School Uniforms in High School

What is your opinion about school uniforms at the high school level? We are considering sending our daughter to a private high school that requires them, but are concerned that her individuality and creative expression might be stifled.

Uniforms are becoming more common in U.S. schools, public and private. Not everyone agrees on the benefits of uniforms in school. Some think of uniforms as unnecessary overregulation. Others see uniforms as a way to cut down on distractions and to build a more serious and studious climate at school. There is some evidence that uniforms add to a strengthened sense of community and school spirit (pride and identity), improved classroom discipline, reduced peer pressure and increased attendance.

You have undoubtedly evaluated the pros and cons of sending your daughter to a private school. The issue of school uniforms is probably one of the things you will not need to worry about too much. Teenagers sometime complain that uniforms will reduce their individuality, although their fears appear to be unfounded. Teens show remarkable flexibility in adding personal touches to school uniforms. If you are still concerned, I can suggest two immediate actions.

Visit the school and observe the students in their uniforms. You will see students exhibiting individuality and diversity. The students will not all look or act alike.
Consider how your daughter currently expresses her creativity. If a uniform can stifle her, she needs more creative outlets.

Explore with her. Get her involved in art, music, dance, gardening, graphic design, computer design, decorating, animal grooming, photography, writing, poetry, quilting, bonsai or any number of creative ventures. Guide her to learn more long-lasting and healthier ways to express herself than what she wears to school.

School is only a part of her life — and may not be the most creative part. Help open her eyes to the other possibilities.

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