds on every corner.

My parents inspired me to read...they gave me subscriptions to SpiderMan, Fantastic Four..etc....as long as I was reading they were happy.

Today's kids are fat and lazy. LOL

Plus, the music sucks...Thank god I grew up in the British invasion! LOL!

Give the kids some discipline....school uniforms are a good start.

If you have a white collar job, you're expected to wear a "uniform" that projects professionalism.

If you work for the Post Office, you're expected to wear a uniform..etc.

Just about every job you have as an adult has some sort of dress code...even manual labor.

School is the job of these kids.
So, get used to it, kiddos...uniforms are on the way.
The sooner the better...it'll prepare you for adulthood.
Won't that be fun?

Hoot
 
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Uniforms. That way students will be forced to express themselves with their brains and not their wardrobe.

Plus the girls look so hot in those little outfits! :eek:
 

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argexpat said:
Uniforms. That way students will be forced to express themselves with their brains and not their wardrobe.

Plus the girls look so hot in those little outfits! :eek:

I was kinda hoping someone could post some pictures?

Hoot
 

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_1110452_britney150.jpg
 

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Winter Ivy:

Your comments are in italics.

Secondly, our society tends to openly prize individuality over female sexuality.

The feminine portion of society, in general, perhaps. High school boys? Never. They epitomize the one track mind. It has been observed that the human male spends the first nine months of his life trying to get out of a woman’s body and the remainder of it trying to get back in. Pubescent boys try the hardest. Their astounding success in this endeavor is evidenced by the rate of teen-aged pregnancies we bemoan.

In their never ending quest to project a more attractive appearance, just what is it that teen-aged school girls, who should be concentrating on becoming educated, are striving so hard to attract?



If you don't believe that anyone is obliged to tolerate anything, then why do you expect students to tolerate your desire to force them to wear certain clothes?

That is not what I wrote. A quote of my words is:
"I don't believe that one is obliged to tolerate anything and everything that punk and rock stars dump on us that filters down to their groupies and wannabees, along with kids who see their mission in life as punishing their parents."


Huh? Factual problems aside, from what I can tell, your example doesn't support your idea that tolerance is "desensitizing"; instead, it shows how the sensitivity responsible for tolerance leads to empathy and greater interpersonal understanding.

Tolerance leads to acceptance. Many people have no need and no desire to empathize or understand ‘in your face’ affectations, actions, or habits which they find distasteful, at best, repulsive, at worst. Surely, you wouldn’t deny them this freedom, would you?


And how are you going to learn that if you can't really alter what you wear?

Are you saying that the only way to learn is through personal experience; trial and error, as it were? If this is true, why would there be a need for teachers, in the first place? Might it not be better to say that the school setting, as with the business setting has requirements that differ from one’s leisure setting? And, with regard to understanding appropriate dress, wouldn’t learning to dress for business be a kind of teaching ‘freebee’?


Productivity drops on every Friday, regardless of casual dress. Your company may be the exception to the rule, but the statistics are so sound that that's what they're teaching in every Wharton management class.

One does not need a Wharton MBA to understand that the TGIF syndrome does, indeed, cause a measurable drop in productivity. However, when casual dress is an additional factor, the result is a ‘double whammy’.


I spent time tutoring in one. Control of classroms wasn't as much of a problem as resources impacting morale, at least from what I could see.

In my experience, the best, and certainly the most important classroom resource is the person in charge. The right person in a one room schoolhouse can get more out of and more into kids than the wrong person in the most modern and well equipped classroom. If a pupil likes a teacher, nothing can prevent learning. If a pupil dislikes a teacher, nothing can motivate that kid.

Regardless of the particular school, it’s amazing to see the way kids with multiple teachers often perform differently for each one. Rather than write off some kids, many teachers would be wise to remember that one catches more flies with a spoonful of honey, than a barrelful of vinegar. I hark back to the old adage, ‘If the pupil hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.”

Complaints about public money and resources are merely excuses advanced by well educated teachers and administrators who do not know how to outfox kids. If you doubt that, you may wish to do a little research on the results achieved at parochial schools and by home schoolers.


You can believe that all you want, but remember, the private schools aren't as cost-effective as you'd like to believe. In most states, the public school districts are required to supply private schools with books, transportation, etc. identical to public school students' on demand. If the public schools crumble, a lot of private school parents will find themselves without a solid educational infrastructure.

Secondly, America's university system is basically a sophisticated voucher system. What's happening? Costs are going up so much, and quality's going down due to the fact that they're becoming increasingly consumer-oriented, that America's rapidly losing whatever educational prestige we once had.


Your failure to comment on the experience of the Cleveland Public School System with a school voucher program leads me to believe that you have not researched the subject and are merely expressing an unfounded opinion.

