School Uniforms Demo Debate Contentions and Evidence (Requires Free Registration)

PRO CONTENTION

We affirm: Resolved The benefits of school uniforms outweigh the harms

Contention One is Closing the School to Prison Pipeline

Dress codes are a necessary response to gang and gun violence in schools

Wilson 98 of BYU Law School reports that (Amy Mitchell Wilson, 3/1/1998, Levin Riback Law Group P.C. The John Marshall Law School, “Public School Dress Codes: The Constitutional Debate”, Birmingham Young University Education and Law Journal, http://digitalcommons.law.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1086&context=elj,  Volume 1998 Issue 1 Article 6, p. 146) CBS

The public school campuses of our nation are experiencing an unprecedented crisis of violence and a shocking decline in academic achievement. The National School Boards Association has estimated that approximately 135,000 guns are brought to the nation’s 85,000 public schools every day. 1 Gang related violence and crime in the public schools continues to grow and challenge school administrators and students. The problems faced by school officials and students have grown considerably in the past twenty years. Reports of the crisis in our public schools are staggering. Student attendance and dropout rates are alarming, as are the presence of drugs, weapons, and violence in many schools.2 This proliferation of violence in our schools has created a sense of emergency for school districts. As a reaction to this threat of violence, many school boards are currently enforcing mandatory dress codes. These codes prohibit students from wearing clothing that is identifiable as gang clothing, such as bandanas, particular colored handkerchiefs, college jackets, earrings, and accessories. Some states haveeven passed laws that allow the public school districts to mandate school uniforms.

This has helped prevent gang members from recruiting in schools

NCPC 14 confirms that (NCPC tries to prevent crime in Schools. School Uniforms as an Anti-Gang Tactic. http://ncpc.typepad.com/prevention_works_blog/2014/06/school-uniforms-as-an-anti-gang-tactic.html)

Gangs are steadily expanding into rural, suburban, and urban communities throughout the country. Street gangs in particular, which account for 88 percent of U.S. gang membership, have increased their numbers in 53 percent of the nation’s police jurisdictions, according to the 2013 National Gang Intelligence Center Gang Report. These gangs typically recruit their members while they are in primary or secondary school, leading these recruits toward academic malaise, criminal activity, and incarceration. One way to reduce gang members’ ability to recruit in schools, and therefore keep communities safer through proactively addressing the problem is to create and enforce a school uniform. Gang members usually differentiate themselves from rival gangs members and non-members by wearing a specific color of clothing, cutting their hair a certain way, or dressing themselves in a particular style. Allowing gangs to distinguish themselves like this, places pressure on students who then realize the prevalence of gangs, feel unsafe because of the number of gang members, and feel compelled to join a gang for protection. School uniforms address this issue. According to a National Association of Elementary School Principles’ study published in 2000, schools see a decrease in gang prevalence and school violence when they implement and enforce a school uniform. When compared to schools that do not have a school uniform, the result is significant. In addition, a study by Virginia Ann Bendel Draa for the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Youngstown State University in 2005, showed that school uniforms improved academic success and graduation rates, increased attendance, and decreased suspensions, making uniforms a way to help student avoid gangs throughout their time in school and beyond. Because they are an effective gang deterrent and improve student performance, school uniforms are becoming more prevalent in the United States. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of schools across the country implementing school uniforms increased from 12 percent to 19 percent in an effort to reduce criminal activity in schools, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. Even a dress code, if properly enforced, can have an effect on reducing gang recruitment and activity. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 55 percent of public schools strictly enforced a dress code between 2007 and 2009. Using dress codes to ban certain articles or styles of clothing associated with gangs prevalent in a school or district can still alleviate the worries of students by reducing the gang’s visibility and therefore alleviating pressure for students to join a gang.

The impact is closing the School to Prison pipeline

Nevada Today 13 quantifies that 4/23/13 Claudene Wharton “College of Education researchers conduct study on impacts of school uniforms” https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2013/school-uniform-study

Jafeth Sanchez, research assistant professor, and George “Gus” Hill, associate professor, designed a 49- question survey to which approximately 1,350 students responded during the schools’ first year of implementing a uniform policy. The students were seventh- and eighth-graders at Vaughn and Pine Middle Schools in Reno and at Sparks Middle School in Sparks. At Sparks Middle School, discipline and school police records were also studied. Compared to the year prior, discipline referrals were reduced by about 10 percent the first year the uniform policy was implemented. Additionally, school police data showed a 63 percent reduction in police log reports during the first year of implementation. Other decreases were noted in reports of gang-related activities and student fights, along with graffiti, property damage, battery and administrative assists.

Without a uniform policy, schools fuel the school to prison pipeline and trap students in cycles of poverty while disproportionately targeting minorities.

Garcia 16 of the Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy reports that – (Garcia, Amanda M. “Keep All Our Kids in the Classroom: Remedying Discipline in Education.” Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy 15.1 (2016): 89-123., Accessed through LexisNexis) // kt

According to the National Association of School Resource Officers, “[s]chool-based policing is the fastest growing area of law enforcement.”‘ In the mid-1950s, Flint was the only Michigan city to employ police officers in its public schools.18 In 2005, a United States Department of Justice survey reported forty-eight percent of public schools employed on-site police officers.’ 9 By 2011, there were an estimated 17,000 school-based police officers in United States public schools.2°

[…]

“School-to-prison pipeline” describes the pattern of policies and practices that push students out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. 31 Harsh zero tolerance discipline policies in public schools contribute directly to the school-to-prison pipeline by exposing students to the juvenile justice system for school-related offenses.32 They also contribute to the pipeline indirectly by expelling or suspending students, causing them to easily fall behind in the classroom.3F These school-related contributors to the pipeline create disengagement in learning and increase students’ court involvement, making them more likely to drop out of school.34 According to the UCLA Civil Rights Project, over three million students grades K through 12 lost instructional time in the classroom due to out-of-school suspension during the 2009-2010 school year.35 Zero tolerance policies have also fueled the school-to-prison pipeline by referring students to disciplinary alternative schools. These schools often do not hold the same educational accountability standards and take on detention-like environments.36 School zero tolerance discipline policies, as they are applied today, have steered away from their original purpose by pushing students to have contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

