School Uniforms & Dress Codes:
Opinions and Arguments
Religion and Culture
Gender & Sexuality (GLBTQ)
Results & Outcomes (Studies, compliance,
Tips for Lobbying
Gallery of Fashion
Links to Other Districts
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Pauline's Home Page
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This Web Page by Pauline Harding for Art Nurk.
Contents may be copied if credit is given.
Studies on School Uniforms:
Hard data on
the effect of uniforms is hard to come by. Here are a few things that may be useful.
Uniforms Make a Difference?
short, readable article on the problems with the research on the impact of
A study showing that children
wearing uniforms have LOWER TEST SCORES.
Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Use,
and Academic Achievement, by David L. Brunsma and Kerry A. Rockquemore. This study refutes the common belief that uniforms will
result in higher test scores.
”Recent discourse on public school reform has focused on mandatory uniform
policies. Proponents of such reform measures emphasize the benefits of
student uniforms on specific behavioral and academic outcomes. This research
empirically tests the claims made by uniform advocates using 10th grade data
from The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988. Our findings
indicate that student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use,
behavioral problems or attendance. A negative effect of uniforms on student
academic achievement was found. These findings are contrary to current
discourse on student uniforms. We conclude that uniform policies may
indirectly affect school environment and student outcomes by providing a
visible and public symbol of commitment to school improvement and reform.”
A Critical Review of the Literature
by David L. Brunsma
cite the advantages and disadvantages of school uniforms from the perceptions
of parents, the observations of administrators, the feelings of students, and
other interested parties. The debate rarely moves beyond this anecdotal
flavor and, in fact, the nature of this reform effort, grounded in anecdote,
serves to keep the debate on an emotional level, one void of discussions of
empirical evidence, theoretical insight, or solid science. Meanwhile,
administrators and parents across the country are currently struggling to
decide whether to implement a uniform policy. Due to the assumed lack of empirical
research, these groups get swept up in the tide of anecdote and perception,
limiting their ability to make informed, prudent decisions. There is,
therefore, a great need for a systematic look at what the research says, what
it means, and what yet needs to be assessed.”
Compliance and Discipline issues:
Part of the dialog about
school uniforms and strict dress codes involves compliance issues – how
should the school district handle those students who can’t or won’t comply
with the rules.
One District's Problems with
Uniform Dress Code Compliance
This district is experiencing serious compliance problems - check it out and
learn from their mistakes.
One district's way of disciplining
children (and their parents) if they don't wear uniforms
The consequences when a child is out of uniform must be clear and understood
by all in advance. What level of consequences is appropriate?
Please, Call Off The Fashion
A teacher's plea for sane consequences for dress code violations.
Parent asks: ‘Are you trying to
educate or … humiliate?’
”Causey Middle School eighth-grader Elizabeth Dover said
she had been wearing her $35 corduroys to school since August. But when
forced to choose between being suspended for wearing the khaki-colored pants
or having the metal rivets unceremoniously yanked off with a pair of wire
cutters, the 13-year-old Dover let her anger make the choice.
She marched down to a janitor's closet, undid the top two buttons of her
pants and waited while the female custodian tore each rivet off.”