If the university system in the US is rapidly losing prestige, it is because of the steady dumbing-down of curricula by faculty and administrators who, rather than priding themselves on excellence, apparently have other fish to fry. Else, how can the continually rising percentage of ‘honors’ graduates square with falling prestige?


Honey, I went to (U)Penn. In my pre-professional track, we were "strongly encouraged" (i.e., had to) take courses where we taught and tutored kids at West Philadelphia High School. If you really want, I can give you a detailed description of the school's physical layout as it was five years ago. Your "polygraph" may flash red, but it'd be a false alarm.

Sweetheart, West Philly High seems like just the school setting referred to a couple of subjects back. Were the major problems a need for more metal detectors and armed guards? If so, the Cleveland ‘method’ would work wonders for those kids.


When I was an undergrad, Philly public schools were in the process of implementing uniforms, so it was quite a hot topic of discussion.

Yes, I understand that the Philadelphia Public School System, with about a quarter million students, began requiring uniforms about the year 2000, or so. Any idea of the results?
 

Fantasea

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mixedmedia said:
Fantasea wrote:
I don't believe that one is obliged to tolerate anything and everything that punk and rock stars dump on us that filters down to their groupies and wannabees, along with kids who see their mission in life as punishing their parents.
The problem with tolerance is that it has a desensitizing effect on humans. As caucasians who spend any length of time in the Orient have observed, every day, the almond shaped eyes of the locals seem a little rounder. Eventually, while the difference still exists, it is no longer apparent.


I do have an opinion on school uniforms and probably not the opinion that you guys might expect.
I want to comment on the above statement first by Fantasea which is really troubling.
"The problem with tolerance is that it has a desensitizing effect on humans."
What? I am flabbergasted. Tolerance has the effect of making people tolerant, not desensitized. Are you trying to say that all people should try to be alike so you don't have to relate to people as individuals or feel uncomfortable around them? Does it disturb the quality of your life to see people dressing the way they feel comfortable? Ya know, I hate to see a man wearing overalls or sandals with socks, but I will fight for his right to do so if it's what makes him feel comfortable. ;)

This is America, Fantasea, where differences are not only appreciated but PREFERRED and if I were a biased ignoramus, like many of my neighbors, I would use the standard "If you don't like it get out" line that is used so often against liberals like me in this country.
End of rant...

Now to uniforms.
The question of plaid skirts is largely a moot point because uniforms in public schools are most usually khaki or navy blue pants or skirts and white, green, or navy polo shirts. As we do here in Louisiana.
I think that school uniforms are a good idea. They go a lot further in placing the kids on an even turf and it is much easier on the parental wallet. Their "good clothes" last a lot longer. And they eventually get used to it...while incorporating personal touches that set them apart. Our schools here will usually make exceptions to the code with modest jewelry (even unusual piercings to some extent), colorful socks & unusual shoes (as my daughter does) and even somewhat extreme hair colors, etc. But the fundamental parts, the pants and tops, are strictly enforced. I think it works well here.

My sister is a high school teacher in Florida and as liberal as she is, she would prefer school uniforms. We both take issue with the clothing that is being promoted as acceptable daywear for young girls (that is a topic unto itself - the 3 B's phenomena - Barbie/Bratz/Britney, I call it). And neither of us are particularly thrilled with the "ass-crack" trend in young boys wear. Not that we think they should be forbidden from dressing as they like (or how their parents allow) when not at school, it would just lend to a more "scholarly" atmosphere to display a little more modesty in class. And I, as the most liberal person I know, tend to agree.



My intention was neither to flabbergast you nor cause you to rave, but simply state a fact which you have chosen to deny. A reading of the following Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word convinces me that my statement is correct.

Main Entry: de·sen·si·tize
Pronunciation: (")dE-'sen(t)-s&-"tIz
Function: transitive verb
Date: 1898
1 : to make (a sensitized or hypersensitive individual) insensitive or nonreactive to a sensitizing agent
2 : to make emotionally insensitive or callous; specifically : to extinguish an emotional response (as of fear, anxiety, or guilt) to stimuli that formerly induced it

You are free to find acceptable whatever you wish. However, I reserve the right to decide what affectations, actions, and dress I deem distasteful, offensive or, in some cases, grotesque. Because some screwball kid decides to embarrass his parents and make a point, I don't have dignify his lunacy by recognizing it as mainstream.

I don't think we were discussing overalls, sandals, or socks.

On the other hand, since you have positive reactions to school uniforms, we do have a point of agreement.
 

Winter Ivy

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mixedmedia said:
Now to uniforms.
The question of plaid skirts is largely a moot point because uniforms in public schools are most usually khaki or navy blue pants or skirts and white, green, or navy polo shirts. As we do here in Louisiana.

My point in comparing Catholic school uniforms to Japanese sailor uniforms is that it doesn't matter what the uniform looks like: they still single out young girls, which sexualizes high schoolers in the wider culture in a dangerous way.