[…]

The United States’ judiciary has long recognized education as a power granted to the states.42 Since the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 was passed, many states have adopted zero tolerance discipline policies for a wide range of behavior in an effort to create safe and orderly classrooms.43 Some states now adopt zero tolerance policies for nonviolent criminal behavior like drug possession, but also minor offenses like classroom disruption.44 The result has been a rise in suspensions, expulsions, and student contact with the juvenile justice system.45

Empirical evidence shows zero tolerance discipline policies have the harshest impact on students of color, students with disabilities, and male students.46 The Civil Rights Data Collection taken in 2012 by the Office for Civil Rights revealed that seventy percent of students involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement are Hispanic or black.47 Male students also make up about seventy-four percent of school expulsions and a majority of suspensions, even though males represent about half of the student population.48

Contention Two Concerns Elitism

Uniforms promote higher self-esteem and solidarity by eliminating classism in schools

Students’ Rights 05 writes that (Gale Group, databse library, “School Dress Codes Are Necessary and Constitutional”, Cengage’s Gale Group: Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Viewpoints&zid=16e9140de16d4c30d9b8782630d2b0a2&p=OVIC&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010398217&source=Bookmark&u=nysl_sc_horsehs&jsid=881e666edfc3c8c17a1528da9e86fce3) dsk

Student dress policies can also benefit students far beyond keeping them safe. Schools with uniforms say that their students have better self-esteem because without the name brand clothing on display, the students are placed on an equal level. Poorer students do not feel and are not treated as inferior because they don’t have nice clothes. This equality also seems to create a sense of school unity. Dr. Viola Vaughan and Allan Sledge, both principals from Halifax County, have witnessed an increase in school unity since uniforms were required. Dr. Arnold Goldstein, head of the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, agrees. He believes that uniforms encourage a “sense of belonging” because they promote a feeling of community among the students and help make a troubled student feel like part of a supportive whole. These effects contribute to a school’s overall sense of order and discipline. As a result, the learning environment improves—making it easier for teachers to teach and for students to learn….

Furthermore, Uniforms create an even socio-economic level in the school

Guru confirms that (Debate Guru writes for Debate Nirvana. Schools should require uniforms. http://debatenirvana.com/topicview/schools-should-require-uniforms)

Reasoning: Kids who go to public schools come from a variety of backgrounds; some parents are rich, others are poor. A kid’s wealth translates into what clothes and items he/she can afford, and this unbalance in the wealth of kids in a public school creates a bad environment for certain kids. Why? Because the poorer kids won’t be able to afford the “latest trend” or as extravagant or expensive items as the richer kids, leading them to feel insecure about what they’re wearing and creates an embarrassing situation for kids. Evidence: Guidance Counselor at Douglas elementary school, Memphis, Tennessee, “The tone of the school is different. There’s not the competitiveness…about who’s wearing what.” The Bureau of Education’s website says, “Schools have fewer reasons to call the police. There’s less conflict among students. Students concentrate more on education, not on who’s wearing $100 shoes or gang attire.” The principal of Porter Tradition-where uniforms are mandatory- states in the article “Pros and Cons of School Uniforms”, “The uniforms were a great way to level a diverse socio-economic playing field. With a boundary change that incorporated the lower middle class neighborhoods… the uniforms change was initially very successful.

The impact is reducing bullying:

School uniforms decrease bullying related to clothing

Sandusky 14 confirms that Register 8/27/14 Sandusky Register Staff “School Uniforms Help Prevent Bullying, Make Them Worthwhile” http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201405110021

Roughly 160,000 children miss school daily due to to fear of attack and or intimidation by other students. [But,] Because everyone would be dressed the same, students would not be bullied because of their clothing. In addition, uniforms [also] promote safety because if an intruder walked into school, it would be easier to spot them because they would not be wearing the uniform.

Furthermore, school uniforms make it harder for bullies to identify students who don’t fit in

BTRU 17 quantifies that blog 29 June 2017 “Attitudes to school uniform” https://www.trutexbtru2u.co.uk/research-shows-wearing-school-uniform-helps-reduce-bullying/ Uniform makers Trutex has linked up with charity The Diana Award, established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, to launch anti-bullying campaign #bTRU2u and to support The Diana Award antibullying ambassadors programme.As part of the campaign it commissioned research from 1,318* teachers, parents and pupils on their attitudes to school uniforms. The study found nine out of ten teachers (89%) believe school uniforms play an active role in reducing bullying. 95% say uniforms help students “fit-in” and 94% believe parents and the local community and even potential students look with pride on a school where pupils wear uniforms. It found that schools with strict uniform rules report that potential bullies find it harder to identify targets which are historically children who do not quite fit in. A standard dress makes for a level playing field and removed pressure on children to wear the latest fashions or designer labels which can highlight inequalities between students who come from different family backgrounds.

