Toy Soldiers
Ever since the beginning of time people have been dressing in ways that describe
their cultural background, social status, and sometimes even their religion. I
do not see why this deep tradition should be changed, throwing children of
different backgrounds all into the same unifying clothing. I did not go to a
school where I had to wear a uniform, so I do not exactly have a firsthand idea
of what it would be like to wear one. I do know though, that I would feel
uncomfortable. The way I dress is something that I take pride in and put effort
into. That might sound corny, or strange, but I really do not give a damn! I
enjoy looking good, everybody does, however not everybody will admit it. As a
senior in high school I was voted best dressed, a huge accomplishment if you
went to the school that I did. All of my friends, all of the girls that I was
interested in, and even most of the teachers dressed with a certain passion, the
passion to impress others with their outward appearance. While reading a recent
article in the Chicago Tribune by Lauren Waters, I found that Dr. Harold

Goldstein held the same opinions on the subject of school uniforms as I do. Dr.

Goldstein is the school superintendent of the Bethlehem Trinity Lutheran School

System, in Poughkeepsie, NY. Dr. Goldstein was asked to make a speech for the

National Reading Council on the topic of school uniforms, in the article he was
quoted as saying: "In all of the fifteen years I have been teaching, I have
never seen a school that resembles an institution atmosphere as much as the

B.T.L.S.S. At first we believed that the school uniform would improve academics
and increase order in the classroom, but in reality, we now have an UN-spirited
group of children who no longer enjoy attending their own school"(Waters,

121). In this case, the school not only had a decrease in academics, it was
turned into an almost drone like atmosphere. I feel that if school uniforms were
implemented, this passion and desire to look good would be diminished. I mean,
how much control can you possibly have with your appearance, when you are told
what to wear. Originality is something that would also be destroyed. There would
be no more trend setters, or fashion experimentation. Thus, style would come to
a complete halt! Now I know that I am making this all sound very dramatic, but I
am trying to make a point here. Also, as I said in the introduction, many people
dress in affiliation with their religion or culture. If school uniforms were
brought into effect, what would happen to the Jewish kids that had to wear a

Yamalka? Could Muslim children wear head wraps, or could Christians even wear
crosses? This is another problem that would arise. Christopher Bishop, a writer
for Time Magazine, researched the idea of having school uniforms in several

Texas public schools. Bishop found the biggest problem was for the children of
the Middle East, who were unable to wear their traditional wraps and cultural
robes. "...in most cases the children were forced to just up and change
schools, and move to different community"(Bishop, 77). Kids would always be
trying to squeeze a little more freedom out of the system. Where do you draw the
line? What is wrong with kids dressing in all black with fishnet stalking on
their arms? In my opinion, nothing, it is just different. Let kids express
themselves. Let the Indians wear their full body sheets, and the cowboys wear
their oversized belt buckles. The child’s clothing is not what’s causing the
problem; it is their upbringing. The final problem that I see with school
uniforms, or atlas the last one I can think of, is money. I do not have the
faintest idea how some people can see school uniforms as being cheaper. It is
not like the kids are going to wear those ugly things everywhere. What kind of
social leper is going to wear blue trousers and penny loafers to play ball on
the weekend? Parents are still going to have to fork out money for regular
clothes. Also, what happens when an article of the uniform gets ripped, torn, or
stained? There goes a bunch more money for replacements. In a recent pole taken
in New York of 1,000 parents who had to wear school uniforms in the past and are
now faced with dilemma of sending their children to school that has uniforms,

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