The Value of School Uniforms
||The subject of implementing the use of school uniforms into
schools has been circulating for years, gaining momentum during the late 1980's and
increasing steadily throughout the early 1990's.
The movement has received several boosts in the last year or two, the
biggest being President Clinton's endorsement of the use of school uniforms during his
State of the Union address in January of 1996. Concerning student safety, he said:
"...school uniforms are one step that may be able to help break this cycle of
violence, truancy and disorder by helping young students understand that what really
counts is what kind of people they are, what's on the inside." As part of his
efforts, the Department of Education distributed a manual to all the nations 16,000 school
districts with suggestions on how to make school uniforms mandatory and reviews of several
This nationwide uniform effort is rooted in strategies being developed to
assist in restoring order to unruly classrooms, promote self-discipline and a greater
responsibility for personal appearance, improve self-esteem among the student population,
and invoke a higher feeling of school pride and community within the school.
A uniform should also, over a period of time, reduce the cost of providing
school clothes and reduce the competition of students based on name-brand clothing.
There have been several successful programs implemented during the past few
years, with the Long Beach, California program being by far the most widely reviewed and
written about. The program began in the fall of 1994 and requires uniforms for 70,000
students from K-8th grades. With a 98% compliance rate, results during their first years
have been dramatic. The first year alone, the school saw a 43% reduction in suspensions,
54% fewer fights, 70% reduction in substance abuse, over 20% fewer cases of weapons
possession and robbery, and over 50% reduction in reports of battery against employees.
Other school systems nationwide reported similar statistics. And while those improvements
cannot be linked entirely to the use of school uniforms, they are none the less part of a
growing trend seen as school uniforms.
From our experience here at Catholic Supply, we believe the following factors
need to be considered when establishing a school uniform policy:
#1 The program will work best if
it is mandatory.
#2 It is better to begin the
program in lower grades (K-5) and let
the policy grow with the students into the
#3 Your school should only deal
with a qualified uniform retailer
who carries a full selection of quality
#4 Choosing the style of garments
should involve parents,
students, teachers and administration.
#5 Garments should be durable and
readily available in all sizes
from a source that stocks the uniform all year.
#6 The program must address and
provide for seasonal options.
#7 A uniform recycling program
where uniforms are sold/traded
is helpful to parents.
Thank you for visiting our school uniform web site!
For more information or to schedule a presentation of our products and services, please
contact Jan at (314) 644-0643 or