This is why, overall dress codes mitigate school violence

Wilder & Key 07 conclude that (Scott Key, Ph.D & Larry Wilder, Ed.D @ Fresno Pacific University School of Education, “Pros and cons of school dress code” Fresno Pacific University https://www.fresno.edu/news/11/11/2007/pros-and-cons-school-dress-code) KL

Public schools have the responsibility to have safe and orderly schools that maintain an environment conducive to learning. The National School Board Association estimates that approximately 135,000 guns are brought to America’s 85,000 public schools each day. This is one reason school districts use to implement dress codes. Some schools even require students to have the belt line exposed at all times for fear of guns concealed under clothing. Additionally, educators report a decrease in violence, a reduction of fights in schools and improved student achievement when dress codes have been implemented. Safety is one reason for a dress code; however, many educators believe that a dress code also promotes a positive educational environment. In an attempt to counter violence, many public schools implement a dress code or require students to wear uniforms. The idea of uniforms even reached the halls of Congress when then-President Clinton endorsed them in his 1996 State of the Union address. After this speech, the U.S. Department of Education disseminated the Manual of School Uniforms to all 16,000 school districts in the nation. The manual stated potential benefits, such as decreasing violence and theft, preventing students from wearing gang-related colors to school, instilling student discipline, helping to resist peer pressure, helping students concentrate on academics and aiding in recognition of intruders. It is estimated that almost 25 percent of the nation’s public schools are expected to have a dress code this year. In September, Philadelphia public school students started wearing uniforms for the first time. They joined districts like Long Beach, Clovis, Fresno, Huston and Dade County, Florida, in having a dress or uniform code. These codes were established because of the success demonstrated by districts with a dress code. A survey reported by the New York Police Department listed many positive results after a uniform policy was begun in 2000: overall crime was down 14.7 percent and there was an improved sense of belonging and tolerance.

Because no student should have to worry about their safety when in the classroom, we affirm.

CON CONTENTION

My partner and I negate the resolution. Resolved: The benefits of school uniforms outweigh the harms.

Our First Contention is Self-Expression

Clothing is one of the primary ways in which children express themselves and their personalities. Chris Rhoades explained in 2013 allowing kids to wear what they want is a core tenant in freedom of expression. Unfortunately, school uniforms directly inhibit this fundamental right of clothing as individual’s are no longer able to express themselves and their personalities. Rhoades continues mandating kids to wear the same clothing to school is a clear threat to individual liberty. Just like mandating all kids to have the same haircut, the same backpack, or the same lunch box seems absurd, it is the path we go on once we start dictating what students can and cannot wear.

The impact is a better society.

Freedom of Expression is one of the most important values a society can hold. MediaDefence explains in 2018 that society hinges on people’s ability to hold their own opinions and express themselves –both in terms of what they wear and in their daily lives. Without freedom of expression, individuals can’t express themselves, their values, or their desires. Media Defense furthers that freedom of expression is a gateway issue in societies that aid in the protection of all rights. The right to freedom of expression allows individuals to shed light on important societal issues such as torture, LGBT persecution, and more.

Contention Two Cost

One of the primary downsides of school uniforms is the tremendous cost it imposes on poor families. A report by CostHelper found in 2015 that the average cost of school uniforms is between 100 to 600$ per family. This places an unreasonable burden on poor families who also must buy clothing for their kid to wear on the weekend or during the summer. Ferguson of the Guardian continues in 2019 that recently the cost of school uniforms has increased 90% forcing families to decide whether they will buy clothing for their child or put food on the table.

There are two impacts.

First, diminished educational outcomes.

Silver of the Independent finds in 2019 that 95 percent of parents think the cost of school uniforms are unreasonable. In fact, over 800,000 students go to school each year in poorly fitting uniforms because their parents can’t afford to buy new clothing, with an additional 400,000 being sent home for wearing incorrect clothes. Cohen of the L.A. Times furthers that inadequate clothing can be one part of a sad equation that leads children to skip school and have behavioral and academic problems. For example, 13-year old Alvaro Perez shivers in class on cold days because his parents aren’t able to afford the long-sleeve school uniform and he is prohibited from wearing anything else.

Second, poverty.

Ferguson writes in 2019 school uniforms face an unnecessary amount of pressure on poor families. Vulnerable families are forced to choose between getting a particular item of school uniform or necessities such as fuel or water. These unnecessary purchases are a contributor to childhood and family poverty. This is especially pertinent now as many families are still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to school should be a means for children to escape poverty, not a means of perpetuating it.

For these reasons and more, my partner and I strongly urge a vote for the negative.

Rebuttal

Overview

On the crime argument.

First, they’ve conceded that the root cause of the school to prison pipeline is punitive punishment for small offenses not gang violence. This is a crucial concession that my opponent’s have made because the reason as to why the school to prison pipeline exists is not due to student’s in gangs going to prison, but rather student’s that commit nonviolent rather small offenses being wrapped up in the criminal justice system at a young age. That’s crucial as our evidence from Smith indicates that school uniforms are a primary driver of the school to prison pipeline in which student’s who have noncompliant uniforms are funneled into the pipeline

A.    Students lease likely to comply are poor students who can’t afford clothes.

B.    For minority students

Black girls, both cisgender and transgender, find their bodies are policed by uniforms and dress codes. They are policed for headscarves, hair wraps, restrictive clothing that doesn’t fit curvy bodies, as well as for hairstyles like natural styles, braids, locs, and twists

For example, 13-year old Alvaro Perez shivers in class on cold days because his parents aren’t able to afford the long-sleeve school uniform and he is prohibited from wearing anything else.

Answer to Gang Violence

1.    My first response is that their argument is alternatively causal. Mark Oppenheimer finds in 2017 that studies that tout decrease in violence due to school uniforms do not control for necessary variables such as private versus public schools, changes in school culture, and more. In fact, even in a school that implemented a school uniform policy, other measures to reduce gang violence were undertaken making it impossible to determine that it was school uniforms.

Even if you don’t believe me, their own author concludes that ““Uniforms are not a “silver bullet” solution to school improvement efforts. I believe it requires holistic change in many areas.”

2.    Turn the argument against my opponent’s. School uniforms make the problem of the school to prison pipeline worse. Smith explains in 2019 that one of the primary causes of the school to prison pipeline is punitive punishment for relatively minor offenses. This is crucial as Smith continues that school uniforms are one of the primary drivers of the school to prison as students are punished for not complying with the school’s uniform policy. This turns their argument for two reasons.

