Pre-debate votes: For- 16; Against- 10; Undecided- 8
Post-debate votes: For- 5; Against- 21; Undecided- 9
I think it is quite clear that the Opposition succesfully overturned the motion.
Proposition: Uniforms stifle self-experession, and students try to express themselves in other ways that may not be acceptable, such as jewellery and make-up. A uniform is an additional expense, and is useless once one leaves the school gates. Teachers waste time enforcing the dress code when they could actually be focussing on the lesson. Also, the uniform does not address individual comfort needs- comfort maximizes learning. Students modify their uniforms anyway, so the purpose of standardization is not met. At this age, there is a need to express oneself through forms of dress, and uniforms take away that outlet. The argument that dress code equates with academic performance is not valid because not all schools that use uniforms do well academically. Whether there is a dress code or not, students do discriminate against each other, thus proving that there are other reasons for the discrimination, unrelated to the dress code. (I like the way George Orwell’s ‘1984’ was brought in at this point, to highlight the lack of freedom that a uniform represents!)
Opposition: There are other ways for students to express themselves- not just through their dress. Teachers provide plenty of such opportunities through their lessons, and if there were no dress code, then teachers would have to spend more time addressing the issue of inappropriate outfits. Students can spend more time on their work if they do not have to waste time picking out the perfect outfit, and they do not have to worry about looking fashionable. There will also be less discrimination, as the uniform will be a social leveller- less time will be spent on maintaining social status, and more time on character development and learning. The uniform is also an important tool for security, allowing places such as arcades to close their doors to students, while at the same time helping school personnel to differentiate actual students from trespassers. In any case, the uniform only needs to be worn for a few hours a day. It promotes a sense of self-discipline and a good self-image. In addition, if a student faces financial difficulties, the school will pay for the uniform. However it is difficult for the school to pay for any other clothes as they may not actually be used in school.
It seems to me that many people might have something to say about this.