GAUNTLET (R2) RESOLVED: Public School Students should be Required to Wear Uniforms in the US
All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.
With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...
BOP is shared.
Please No Solipsism.
Please No Kritiks.
I look forward to a lively debate.
I'm sure I'm forgetting to put something in this description
- Public School - a school supported by public funds .
- Uniform - The distinctive clothing worn by members of the same organization or body or by children attending certain schools .
"Second, the context for this debate is the United States, so let's keep our arguments focused there. Students in Africa, for example, face fundamentally different baseline conditions of existence -- many of them don't even have clothes or shoes to begin with -- so evidence from these countries just isn't comparable. Let's keep our focus on the US."
"On its face, my plan offers students, parents, and educators more flexibility to weigh the pros & cons of uniforms for themselves... Pro's case, in contrast, is rigid, harsh, and unresponsive to the unique needs of particular students. "
" This autonomy right has value in and of itself, and limits shouldn't be imposed without a very compelling reason to do so."
"The protection of an autonomy right is nowhere more vital than in a marketplace of ideas, and public schools function like such a marketplace, educating the nation's future leaders through wide exposure to a robust exchange of ideas...Schooling isn't just about academic achievement but how & what it means to live in a pluralistic democracy...Uniforms interfere with the basic human right to define oneself & to develop one’s own identity at the moment in human development where the need to create & assert self-identity is most acute and developmentally important"
" Uniforms also create an expectation of sameness that eventually morphs into a broader demand for sameness, which gradually weakens our democratic polity until there's nothing left but totalitarianism."
"Uniforms pose a risk of arbitrary enforcement. When educators must apply a uniform code to large numbers of students moving quickly through the hallways of public buildings, they are set up to apply discipline unfairly. Teachers will make different judgments as to what battles are worth fighting. Administrators will focus limited enforcement resources on students who are already on their radar. Students who are perceived as more sexualized (perhaps because of age, race, or other factors) may draw more attention from disciplinary forces for attire that might be ignored when worn by other students. Uniforms thus create an insurmountable risk of arbitrary enforcements."
"In particular, a nationwide uniform requirement would violate states’ rights as protected by the Tenth Amendment, and thus would amount to a form of tyranny that imposes a majoritarian mandate on local governments."
"...But distinguishing adults from students doesn't require uniforms. And identifying dangerous students isn't easier if every student dresses the same. To the contrary, uniforms hide potential dangers like gangs when they replace identification labels with uniforms..."
"Pro says that some teachers saw a decrease in gangs. But perceptions aren’t reality...gang members don't stop being gang members just because they don uniforms."
"Pro’s safety claim also conflicts with numerous studies, including for example a 2007 study in which the introduction of uniforms led to an increase in the number of assaults in a specific school district. "
" Pro says uniforms increase attendance and/or academic performance. But professor David Brunsma argues in detail & with empirical precision that uniforms don’t increase school attendance or academic performance, and he highlights numerous problems with studies that show otherwise.  So the empirical evidence appears to be mixed."
"[Pro’s 6] As Pro's source explains, students spent slightly more time at school but had outcomes no better than when they spent less time at school. "
"When teachers waste time measuring hem lengths, or evaluating cleavage exposure, it leaves less time for teaching or monitoring actual behavioral problems"
"This must be why Pro doesn’t specify any specific benefit to increased attendance: his source shows that there isn’t any when uniforms are involved. "
"1. I’m fairly confident Pro hasn’t ever been to Africa, or he wouldn’t be using it as a model for policy in the US. Again, don’t compare the two because the broader social, economic, and political contexts don’t allow for comparison. I'm actually from Africa, so this is a bit personal to me. Pro simply doesn't know what he's talking about here. "
"Even worse, Pro’s Kenya study doesn't say what Pro thinks. In short, the study didn’t evaluate the effect of imposing uniforms (Kenya already had a nationwide uniform requirement). Instead, the study evaluates the effect of providing free uniforms. This resulted in cheaper access to education, which unsurprisingly led to increased attendance. [Pro’s 5]"
"2. Pro’s  refers to a UH study. The study itself states that uniforms had no impact on elementary students, and a slight improvement in middle & high school students’ attendance. The study also found no overall improvement in academic achievement, as well as “increases in disciplinary infractions in levels models that are concentrated in boys and small drops in Hispanic reading scores.” "
"Perceptions-aside, the empirical evidence shows that violent assaults increased in some schools that required uniforms. "
"Pro says that uniforms prevent gangs from hiding weapons in “baggy clothes,” but that won’t stop gangs from hiding weapons in a sportcoat or backpack"
"Again, Pro offers no evidence that gangs stop being gangs just because they don uniforms. "
"2. Pro doesn’t contest the findings of professor David Brunsma, which show with empirical precision that uniforms don’t increase school attendance or academic performance."
"Pro drops my argument that uniform enforcement creates unnecessary tension between students & educators,"
" But Pro doesn’t say how any of this leads to better academic achievement for all students."
" We adapt uniform policy to the unique needs of specific students, parents, and educators, allowing people to weigh the pros & cons for themselves, instead of having the government paternalistically impose its vision on everyone."
"How much of an increase in safety & performance would justify abridging our basic human rights...Students must therefore have the freedom to discover & express ideas in public schools without authoritarian selection"
"Pro says uniforms prepare children for workplaces. But many workplaces don’t have uniforms."
"Fashion choices also facilitate the formation of relationships with friends, acquaintances, and strangers, and discovering how this process works in public spaces is a large part of growing up."
"Pro says that uniforms don’t necessarily create an expectation of sameness. But how could they not?"
"Pro says I commit a slippery slope fallacy. But slippery slopes aren’t fallacies, it’s just a way of thinking about an issue...it’s precisely how totalitarian governments have formed from the ashes of democracy, time & time again."
" Pro completely drops my argument re: equality & the punishment of people in relation to ethnicity, gender, culture, religion, politics, and class."
" But if you have “free dress,” there’s no enforcement."
"Pro drops my argument that his plan violates numerous constitutional protections, including substantive due process rights, equal protection rights, first amendment protections (including freedom to practice religion)."
"Pro says that every state individually decides to implement his code, avoiding the states rights’ issue, but that’s a hypothetical. The resolution calls for a nationwide uniform requirement, and that means there must be some enforcement at the federal level, or some states might go rogue & implement my plan instead. How will Pro keep states from going rogue under his plan? "