C.    Students lease likely to comply are poor students who can’t afford clothes.

D.   For minority students

3.    There is no correlation between gang violence and school uniforms.

The New Yorker Mark Oppenheimer September 6 2017 “The Downsides of School Uniforms” https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-unquestionedgoodness-of-school-uniforms

Many school leaders believe that uniforms help, although they can’t seem to agree on why. It’s student achievement, or “school pride,” or a perceived reduction in fighting. When independent researchers have tried to quantify such claims, they have had mixed results. One widely cited study, on schools in Long Beach, California, showed a decrease in school crime after the introduction of uniforms, but the city had taken many other measures to reduce violence at the same time, so it’s hard to tease out how much uniforms mattered. Many studies show no change in school culture, and some even show negative results: in one 2007 study, the introduction of uniforms accompanied an increase in the average number of assaults in one district’s violent schools.

Smith 19

Smith 19 [Smith, Nariessa. 09-23-2018, “School Uniforms Becoming a Stiff-Fitting Policy on Black Students,” Atlanta Black Star, https://atlantablackstar.com/2018/09/23/school-uniforms-worse-for-the-wear/]

African-American children are the primary targets of school discipline. Research from Columbia Law School found that Black male students were suspended three times more often than white males. The same study found that Black girls were six times more likely to be punished than white girls. Uniforms are one of the reasons for this difference. When Black students are suspended, they are usually punished for a minor, subjective offenses such as “disobedience” or “failure to follow rules.” According to the American Bar Association, 95 percent of all school suspensions are of this type. Failure to wear the proper uniform falls in this category. Therefore, strict uniform policies can subject Black students to harsh discipline. Discipline can push the students out of school and into prison. The connection between uniforms and the school-to-prison pipeline is real. In an email interview, Karen Dolan, director of the Criminalization of Race and Poverty Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, said, “Black girls, both cisgender and transgender, find their bodies are policed by uniforms and dress codes. They are policed for headscarves, hair wraps, restrictive clothing that doesn’t fit curvy bodies, as well as for hairstyles like natural styles, braids, locs, and twists. Black girls are seen by adults as more mature, more aggressive and hypersexualized and disciplined according to these false conceptions. Similarly, the adultification of Black boys also causes them to be disciplined more aggressively for any transgression, including a deviation from a dress code.”

Cards

Contention One

Rhoades 13

Rhoades 13 [Rhoades, Chris, 12-05-2013, “Counterpoint: School uniforms hinder students’ expression,” Enterprise Pub, http://www.enterprisepub.com/opinion/columns/counterpoint-school-uniformshinder-students-freedom-of-expression/article_77c3461a-5dfe-11e3-864b0019bb30f31a.html]

There are certainly many positives to the idea of school uniforms. On the surface, it might be easy to get behind the idea. However, it also begins the trip down a very slippery slope of endangering individual liberties, expression and personal style. If we start mandating that all kids wear the same clothing to school, where does it stop? Will haircuts need to be the same? Will everyone carry the same backpack, same lunch box, have the same design for their pencils? While those questions may seem silly today, it may be more of a real thought than we’d like to think in the future if all schools start mandating exactly what their students wear. Allowing kids to wear what they want allows them freedom of expression. Something that this country is founded on. And while we might want to discredit the youth’s right to express themselves because they are young, we should not.

Media Defence Freedom of Expression Impact

MediaDefence in 2018 [No Author, 2018, “10 reasons freedom of expression is important,” MediaDefence, https://10years.mediadefence.org/10-reasons-freedom-of-expression/]

A democratic society hinges on the people being able to hold informed opinions and express them – both in voting booths and more broadly in their day-to-day lives. It’s important that people are able to ask tough questions of the people in power and find out about decisions which affect them and their fellow citizens. Freedom of expression is a core value in the democratic process. It ensures people are able to discuss, exchange, and debate ideas. This human right allows individuals and communities to find information which is important to them and share it with others, without censorship or reprisals. Through the media and through public debate – on and offline – freedom of expression supports the development of informed citizens and voters. [ … ] Freedom of expression underpins a wide variety of other human rights both directly and indirectly. It can shine a light on human rights abuses such as torture, LGBTI persecution and interference with indigenous peoples’ land rights. Without accurate reporting many human rights abuses would not be known about, and might continue with impunity. Freedom of expression allows people to tell their stories, help advocate, and hold governments to international human rights standards. From access to information to freedom of assembly: freedom of expression allows for active participation in civil society and for that civic engagement to be heard. From petitions to boycotts, from public protest to collective organisation for workers’ rights – freedom of expression facilitates action and allows events to be reported on. A robust media – of citizens or news organisations – can act as a public watchdog, bringing important issues into the light. Because if no one knows: no one cares.

Contention Two

CostHelper

Cost Helper [No Author, No Date, “How Much Does a School Uniform Cost?” CostHelper, https://education.costhelper.com/school-uniforms.html]

Many private schools and a growing number of US public schools (about 19% in 2009-2010[1] ) require school uniforms. Many private schools mandate specific uniform pieces that must be bought from an official source; for example, a school may dictate the exact blazer, top and pants or skirt that are available only from one or two retailers. Some private schools and most public schools have more general rules that list acceptable styles and colors of standardized clothing that may be purchased from any retail outlet; for example, a standardized “uniform” outfit could be any style or brand of khaki pants with any style or brand of collared shirt in white or the school-designated color(s). Typical costs: A general uniform of standardized clothing can cost $25-$200 per outfit or about $100-$600 for a school wardrobe (four or five mix-and-match outfits), depending on the quality and number of the pieces, the retailer and the location. Pants might be $5-$50 each, skirts can be about $5-$35 each and tops might be $3-$35 each. If shoes are included in the uniform requirements, they can cost $15-$70. For example, Classroom School Uniforms estimates average costs of $156 for four girls’ outfits and $140 for four boys’ outfits; a blogger at UniformMom.com[2] reports actual costs of $234 for a standardized-uniform wardrobe for kindergarten; and a task force in North Brunswick Township

