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School Uniforms School uniforms are creeping back into the classroom as a way to bring back a sense of community and promote a better learning environment in schools Proponents have linked school uniforms to fewer behavior problems and higher academic achievement while also promoting school pride and self-esteem The practice began in Long Beach California five years ago and the schools there have seen a sharp drop in vandalism and crime In the past few years several other major US cities have also taken up the practice including Chicago Dallas Sacramento Phoenix Seattle Kansas City Memphis and Baltimore All of these cities have seen the same effects from the introduction of uniforms as the Long Beach experiment has shown Last year the Board of Education for the nations largest school system in New York voted unanimously to recommend that elementary-school pupils start wearing uniforms although they will not be mandatory Individual schools will be allowed to decide whether to have uniforms and at schools where uniforms are adopted parents will have the final choice on whether their child will wear a uniform For those who cant afford the uniforms financial aid will be available Board of education member Carol Gresser thinks that the wearing of school uniforms improves the tone of a school and helps young people put the focus on who they are and what they know and what they think rather than on what they wear On the other hand some parents and students say the money would be better spent on books and that a uniform dress code will stifle not stimulate creativity The New York Civil Liberties Union has promised to sue if any student is coerced into wearing a uniform or punished for not wearing one On the national front the ACLU has also taken up against the adoption of school uniforms Loren Siegel director of the public education department of the ACLU has written The call for
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