Does wearing a school uniform improve student behavior?

Does wearing a school uniform improve student behavior?

About half of schools around the country have dress codes policies. A dress code identifies what clothes cannot be worn to school. A school uniform policy defines what clothes must be worn to school. Dress codes limit clothing options while school uniforms define clothing options.

Schools claim that when students come in uniforms, it improves discipline and leads to academic gains. The Bossier Parish School Board in Louisiana enacted a uniform policy in 2001 in order to increase test scores and reduce disciplinary problems.

However, such mandatory policies that decide what students can or cannot wear to schools, have led to free speech violations lawsuits. Students allege such policies are unconstitutional, as they restrict their freedom of expression.

By: Todd A. DeMitchell. Professor of Education, and Professor of Justice Studies, University of New Hampshire

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