Cost of school uniforms increasing each and every year

Ferguson of the Guardian writes in 2019 [Ferguson, Donna. 08-31-2019, “School’s back – but some parents can’t keep up with cost of branded uniforms,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/aug/31/schools-back-parents-cant-keep-up-with-cost-of-branded-uniforms]

The charity School-Home Support, which provides grants to families unable to buy essential items for their school-age children, has seen applications for help with the cost of uniforms and shoes rise by 90% over the past year. “Last year, we were spending the most on beds, bedding, furniture and other essential household items. Now we get the most requests for school uniforms and shoes,” said its CEO, Jaine Stannard. Part of the problem, say charities and volunteers, is increasing use by schools of branded clothes, which are more expensive than standard uniforms. Kirsty Powell, a mother of four who recently set up a Facebook school uniform donation group in Stratford-upon-Avon, said academies were increasingly trying to copy the uniforms of private schools with expensive blazers and heavily branded PE kits. “If you send your child to a private school, you might expect to pay those costs. But these are state schools,” she said. Advertisement Powell’s group, which she runs with two other volunteers, collects uniform donations for 31 local schools and has received more than 200 requests since mid-July alone. Jane Malcolm, CEO of Level Trust, a charity in Luton for local children living in poverty, said she had seen similar problems with a shift to branded uniform – “which means you can only get it from certain expensive suppliers”. Malcolm started collecting school uniform donations two years ago, and said requests from parents had doubled over the past year. She had even started a “naughty list” of state schools that had changed their affordable school uniform to one that could easily cost £250 per child, not including shoes or coats, she said. Campaigners are critical of the government’s failure to act on a 2015 promise to make it a legal requirement for schools to make value for money the main consideration when setting uniform policies. Mark Russell, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said it was “shameful”. “This simple change would prevent thousands of parents having to cut back on essentials or get into debt just to buy their children’s school uniforms,” he added. In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, families can apply for statutory support with the cost of school uniforms but in England it is up to individual councils and schools to decide whether to make help available. An annual survey of school governors and trustees, to be published next week by the National Governance Association, is expected to show a drop in the number of schools offering families assistance with the purchase of uniforms. “Given that two-thirds of governors say that their school does not have enough funding to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, we believe that the reduction in support for purchasing uniforms is largely a result of the severe funding constraints that schools are currently facing,” said Emma Knights, the NGA’s chief executive.

Cohen of the L.A. Times

Cohen of the L.A. Times [Cohen, Allison; Sauerwein, Kristina. 02-20-2000, “Tattered Clothes of Poverty Prove Costly in Classroom,” L.A. Times, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-feb-20-me-739-story.html]

Inadequate clothing can be one part of a sad equation that leads children to skip school and have behavioral and academic problems, experts say. It can hint at problems at home, including neglect, loss of income by parents and a lack of food. “Usually, kids not having enough clothing is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Hector Madrigal, LAUSD’s director of pupil services and attendance. “A lack of clothing is like a student that is crying for help.” Because 13-year-old Alvaro Perez’s parents cannot afford to buy him a new sweater or shoes, he shivers in class on cold days. When it rains, he sometimes misses school because his shoes have holes. The shy, thin boy who lives in a tough Canoga Park neighborhood said he hates missing school and wants to be a lawyer when he grows up.

School uniforms force families into debt and poverty just to pay for school

Ferguson of the Guardian writes in 2019 [Ferguson, Donna. 08-31-2019, “School’s back – but some parents can’t keep up with cost of branded uniforms,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/aug/31/schools-back-parents-cant-keep-up-with-cost-of-branded-uniforms]

When a child moves schools – which a lot of deprived families do regularly because it’s not up to them where they get housed – they’re expected to have a particular branded uniform Emma Martin, charity worker Joyce Tetteh, one of the parents being helped by School-Home Support this year, said she had had sleepless nights after calculating she would need to spend £465 on school uniforms by September. Tetteh, who lives in east London on benefits of £245 a week, has four school-age children. “I took medication to cope,” she said, adding that she had been about to cut back on food before the charity’s “life-saving” intervention. “I was really worried,” she said. “I thought I had no options.” Freema Chambers, a mother of three who set up the Facebook group Community School Clothing Scheme two years ago after running out of money to buy her son school trousers, said she had seen requests from parents “at least double, maybe triple” over the past 12 months. The scheme had handed out more than 4,000 items of school uniform, worth about £40,000 to local families, in Sunderland and the north-east since schools closed in July, she said. “Parents come to us distressed,” she said. “Schools are insisting that, for example, you buy trousers with the school logo on, which are nearly double the price of normal school trousers.” Vulnerable families are faced with terrible choices as a result: “It’s awful knowing that, if I can’t help a parent get hold of a particular item of school uniform, they are going to have to go without fuel or food in order to buy it.” Kate France, founder of the Uniform Exchange charity in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, said she had also seen requests double over the past year. More than 800 families have received uniform donations through the scheme this year. Another charity, Bromley Brighter Beginnings in south London, works with medical professionals, teachers and social workers to provide families with items they need. Its founder, Emma Martin, said she had received so many referrals requesting school uniforms for children this year that the charity had launched a campaign to attract more donations. “More people are struggling financially now, because of austerity. But when a child moves schools – which a lot of deprived families do regularly because it’s not up to them where they get housed – they’re expected to have a particular branded uniform.” Martin said uniforms in her area could cost as much as £400. “It’s expensive and unnecessary. I don’t think there’s any need for schools to put that much pressure on families.” Last November, Kristina Murphy, a mother of two, started collecting donations of school uniform for local families in Birmingham via her Facebook group Rubery Schools Community Swop Shop. After sitting on exclusion panels as a school governor she had noticed that, often, a pupil’s spiralling bad behaviour was triggered by reprimands for not wearing the right uniform or having their PE kit. Advertisement “It made me reflect: what if you don’t have those items and you’re coming to school anxious you’re going to get into trouble? That could make a vulnerable child quite aggressive and emotive.” These children may then act as if they don’t care about the uniform as a defence mechanism, so that no one will find out their parents cannot afford it, she said. “They’re embarrassed.” Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said: “The prime minister has been clear that we will increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools to level up education funding across the country. No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to or attend a school of their choice. “Our guidance is clear: schools should prioritise cost when setting uniform policies, including making sure uniforms are available at different outlets, and keeping compulsory branded items to a minimum.”

