Uniforms Increase A Sense of Community

Plaid uniform skirts continue to be the school choice in Catholic schools.

Photo Credit/ Photo Credit/Wikimedia Commons

Plaid uniform skirts continue to be the school choice in Catholic schools.

If you’ve come from a public school, you know that uniforms at Catholic schools are naturally incorporated into one’s daily academic life. From plaid jumpers, to skirts, uniforms eventually become routine when setting off to school. This same boring routine can actually be beneficial. Uniforms help decrease the stress and worry on what to wear to school and with spending less time picking out clothes, one gets more sleep or time to stop at Starbucks. 

Leslie Segal, a director of all-girls school, Laurel School in Shakers Heights, Ohio said, “There is no competition from brands between girls. The uniforms say that these girls belong to a group. By wearing a uniform they promise to uphold the values and expectations of the community.”  

But what about public schools?
Uniforms were introduced in the late 1980s in  public schools to help reduce gang violence. Though there is no hard evidence that uniforms decrease violence in schools, it did increase a sense of community. According to the Washington Post, 40% of all public schools in the United States now enforce school uniforms.  A uniform is typcially considered clothing or attire worn by individuals that belong to the same organization or community. Hence, a sense of community develops as individuals feel that sense of belonging to something bigger.  A uniform can show not only who we are as a community, but it also gives others a perspective on how we represent ourselves to society.  

 Is individual identity kept with uniforms?

 A research study from the University of Nevada, looked at three middle schools during their first year of uniforms.  Based on this study, the majority of students surveyed agreed to the statement, ”  still have my identity when I wear a uniform.”   Of course, keeping some options in regards to a uniform policy helps individuals with maintaining their identity. Incorporating pants or skirts, different color tops, and sweatshirts,  can all contribute to one’s sense of style and identity. 

 Today, school uniforms are on a rise even with the much younger children. According to the article in the Washington Post, a mother of a toddler said, “I think it’s awesome, she walks into daycare and has an immediate sense of community, she belongs. ”  

When students attend school, they want to feel like everyone else; they want to belong and fit in.  Robin Silverman, a child and team development specialist, said, “we are all here for the same reason,”meaning, we come to school to learn. 

Uniforms then can have many benefits, less worry on what to wear, increasing a good night’s sleep, and most importantly, giving us a sense of belonging, a sense of community to be proud of.