Negative Effects Of School Uniforms ^NEW^
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Brunsma has expanded his work since then and compiled it all in his book, which is probably the most exhaustive collection to date of quantitative research on the nationwide movement to embrace school uniforms.
In conducting hundreds of analyses, Brunsma looks for effects among individual students and entire schools, and among younger children and teenagers. He also controls for differences that might also account for varying test scores, such as the socioeconomic status or race of students. And, for the most part, he continues to come up empty-handed on any evidence that school uniform policies are effective.
Yet such conclusions run counter to the real-life experiences of some of the districts that have been at the forefront of the school-uniform movement. Take the Long Beach Unified School District in California. In 1994, the 97,200-student urban district, located in the southern part of the state, became the first public school district in the nation to require all students in grades K-8 to wear uniforms. A two-year evaluation of that effort, conducted from 1993 to 1995, turned up some remarkable improvements: a 28 percent drop in suspension rates at the elementary level, a 36 percent decline in middle school suspensions, a 51 percent decrease in fights in grades K-8, and a 34 percent drop in assault and battery in elementary and middle schools.
To some degree, Brunsma believes the students may have a point when it comes to the potentially dehumanizing effects of uniforms. Some of his historical research suggests, for example, that school uniforms originated in England in the 16th century as a way to signal the lower-class status of some children.
When schools decide to impose a school uniform on their students, they usually do it after careful consideration, weighing the pros and cons of such a drastic decision. While uniforms may indeed help solve the problems of inappropriate student attire and lower school crime, experts have also noticed some downsides to such measure.
Students who are allowed to wear casual clothes at school usually express their personalities through their choice of clothing. This is especially true for older students. On the other hand, uniforms, by definition, do not allow students to express themselves through their personal appearance. According to Dr. Alan Hilfer, child psychologist at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, this may lead to situations in which teenage students start resenting uniforms, undermining the whole purpose of the measure.
A study on the effect of uniforms on violence and substance use published in 1998 by David L. Brunsma and Kerry A. Rockquemore has found that a uniforms policy actually does not seem to have any positive influence on discipline. While discipline is usually one of the main reasons behind a school's decision to implement a uniforms policy, this same policy could actually have a negative impact on student behavior, especially amongst teenage students. Teenagers are rebellious by nature, and imposing a uniform on them, especially after a period where they were allowed to wear casual clothes, may create tension in the school. In addition,
7. They provide a safer school environment. Since all students are dressed in uniforms, it can be easier to pinpoint who is not supposed to be in there. This also prevents students from showing their gang affiliations by wearing certain colors or articles of clothing.
7. They could cause outside bullying. School pride and rivalry is something that some students take very seriously in a negative way. They can taunt or bully kids belonging to a rival school who they can easily identify through the uniforms.
9. They become a band aid solution to bigger problems. Poor academic performance, school violence, and decreasing attendance are some of the major issues schools face today. Opposing proponents question if school uniforms are really the answer to solving these problems.
School uniforms, while heavily debated, can provide some positives for both the kids who are asked to wear them as well as the school itself. This is why many private schools require uniforms and why more and more public schools have started to follow the trend. Here are the four largest benefits to school uniforms:
With all the positives that come with school uniforms, there are also some drawbacks. These are all related to the personal impacts that the requirement might have on a kid or the family of a child who is asked to wear these uniforms. The four largest cons of wearing school uniforms are:
Keeping a child in school uniforms may be more expensive for parents and guardians than buying regular clothes would be. Often, uniforms are only available from a limited number of suppliers and the lack of competition (and captive market) keeps prices high. Or, a uniform will include pricier items like blazers and dress shoes, which some families might struggle to afford.
If back-to-school shopping in your household involves shopping for a school uniform, you might be familiar with some of the arguments for and against uniforms. By some accounts, school uniforms are becoming more popular in the U.S., which means more households may find themselves debating the merits of uniforms in the years to come.
Traditionally favored by private and parochial institutions, school uniforms are being adopted by US public schools in increasing numbers. According to a 2020 report, the percentage of public schools that required school uniforms jumped from 12% in the 1999-2000 school year to 20% in the 2017-18 school year. School uniforms were most frequently required by elementary schools (23%), followed by middle (18%), and high schools (10%).
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.  A peer-reviewed study found that schools with uniform policies had 12% fewer firearm-related incidents and 15% fewer drug-related incidents than schools without uniforms. 
Parents can reduce their financial burden when their children are limited to wearing one simple outfit every day.  A study of uniform cost in the United Kingdom found that uniforms cost parents £88.05 ($128.79) per outfit, while out-of-school outfits averaged £113.00 ($165.79). 
Uniforms also emphasize racial divisions. Schools with a minority student population of 50% or more are four times as likely to require uniforms than schools with a minority population of 20-49%, and 24 times more likely than schools with minority populations of 5%-19%. 
Enrollment at Washington High School in South Bend, IN, has declined 43% since the introduction of school uniforms in 2006; and a 2017 survey found that 82% of the current students opposed uniforms.  A peer-reviewed study by researchers at the University of Nevada at Reno found that 90% of seventh and eighth grade public school students did not like wearing uniforms.  In the year following the introduction of mandatory school uniforms to the Long Beach (CA) Unified School District, 81% of middle school students said uniforms did not reduce fights, 76% said they did not help them fit in at school, 69% said they did not make them feel more connected with the school community, and 71% said they felt no safer traveling to and from school. 
Did You Know?1. The first school district in the United States to require all K-8 students to wear uniforms was Long Beach, CA, in Jan. 1994. 2. Americans spend around $1 billion per year on school uniforms. 3. Students at Eton, one of England's most prestigious schools, were required to wear black top hats and tails on and off campus until 1972. 4. US schools with a minority student population of 50% or more are four times as likely to require uniforms than schools with a minority population of 20-49%, and 24 times more likely than schools with minority populations of 5%-19%. 5. A government agency in Sweden declared that mandatory school uniforms were a human rights violation, stating that students should decide their dress and appearance as "a matter of the individual's freedom and integrity." 
The teachers of these students rated them over the course of the school year according to three factors: social skills, internalizing behavior problems (anxiety, shyness), and externalizing behavior problems (anger, violence, destruction of property). Researchers also considered attendance rates in their results. All in all, school uniforms had absolutely no effect on any of these dimensions.
There is little evidence that school uniforms remedy behavior problems or boost academic performance. And while uniform policies might have a slight, positive impact on school attendance, we need to consider the downside: For some kids, uniforms may have a negative effect on well-being.
To date, studies support that notion that some people perceive schools as safer or more disciplined when students wear uniforms (Yeung 2009). We have the report that teens tended to listen more attentively to their teachers (Bauman and Krskova 2016). And it looks as though uniforms may increase school attendance, if only very slightly. But these observations fall short of bold claims about school morale, community spirit, and academic performance.
Wade KK, Stafford ME. Public school uniforms: Effect on perceptions of gang presence, school climate, and student self-perceptions. Educ Urban Society. 2003;35(4):399-420. doi:10.1177/0013124503255002
Around much of Africa, children wear uniforms to school. With the abolition of official school fees for primary school in most countries, the cost of uniforms can be one of the largest expenses for families. In a new study, we examine the impact of providing free school uniforms to primary school children and observe how it affects their school participation in the short and long run. 2b1af7f3a8