Ferguson of the Guardian in 2019

Ferguson of the Guardian writes in 2019 [Ferguson, Donna. 08-31-2019, “School’s back – but some parents can’t keep up with cost of branded uniforms,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/aug/31/schools-back-parents-cant-keep-up-with-cost-of-branded-uniforms]

When a child moves schools – which a lot of deprived families do regularly because it’s not up to them where they get housed – they’re expected to have a particular branded uniform Emma Martin, charity worker Joyce Tetteh, one of the parents being helped by School-Home Support this year, said she had had sleepless nights after calculating she would need to spend £465 on school uniforms by September. Tetteh, who lives in east London on benefits of £245 a week, has four school-age children. “I took medication to cope,” she said, adding that she had been about to cut back on food before the charity’s “life-saving” intervention. “I was really worried,” she said. “I thought I had no options.” Freema Chambers, a mother of three who set up the Facebook group Community School Clothing Scheme two years ago after running out of money to buy her son school trousers, said she had seen requests from parents “at least double, maybe triple” over the past 12 months. The scheme had handed out more than 4,000 items of school uniform, worth about £40,000 to local families, in Sunderland and the north-east since schools closed in July, she said. “Parents come to us distressed,” she said. “Schools are insisting that, for example, you buy trousers with the school logo on, which are nearly double the price of normal school trousers.” Vulnerable families are faced with terrible choices as a result: “It’s awful knowing that, if I can’t help a parent get hold of a particular item of school uniform, they are going to have to go without fuel or food in order to buy it.” Kate France, founder of the Uniform Exchange charity in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, said she had also seen requests double over the past year. More than 800 families have received uniform donations through the scheme this year. Another charity, Bromley Brighter Beginnings in south London, works with medical professionals, teachers and social workers to provide families with items they need. Its founder, Emma Martin, said she had received so many referrals requesting school uniforms for children this year that the charity had launched a campaign to attract more donations. “More people are struggling financially now, because of austerity. But when a child moves schools – which a lot of deprived families do regularly because it’s not up to them where they get housed – they’re expected to have a particular branded uniform.” Martin said uniforms in her area could cost as much as £400. “It’s expensive and unnecessary. I don’t think there’s any need for schools to put that much pressure on families.” Last November, Kristina Murphy, a mother of two, started collecting donations of school uniform for local families in Birmingham via her Facebook group Rubery Schools Community Swop Shop. After sitting on exclusion panels as a school governor she had noticed that, often, a pupil’s spiralling bad behaviour was triggered by reprimands for not wearing the right uniform or having their PE kit. Advertisement “It made me reflect: what if you don’t have those items and you’re coming to school anxious you’re going to get into trouble? That could make a vulnerable child quite aggressive and emotive.” These children may then act as if they don’t care about the uniform as a defence mechanism, so that no one will find out their parents cannot afford it, she said. “They’re embarrassed.” Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said: “The prime minister has been clear that we will increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools to level up education funding across the country. No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to or attend a school of their choice. “Our guidance is clear: schools should prioritise cost when setting uniform policies, including making sure uniforms are available at different outlets, and keeping compulsory branded items to a minimum.”

Rebuttal

AT: Self Expression

NT. The resolution is about safety, not the individual liberties

The damage is done and bullying is rampant – 4 years of Trump and his continued influence on other politicians like Cruz and DeSantis ensures students fill in with bullying

Svokos 16(Alexandra is the Senior News Editor at Elite Daily. She previously worked at Huff Post and has been published in Vox, Glamour, Refinery 29, Mic, Cosmopolitan and Quartz, “Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Reportedly Causing An Increase In School Bullying”, http://elitedaily.com/news/politics/donald-trump-increase-school-bullying/1461430/)MRS

Donald Trump’s sexist, discriminatory, childish presidential campaign is not just causing problems in the political realm — it’s causing problems in schools. A new report from Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate and intolerance, found there has been an increase in bullying and anxiety in schools since Trump’s campaign began. Sixty-seven percent of teachers surveyed said children of color have expressed concern about the fate of their families after the election. These students are more scared now of being deported and discriminated against. Many younger children reportedly expressed concerns of being put into slavery or prison camps. Overall, teachers said there is a notable increase in fear among children of color in schools. It seems children are also more scared now because they see how much hatred and prejudice exists. It is disheartening and harmful for students. But on the other side of the divide, some students have taken Trump’s manner and run with it. Teachers said students feel “emboldened” by Trump to use slurs and make fun of other students. Teachers are upset because Trump is single-handedly undoing years of anti-bullying lessons. Some teachers reported students are using Trump’s words to defend their bullying. When confronted about name-calling, students have said they’re not bullying, they’re just “telling it like it is.” This bullying is paired with an increase in racial slurs and discrimination. One teacher in New Hampshire wrote, A lot of students think we should kill any and all people we do not agree with. They also think that all Muslims are the same and are a threat to our country and way of life. They believe all Muslims want to kill us. Even in mostly white schools, students are using more slurs and derogatory terms to make fun of other students. Teachers noted it’s hard to tell students to use good behavior when a leading presidential candidate is not. One teacher from Massachusetts explained it’s difficult to figure out how to have a mock debate where students act as the candidates since Trump’s debate antics would typically get students sent to detention.

