As a parent I can honestly say that I am a little torn on the idea of whether or not a child should have to wear a school uniform. In many aspects it is great. It helps promote equality at school, and lets kids stand out for things that are more under their control than the cost and trendiness of their wardrobe. On the other, it means taking away one of the outlets for creativity and expression that kids often use, and then having to hope they don’t fill that gap with something negative.
The best way for any parent to determine if they think their student should have to wear a school uniform is to weigh out the pros and cons for themselves.
Many kids use school and the school campus as a stage for strutting their stuff, showing off their family’s wealth, or their ability to put together a fashionable outfit. When you take that off the table, it is a more even playing field, giving kids all an equal advantage for making friends, and being themselves. If a kid doesn’t have to worry about keeping up with their peers with the latest clothing trends, they can instead find friends because of who they are, not what they wear. For many kids this is going to be a real esteem booster.
Wearing uniforms allows kids to focus on other things.
As a parent I can greatly appreciate a uniform for the fact that it is a definite time saver in the mornings, as most kids take time to select their outfits, and may change their minds several times before finally getting dressed for the day. It makes shopping simpler, and it means always knowing just what your kid is going to wear to school. It can cut the morning routine in half.
However, it can also mean a lot more laundry for mom. Most kids are going to wear their uniform to school, but then change their clothes when they get home. This means two sets of clothes are worn each day, thus twice as much laundry. So, strictly from the does it benefit the parent perspective, probably not, but this is not about the parents this is about the students.
One big benefit for students is that having uniforms helps them focus on the academics more. A big social factor is cut out when you put everyone in the same clothing, as well as problems caused by inappropriate, immodest, explicit, etc. clothing. Your child will be more likely to focus on the classroom work then on what everyone is wearing, how they compare, if so and so is showing off their legs, butt, chest, etc.
Thus, as a parent, when asked if students should have to wear school uniforms, I can say, while I think they are fantastic, and would want my children to wear them because they offer some really great advantages, no one should be forced to dress a certain way if they don’t want to. A better option would be to have schools with uniforms in the same districts as schools without, and then offer open enrollment allowing parents to determine which is right for their child.