Dress codes create positive environment for students

Caroline Cooney, Editor in Chief

As I stand staring into my closet, all I can see are tangible fragments of my stress. An hour has already passed and several combinations of different clothing options are well exhausted in my search for a socially acceptable outfit. The longer I stare, the higher my anxiety level increases.

These high levels of anxiety and stress are inevitable when dress down days take place.

Imagine attending a school where every night you experience these emotions while you pick out the outfit for the following day – it’s not one I would like to attend.

Although I realize that I am stressed more than the average person, it is common for people to worry about dress down days and whether they will be overdressed or underdressed when compared to their friends.

Fortunately, JC’s uniform policy eliminates these stressors and creates a positive atmosphere that allows us to not only explore our creative mind-set by encouraging us to express ourselves in more creative ways, but also to be able to unite as a community.

According to a survey conducted in 2013 by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, school leaders who have a school uniform policy in place believe that it has made a “positive impact on peer pressure and bullying.”

A mandatory school uniform eliminates pressure to have the “trendiest” styles and to dress the same way as everyone else.

As a result, students are able to focus more on their academics instead of having to worry about choosing an outfit each night.

This helps create a positive atmosphere that encourages achievement rather than one that focuses on who’s wearing the most expensive brand.

Uniforms do not limit one’s ability to express themselves and their beliefs. Rather they encourage others to find a creative way to do so.

In the Supreme Court Case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, students were suspended after wearing black armbands to show their opposition to the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court declared that students’ constitutional right to free speech “does not relate to regulation of the length of skirts or type of clothing.”

This means that students still have the opportunity to express their own individuality while still in uniform.

Having uniforms encourages students to explore other ways to express themselves rather than relying on their clothes to do it for them. Oftentimes, students do this by wearing pins on their jackets or skirts as well as putting stickers on their laptops.

By wearing a school uniform every day, we present ourselves as a large community and are able to connect through the one thing we all have in common: we are JC students who strive for excellence.

Wearing a uniform each day helps us be easily identifiable and can provide a professional look to outsiders.

Overall, uniforms relieve students from the stress of choosing an outfit each night. The positive atmosphere that is established allows us to explore our own individuality by finding creative ways to express ourselves and to identify as an entire community together.

Caroline Cooney is the Editor in Chief of The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.