Quantifiably true, over 2,000 teachers have reported hate spread post Trumpism

Keng Kuek Ser 17 (Kuang is a journalist at PRI, “What’s the ‘Trump Effect’ in schools? Here’s how 2,000 teachers explain it,” http://news.wgbh.org/2017/01/13/politics-government/whats-trump-effect-schools-heres-how-2000-teachers-explain-it)MRS

A kindergarten teacher in Tennessee says that a Latino child asks every day, “Is the wall here yet?” He was told by classmates that he will be deported and blocked from returning home by the wall proposed by presidential candidate Donald Trump. That’s one of 4,796 comments made in response to a Southern Poverty Law Center survey of teachers across the country. The center, an advocacy group that works on civil rights issues, says the 2,000 K-12 teachers who responded to the survey show that hate has spread into schools, and has inflamed racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. The online survey, conducted from March 23 to April 2, asked questions about the impact of the presidential campaign on schoolchildren. According to the report, “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schools,” the teachers’ answers show “an increase in the bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates.” “We’re deeply concerned about the level of fear among minority children who feel threatened by both the incendiary campaign rhetoric and the bullying they’re encountering in school,” says Southern Poverty president Richard Cohen. “We’ve seen Donald Trump behave like a 12 year old, and now we’re seeing 12 year olds behave like Donald Trump.” The tension and fear certainly compound the burden of immigrant students who are already struggling with language barrier, after-school job and family caregiving work. In recent weeks, fans have taunted players — especially Latino players — with “Trump! Trump!” and “Build a wall!” at high school sporting events in Iowa and Indiana.

AT: General

School dress codes create a laundry list of benefits including preserving safety and health for children, and helping students get jobs in the future. Preserving school dress code outweighs fundamental rights

Ramachandran 7 (Gowri, 2007, “Freedom of Dress: State and Private Regulation of Clothing, Hairstyle, Jewelry, Makeup, Tattoos, and Piercing”, http://digitalcommons.law.umaryland.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3289&context=mlr) HDS

The idea that schools must avoid the misattribution of messages communicated by students to the schools themselves has been a prominent factor in the two major Supreme Court cases to uphold restrictions on student speech in public schools—Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser307 and Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. 308 In these two cases, punishment for a sexually suggestive student council nomination speech,309 as well as censorship of a student newspaper article concerning teen pregnancy and sexuality,310 were both upheld because of the school’s interest in controlling its own speech.311 Both the nomination speech and the newspaper article were deemed confusable with school-sponsored views. These cases have been viewed as chipping away at student rights to free speech articulated in Tinker, in which a student’s right to wear a black armband to protest the Vietnam War was upheld against school attempts to forbid the armband.312 While Fraser and Hazelwood have been understood as implicitly overturning Tinker, 313 or as representing narrow exceptions to Tinker that uphold school prerogatives to ban lewd speech or regulate student newspapers,314 we could also distinguish Tinker because it involved the freedom of dress, and thus claims that the student expression at issue in that case were confusable with school sponsored or school administrator speech would have been quite implausible.315 Third, the overlap, and therefore the conflict, between student dress and the most essential aspects of pedagogy and socialization in public schools is actually quite minimal. Typical pedagogical and socialization goals in school are promoting a work ethic, teaching students how to compromise, teaching students how to engage in respectful disagreement, and of course, teaching subjects like English, Math, Art, and History. The kind of pedagogical goals a “charm school” might have are not typical of a public school. Thus, in contrast to verbal speech, dress intersects with core pedagogical functions relatively rarely. For instance, respecting cultural difference in the form of nonstandard English problematically intersects with the pedagogical functions of teaching reading, writing, and speaking. In order to learn standard spelling and grammar, most students need to practice using that standard grammar and spelling on a daily basis, even when they write essays in Biology class, for instance. Learning the skill is not easily compartmentalized. Similarly, any rights of parents to shelter their children from certain concepts, such as sexuality and evolution, conflict quite sharply with traditional tools of pedagogy—the provision of information selected by teachers, the asking of questions selected by teachers, and the promotion of discussion between students that is supervised and directed by teachers. Thus, accommodating a religious student’s request that the equality of men and women not be taught in school, or even that she be excused from that day’s lesson, conflicts sharply with the pedagogical function of teaching American history, as well as the socialization function of promoting sex equality.

Promote school safety

Students’ Rights 5 (Gale Group, databse library, “School Dress Codes Are Necessary and Constitutional”, Cengage’s Gale Group: Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Viewpoints&zid=16e9140de16d4c30d9b8782630d2b0a2&p=OVIC&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010398217&source=Bookmark&u=nysl_sc_horsehs&jsid=881e666edfc3c8c17a1528da9e86fce3) dsk

