The debate of school uniforms is probably the most common question teachers use to teach students about debating or writing in school, sadly most teachers merely use this question to hook the students into the great aspects of debating and usually never have a full two-sided argument on why school uniforms should be or should not be used.

I believe that to be a missed opportunity, however, in this article, I will not be having a balanced argument as I have biases and it would simply be unfair to argue on behalf of an opinion I do not hold.

Therefore I will instead be arguing against the two most common arguments that try to argue against school uniforms and a conclusion on why school uniforms are just overlooked or misunderstood. 

Argument 1: The majority of students oppose school uniforms.

On first examination, argument one is very much a rational argument, however, I believe argument one is simply a misunderstanding of the ideals and experiences. The first point of understanding everyone must take into consideration is my personal belief in uniforms. I believe that uniform is necessary but should be changed by the student's voice; with examples such as summertime uniform, if asked, I also believe that it is the job of the administration of the school to look over the democratic ideas of students in concern to uniform. Therefore with such understanding, I believe this argument is very weak as many students very much disagree with school uniforms due to the fundamental fact they project their own experiences with school uniforms and treat the idea of school uniforms as a uniform bad even though they refuse to see alternatives to such ideas, which clearly shows the simple misunderstanding of the ideals and experiences of uniforms.

Argument 2:  Uniforms limit the expression of individuality.

Now comparatively I think that this argument is a whole lot better than the first argument as it highlights an actual issue that exists with uniform, consequently, I still do believe that there are issues with this argument. The main argument I would like to highlight is the counter issues that come up with the absence of uniforms, the issue is uniform establishes an almost meritocratic base for all students to come off as egalitarian, it allows people of lower classes or people with empty fashion sense to not be seen as less of a being. Therefore with the absence of uniform, we would see the meritocratic basis for education and the equal right for opportunity fractured, and even though this uniform may not play as important a factor, I believe the fundamental absence of uniform would cause more harm than good. The issue now is the line we draw at self-expression, I believe the line is we need uniform as I believe it is more of a utility compared to self-expression.

In conclusion, I believe that these are indeed valid points of criticism, however, I believe that we must simply understand the difference between the ideals of uniforms and the experiences of uniforms and we must also understand the true reason why uniforms are there in the first place, which is to allow all students to have equal opportunities to do the things that they want to do.

  • This article was written by Adan Lee, from Wildern School, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter scheme.