I think that school uniforms are a good idea. They go a lot further in placing the kids on an even turf and it is much easier on the parental wallet. Their "good clothes" last a lot longer.

Physically yes, but "good" in social terms is still dictated by t.v. and fashion houses.

And they eventually get used to it...while incorporating personal touches that set them apart. Our schools here will usually make exceptions to the code with modest jewelry (even unusual piercings to some extent),

If you're trying to learn about your individuality and tolerance, "modest jewelry" that's fundamentally part of the dress code doesn't help.

colorful socks & unusual shoes (as my daughter does) and even somewhat extreme hair colors, etc. But the fundamental parts, the pants and tops, are strictly enforced. I think it works well here.

In Philly, they found that those touches still foster gang, class, and drug problems.

My sister is a high school teacher in Florida and as liberal as she is, she would prefer school uniforms. We both take issue with the clothing that is being promoted as acceptable daywear for young girls (that is a topic unto itself - the 3 B's phenomena - Barbie/Bratz/Britney, I call it). And neither of us are particularly thrilled with the "ass-crack" trend in young boys wear. Not that we think they should be forbidden from dressing as they like (or how their parents allow) when not at school, it would just lend to a more "scholarly" atmosphere to display a little more modesty in class. And I, as the most liberal person I know, tend to agree.

Call me crazy, but I think having books that are less than 15 years old goes and buildings without severe asbestos problems goes much farther to promoting a scholarly atmosphere than uniforms.

Ivy
 

Winter Ivy

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Hoot said:
Just about every job you have as an adult has some sort of dress code...even manual labor.

School is the job of these kids.

The only problem is that you have some choice in what you do, where you do it, and why you do it. (Not to mention an ability to negotiate with your boss.) Kids don't.

Ivy
 

Winter Ivy

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Fantasea said:
I]Secondly, our society tends to openly prize individuality over female sexuality.[/I]

The feminine portion of society, in general, perhaps. High school boys? Never. They epitomize the one track mind. It has been observed that the human male spends the first nine months of his life trying to get out of a woman’s body and the remainder of it trying to get back in. Pubescent boys try the hardest. Their astounding success in this endeavor is evidenced by the rate of teen-aged pregnancies we bemoan.

If young men really did care about female sexuality over their individuality, you'd see marriage occur at a much younger age.

In their never ending quest to project a more attractive appearance, just what is it that teen-aged school girls, who should be concentrating on becoming educated, are striving so hard to attract?

When girls become teenagers, they tend to learn a few harsh social rules: among them that, in this society, it is far more important for a women to be beautiful and have a boyfriend than intelligent. They're focusing on what they actually see, and not the myths society pays lip service to.

If you don't believe that anyone is obliged to tolerate anything, then why do you expect students to tolerate your desire to force them to wear certain clothes?

That is not what I wrote. A quote of my words is:
"I don't believe that one is obliged to tolerate anything and everything that punk and rock stars dump on us that filters down to their groupies and wannabees, along with kids who see their mission in life as punishing their parents."

I was referring to your other quotes on tolerance (i.e., the ones about desensitivity). Secondly, my point still applies to this quote. If you don't expect people to tolerate each other, then why should they tolerate your views on what they wear?

Huh? Factual problems aside, from what I can tell, your example doesn't support your idea that tolerance is "desensitizing"; instead, it shows how the sensitivity responsible for tolerance leads to empathy and greater interpersonal understanding.

Tolerance leads to acceptance. Many people have no need and no desire to empathize or understand ‘in your face’ affectations, actions, or habits which they find distasteful, at best, repulsive, at worst. Surely, you wouldn’t deny them this freedom, would you?

I'm not saying that they are obligated to accept and love those who are radically different: I'm just saying that, in a globalized world, we all have to learn how to tolerate those who are different. If we don't, we're going to destroy our economy, social infrastructure, and international power. (Not to mention depelete our cultural resources.) We set up public schools in the first place because we realized that, without them, we would face these problems.

And how are you going to learn that if you can't really alter what you wear?

Are you saying that the only way to learn is through personal experience; trial and error, as it were?

When it comes to discovering who you are, yes. Mentors can show you paths others have taken, but it's up to you to figure out which one suits you.

If this is true, why would there be a need for teachers, in the first place?

You're referring to a completely different type of education.

Might it not be better to say that the school setting, as with the business setting has requirements that differ from one’s leisure setting?

School settings do have different requirements from lesiure and business settings. But in each environment, the requirements are there because they produce a benefit that is overly difficult to produce in any other way. That's why, for example, construction workers have to wear hard hats but not business suits. So far, public and private schools' experiences with uniforms have demonstrated that they do not radically improve the problems that they're supposed to address.
 
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