Feedback on school dress codes has also been positive. According to Don Woodard, a high school principal in Johnston County, the students’ “demeanor is better and there are fewer disruptions because of teasing, or students being uncomfortable because of the apparel that others are wearing.” He also pointed out that the students have more “poise and are more well-behaved when they have the sense of being dressed for the occasion of learning.” Commenting on his school’s dress code, Shelly Marsh, a middle school principal also from Johnston County, said: “We have high expectations…. Students’ attitudes are different according to their dress.” Along with school principals, the U.S. Department of Education has acknowledged the positive effect that school uniforms can have. In their publication “Manual on School Uniforms,” which was ordered to be sent to every school district in the United States by President Clinton, the Department of Education cited the following potential benefits of school uniforms: (1) decreasing violence and theft; (2) preventing gang members from wearing gang clothing at school; (3) instilling student discipline; (4) helping to resist peer pressure; (5) helping students concentrate on academics; and (6) aiding in the recognition of intruders. Of all the potential benefits of school dress policies, none is more important than improving school safety. With student violence constantly making the headlines, the clamor for solutions continues to grow. Safety in schools today is essential, and creating an environment that reduces incidents of intimidation and violence is necessary for students to learn effectively. Unfortunately, the demand for high priced designer clothing often puts students at risk of theft and violence from other students. Clothing that indicates affiliation with gangs is also a problem and can cause intimidation and fear in schools. The National School Safety and Security Services, an organization that consults nationwide on school safety and crisis preparedness issues, supports school uniforms and dress codes as a way to “contribute toward improving the school climate” because it “can play a significant role in reducing security threats and improving school safety.” According to this safety organization, dress codes and uniforms can help reduce potential problems by: (1) reducing conflict stemming from socioeconomic status, such as comments and personal attacks about who has better clothing; (2) reducing ways in which gang members can identify themselves which, in essence, is a form of intimidation and creates fear; (3) reducing the risk of students being robbed of expensive clothing, jewelry, etc.; (4) in the case of uniforms, helping school administrators to more easily identify nonstudents, trespassers, and other visitors in the hallways who stand out in the crowd. Notable evidence of the effects of a student dress policy can be seen from the aftermath of California’s Long Beach school district implementing mandatory school uniforms. Since they began requiring uniforms, crime in the school district has dropped by 91 percent, suspensions have decreased by 90 percent, sex offenses have been reduced by 96 percent and vandalism is down 69 percent. Interestingly, these improvements came about without any other security measures having been implemented at the time uniforms became mandatory. In addition, a study released by the Harvard School of Education found that the Long Beach school district was among six districts in the nation’s 34 largest cities that dramatically reduced their dropout rates. During the past five years, dropout rates have declined from 11.2 to 2.7 percent. The Center for the Prevention of School Violence, though not endorsing any specific dress code policies, points out that each of the “three Ps of school safety”—”place” (physical security of the school), “people” (those in the school) and “purpose” (mission of the school)—can be impacted by school dress policies. This is because dress policies define what is appropriate for the school setting while impacting the way in which people relate and interact with one another. The Center acknowledges that though the research on student dress policies is limited, the anecdotal evidence supports the existence of some form of student dress policy. It is important to remember that the solution to school violence does not lie in one single approach—certainly not in school dress policies alone. Yet, because of the likely benefit of curbing school violence, they should be considered along with other solutions.

Uniforms improve school safety and truancy records.

Gillin15 (Joshua Gillin is a staff writer for PolitiFact Florida and the Tampa Bay Times. He previously was a reporter, editor and blogger for tbt*, the daily tabloid edition of the Times, and has written about media news for The Poynter Institute. A Nebraska native, he has a degree in journalism from his home state university and is a diehard Cornhusker. He has worked in many writing and editing capacities in news, sports and features at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. School uniforms improve school safety and truancy, Rep. Janet Adkins says. http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/apr/02/janet-adkins/school-uniforms-improve-school-safety-and-truancy-/.)

More Florida school districts may soon have millions of reasons to start requiring students to wear uniforms, thanks to a bill that just passed the House. Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, sponsored a bill that would give districts $10 per child to adopt standard attire policies in kindergarten through eighth grade. The state would set aside $10 million in all from the general revenue fund. Similar provisions have been amended to a school bill in the Senate, although without the cash incentive. Adkins said that school uniforms help create a positive learning environment, because it removes distractions. She cited testimony from officials from five Florida school districts that raved about their uniform policies. “They were all saying the same thing, and that is when they implemented a school uniform policy in their schools, the climate, the culture at their schools improved,” Adkins said. “It’s an issue of school safety, helps with school truancy.” A 1996 study of Long Beach, Calif., schools found a marked decrease in fights, sexual violence and weapons possession two years after adopting school uniforms. One researcher we spoke with said that a big part of uniform policies is the perception they make schools safer. Jafeth Sanchez, a research assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, said surveys she gave students at three middle schools showed the kids felt like uniforms curbed violence. “Generally, students do respond honestly to such things – particularly considering that the majority indicated they didn’t like wearing uniforms, even though they actually agreed or strongly agreed with their various benefits,” she said. Research into attendance is another matter, and often the two subjects aren’t studied at the same time. A Youngstown State University study from 2006 looked at Ohio secondary schools and found attendance and graduation rates clearly went up. “Specifically attendance rates in middle and high schools increased by approximately ½ to 1 day per year. Adkins said school uniforms improve school safety and truancy. There are some studies that say there are changes for the better and worse for both school violence and attendance statistics once uniforms are adopted, but there’s hardly a consensus. Even if there is improvement, research suggests the positives are slight — not exactly the evidence Adkins says overwhelmingly supports the benefits of these policies. Some experts think the actual impact on students is negligible or even negative. The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details. We rate it Half True.

School Uniforms make kids safer – mugging, sexual offenses, and gang activity

Kristy15 (Kristy R is a reporter for Our Family World. School Uniforms And Violence: A Closer Look At The Facts. http://www.ourfamilyworld.com/2015/12/08/school-uniforms-violence-closer-look-facts/)

Uniforms used to be something you mainly saw at private schools, but that all changed in 1994 when the Long Beach California School district implemented public school uniforms. According to Public School Review and statistics from the National Center for Education, within one year this school reported fights and muggings decreased by 50% and sexual offenses saw a 74% drop. This information fueled many schools who were dealing with behavioral issues and violence to jump on the bandwagon and start implementing uniforms. The reviews are still mixed as to the effectiveness. According to a study at the University of Nevada, Reno  41% of students reported that there was less gang activity at school since uniforms had been implemented It is also notable that females students in this survey were reporting more benefits to school uniforms than male students. In a similar survey, a school board in Osceola County School Board reports seeing a 46% reduction in gang activity since implementing a uniform policy. The real question is this reduction of violence something we perceive or are there actual changes happening that are impacted by uniforms? Are also currently a large number of schools in city areas wearing uniforms compared to suburban and rural schools. Schools that had a higher free lunch program (with 75% or more of students in the school receiving lunch) and were more likely to be schools where poverty is an issue are more likely to be wearing uniforms. 47 % of schools with a higher free lunch program reported a school uniform policy. Compare that to 6% of schools who reported implementing school uniforms in lower poverty schools, or schools that had 25% or less of students participating in the free lunch program.