Another Friday Confessional

I Confess

I vehemently dislike uniform policies.  I do.  I don’t know one good reason to have one.  Sure, I’ve heard all the reasons — that it keeps kids safe because they aren’t wearing “gang” colors, that it saves ego because no one really has better clothes, or that it creates a uniformity that brings the whole culture together. Or my favorite, the kids don’t do a very good job of picking clothes –too loose, too tight, too irreverent.  Sigh.  Yet…

I Confess

I think it’s all just bullshit.

I Confess

I think uniforms came from charter school emulating private schools.  I honestly think they were working to set themselves apart from public schools and to align themselves, even loosely, with private schools.  I think the rationale is that the kids will have pride in themselves and in their schools.   Then, of course, they will achieve at private school levels.  (You know, save for the broad, liberal-arts education, family trips to exotic locales, museums, concerts and events, and the ability to go abroad for a semester or two.  Then, yes, it’s exactly like private school.)  Public schools, not wanting to lose out to charter schools, followed suit because it MUST be good if the other schools are doing it.  No point in actually having research that supports this action, just jump on board.

I Confess

I find it annoying that I play by the rules and don’t get acknowledged for it.  I swear that I’ll hear about so-and-so who’s in the wrong colored jacket, but nothing for the fact that all 31 students are in school uniform.  It’s not like we’re rewarded for it.  In fact, I feel like I’m turning them into schmucks because they are playing by the rules and resenting it, while others aren’t and nothing happens.  I’m told it matters, but all evidence indicates this isn’t true.  Then I hear I shouldn’t be so hard on them?  It’s like I can’t win, and I resent it.

I Confess

I wish I could change this policy.  After all, I don’t think my students are going to grow up and have too many jobs where wearing a uniform is part of the package.  Perhaps when they are younger, but even Target employees get to figure out the red top and the khaki bottom.  After all, if I’m emphasizing 21st century skills and college going culture, shouldn’t I be teaching them the best ways to dress?  I just think a decent dress code would be more practical and keeping with what we expect from them.

I Confess

That, even though no one really enforces the policy, no one wants it changed.  After all, we’ve always had one.

I Confess

I’ve grown weary of the apathy.


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