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" In schools where uniforms are specifically gendered (girls must wear skirts and boys must wear pants), transgendered, gender-fluid, and gender-nonconforming students can feel ostracized.Seamus, a 16-year-old transgendered boy, stated, "sitting in a blouse and skirt all day made me feel insanely anxious. This is atrocious and damaging to a young person's mental health; that uniform nearly destroyed me." of uniforms on absenteeism, behavioral problems (fights, suspensions, etc.), or substance use on campus" and "no effects" on "pro-school attitudes, academic preparedness, and peer attitudes toward school." A peer-reviewed study found "no significant effects of school uniforms on performance on second grade reading and mathematics examinations, as well as on 10th-grade reading, mathematics, science, and history examinations...A survey by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and uniform manufacturer Lands' End found that a majority of school leaders believe their school uniform or formal dress code policies have had a positive impact on classroom discipline (85%), the school's image in the community (83%), student safety (79%), school pride (77%), and student achievement (64%).
According to a national survey, over 90% of US school leaders believe school uniform or formal dress code policies "eliminate wardrobe battles with kids," make it "easier to get kids ready in the morning," and create a "time saving in the morning." Tracey Marinelli, Superintendent of the Lyndhurst School District in New Jersey, credited the district's uniform policy for reducing the number of students running late.
Lyndhurst student Mike Morreale agreed, stating that "it's so much easier to dress than having to search for clothes and find out that something doesn't match." A national survey of 517 US school leaders found that 94% of those surveyed believe "one of the main benefits to parents is that school uniforms are more cost-effective than regular apparel," and 77% estimated the average annual cost of school uniforms per child to be $150 or less.
Opponents say school uniforms infringe upon students’ right to express their individuality, have no positive effect on behavior and academic achievement, and emphasize the socioeconomic disparities they are intended to disguise. In Long Beach, CA, after two years of a district-wide K-8 mandatory uniform policy, reports of assault and battery in the district's schools decreased by 34%, assault with a deadly weapon dropped by 50%, fighting incidents went down by 51%, sex offenses were cut by 74%, robbery dropped by 65%, possession of weapons (or weapon "look-alikes") decreased by 52%, possession of drugs went down by 69%, and vandalism was lowered by 18%.
One year after Sparks Middle School in Nevada instituted a uniform policy, school police data showed a 63% drop in police log reports, and decreases were also noted in gang activity, student fights, graffiti, property damage, and battery.
[I]n many of the specifications, the results are actually negative." The oft-quoted improvements to school safety and student behavior in the Long Beach (CA) Unified School District from 1993-1995 may not have resulted from the introduction of school uniforms.
The study in which the findings were published cautioned that "it is not clear that these results are entirely attributable to the uniform policy" and suggests that the introduction of new school security measures made at the same time may have been partly responsible.throughout the school" and said "students are made to feel 'important' and as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform." A study by researchers at the University of Houston found that the average absence rate for girls in middle and high school decreased by 7% after the introduction of uniforms.The study also found that "behavioral problems shift[ed] towards less severe infractions." During the first semester of a mandatory uniform program at John Adams Middle School in Albuquerque, NM, discipline referrals dropped from 1,565 during the first semester of the year prior to 405, a 74% decrease.The poll also found that 58% of parents wanted a mandatory uniform policy instated.(7-2, 1969), which concerned the wearing of black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, confirmed that students' constitutional right to free speech "does not relate to regulation of the length of skirts or the type of clothing." Wearing one's own choice of shirt or pants is not the "pure speech" protected by the Constitution.could prevent bullying based on appearance or economic background." Arminta Jacobson, Founder and Director of the Center for Parent Education at the University of North Texas, stated that uniforms put "all kids on the same playing field in terms of their appearance.I think it probably gives them a sense of belonging and a feeling of being socially accepted." A study of over 1,000 Texas middle school students found that students in uniform "reported significantly more positive perceptions of belonging in their school community than reported by students in the standard dress group." Arnold Goldstein, Ph D, head of the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, stated that uniforms help troubled students feel they have the support of a community: "There is a sense of belonging." A peer-reviewed study found that after uniforms were introduced, "Teachers perceived an increase in the level of respect, caring, and trust...The study also found that students in uniform were perceived by peers and teachers as having higher academic potential, and perceived by peers as being better behaved.website that "contrary to popular belief, uniforms do not stop students from being themselves. Students can wear a variety of expressive items, such as buttons or jewlery." The websites list numerous suggestions for students on how to add their personal style to school uniforms, including hairstyle options, the use of nail polish, and the addition of colorful accessories such as satchels, scarfs, and socks.Mandatory uniform policies in public schools are found more commonly in high-poverty areas.Proponents say that school uniforms make schools safer for students, create a “level playing field” that reduces socioeconomic disparities, and encourage children to focus on their studies rather than their clothes.