Public School Dress Codes

Dress Code


Dress code



It seems that along with the start of school comes the call for school uniforms. Proponents of uniforms say that it will help keep students focused and reduce ‘gang’ type activity. The opposition, primarily retailers who sell the distracting clothes say it will hurt business.

I remember going to public school in Rockford and I agree that a uniform policy would reduce distractions — if the boys wear jumpsuits and the girls, burkas. It seems intuitive that forcing students to dress alike in clothes that reduce the possibility of distraction and impede the ability to hide guns, knives and drugs is a good idea. Nobody wants a gangland fight in the middle of algebra.

Here’s the problem. We already have school uniforms. In my day you had the Jock, the Cheerleader, the Nerd, the Outsider and the Stoner; they’ve all got their own uniform. See The Breakfast Club to get a good feel for my generation. Add to that, Goth, Pop-stars, Urban wannabes, Cowboys and for lack of a better term, Future Porn Stars. All of whom you will find in public school today. It’s the place where our children develop personality and style (well, before Paris Hilton) and it’s not like it would really matter that much anyway. Let’s not forget that the Catholic school girl is probably one of the most sexualized images in the world. If you don’t believe, open your search engine and query "Catholic school girl" to see what comes up.

As for gang activity. Today a gang kid will wear his hat a certain way or show his "colors" and the wackiness ensues. Schools ban hats and certain colors to combat the problem. Put the same kids in dress clothes and they’ll find a way to express themselves in the same way — just in a way that isn’t so obvious. An upside down wristwatch, a certain color or pattern tie, etc.      

The biggest problem with school uniforms is that you already know that the jock will be allowed to wear their jerseys on game day and the cheerleaders will be given carte blanche to wear those short, and extremely distracting skirts. While the guy who wants to show up looking like Robert Smith (the Cure) or that guy from Green Day who wears eye makeup (and who hasn’t) has to settle for khaki’s and a polo because self-loathing and disdain for existance isn’t a spectator sport.

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