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BECAUSEBECAUSEBECAUSECON: Students shouldnot have to wearuniforms.1.11. School uniformsrestrict students'freedom ofexpression.2.1The First Amendmentof the US Constitutionguarantees that allindividuals have theright to expressthemselves freely.3.1This Constitutionalright extends tostudents' freedom todress themselves.3.2The US SupremeCourt stated in Tinkerv. Des MoinesIndependentCommunity SchoolDistrict (7-2, 1969)that "it can hardly beargued that eitherstudents or teachersshed theirconstitutional rightsto freedom of speechor expression at theschoolhouse gate."4.1Clothing choices are"a crucial form of self-expression,"according to theAmerican CivilLiberties Union ofNevada.4.2In the 1970case Richards v.Thurston (3-0), whichrevolved around aboy refusing to havehis hair cut shorter,the US First CircuitCourt of Appealsruled that "compelledconformity toconventionalstandards ofappearance" does not"seem a justifiablepart of theeducational process."4.3"Allowing students tochoose their clothingis an empoweringmessage from theschools that a studentis a maturing personwho is entitled to themost basic self-determination." -ACLU Nevada3.3Clothing is a popularmeans of expressingsupport for varioussocial causes, andcompulsory uniformslargely remove thatoption.3.475 students atFriendly High Schoolin Prince George'sCounty, MD, receivedin-school suspensionsfor breaking theschool's uniformrestrictionsby wearing pink shirtsto support BreastCancer AwarenessMonth.4.42. School uniformspromote conformityover individuality.2.2At a time whenschools areencouraging anappreciation ofdiversity, enforcingstandardized dresssends a contradictorymessage.3.5Chicago junior highschool student KylerSumter wrote inthe Huffington Post:"They decide to teachus about people likeRosa Parks, Susan B.Anthony and BookerT. Washington... Welearn about howthese peopleexpressed themselvesand conquered andwe can't even expressourselves in thehallways."4.5Troy Shuman, asenior in HarfordCounty, MD, said theintroduction of amandatory uniformpolicy to his schoolwould be "teachingconformity andsquelching individualthought. Just think ofprisons and gangs.The ultimatesocializer to crushrebellion isconformity inappearance. If aschool system startsat clothes, wheredoes it end?"4.6In schools whereuniforms arespecifically gendered(girls must wear skirtsand boys must wearpants),transgendered,gender-fluid, andgender-nonconformingstudents can feelostracized.3.6Seamus, a 16-year-oldtransgendered boy,stated, "sitting in ablouse and skirt allday made me feelinsanely anxious. Iwasn't takenseriously. This isatrocious anddamaging to a youngperson's mentalhealth; that uniformnearly destroyed me."4.7Late satirist GeorgeCarlin asked, "Don'tthese schools doenough damage,making all thesechildren think alike?Now they're gonnaget them to lookalike, too?"3.73. School uniforms donot stop bullying andmay increase violentattacks.2.3Tony Volk, PhD,Associate Professor atBrock University,stated, "Overall, thereis no evidence inbullying literaturethat supports areduction in violencedue to schooluniforms."3.8A peer-reviewedstudy found that"school uniformsincreased the averagenumber of assaults byabout 14 [per year] inthe most violentschools.3.9A Texas SouthernUniversity studyfound that schooldiscipline incidentsrose by about 12%after the introductionof uniforms.3.10According to theMiami-Dade CountyPublic Schools Officeof EducationEvaluation andManagement, fightsin middle schoolsnearly doubled withinone year ofintroducingmandatory uniforms.3.11

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