Lee P Butler

The school uniform debate.
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Article as seen in the paper.


What exactly is the importance of school uniforms as it relates to the functionality of any public school system and it's rationale towards the promotion of individualism among the student population?

In the mid-Nineties a socialist mentality of deconstructing the familial attitude of promoting individuality began to grow in pitch throughout the politically correct community. Liberals saw this as an opportunity for them to create a new and wonderful bastion of attacks on working middle class families despite the reality that promoting individualism had prospered in American society for centuries.

One of the largest venues that could best be used to advance this liberal agenda quickly and reach the most people effectively was through the public school system. In the world of the politically correct, the public school system is not a center for the advancement of higher education and a communal setting where our children can learn about relationships, the need to work with others and the importance of striving to be the best you can be.

No, for these people the public school system should be a socialistic society of governmental intervention in which no child should be allowed to excel beyond their peers academically, athletically or socially. Pushing the envelope a little farther to the left, these people want the public schools to be governmentally funded daycare, such as Governor Easley's More at Four program, where kids can be taught all societal lessons in lieu of the parents.

This liberal steamroller began to really lay tarmac on the landscape of America at the behest of ex-president Bill Clinton in his 1996 State of the Union Address where he announced, "I challenge all our schools to teach character education, to teach good values and good citizenship." That's really touching, but isn't it enough that our already over-stressed teachers should simply educate our children and leave the rest up to the parents?

He continued in the same speech, "And if it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms." Is that really the crux of the issue that started the maelstrom of school uniforms? Or did it just open the door for liberals to attack over-achievers and limit individuality through the oft-used tactic of envy and class warfare. Private schools don't have these problems and they have uniforms, they theorized.

Every time liberals pit the poor against the rich it is the working middle class who ultimately pays the price. These families make up the largest group of constituents in the school uniform debate and whether they're for or against uniforms, cost is the most poignant issue of all to them. Is the financial strain this issue puts on these families really necessary to create an environment of conformity and constraint in the county school system? Should every family in effect be punished fiscally because a few parents aren't providing or making sure that their children are wearing clothing that adheres to the school dress code?

You may have a choice in deciding to work in a profession that requires you to wear a uniform that may or may not be provided by the employer, but if a school mandates a uniform policy, you have no choice. If a school requires uniforms, that decision should reflect the social attitude of the community it serves and nothing more. Having children wear the same clothing doesn't change the individualism that's expressed through each child's ideology, intellect, and creativity. These things can't be governmentally mandated or subsidized through the use of school uniforms, they are best nurtured in the family environment.

Lee P. Butler

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