"This sameness works to weaken the feeling that has done so much damage in our world, that of the individual."

The first step in brainwashing someone is also to break down one's sense of self and individuality, but I'm sure that comparison is unfair and has no bearing on this topic.


As any fellow Catholic school survivor can tell you; no matter what the uniform requirements, rich kids will still look rich and poor kids will still look poor.


Eh, I’m cool with uniforms, although students clothing isn’t super high on my must-fix list for Seattle schools. First, lower class sizes, fund special ed (lawsuit waiting to happen), buy supplies, enriching field trips for all...


@2 - Ditto. And yes. But regardless of that uniforms do still have the effect of ^reducing^ class differences. So Mudede's point stands.


We don’t need all these different options. Picking out milk takes forever because there’s an dizzying array of choices that take up an entire aisle. Online takes even longer as you scroll through hundreds of varieties of simple items like TP.

Proof we have too many options is easy. The most beloved grocery store chain is Trader Joe’s. A store which has one option for most items, and definitely fewer than ten. People are spoiled on their super-specific individual desires being catered to, and it’s killing our ecosystems.


Scroll down to the uniform policy. Go Panthers!


Good Evening Charles,
I don't have a problem with uniforms. But, I believe segregation by gender would better for middle and high school students. There would be far less distraction at adolescence for both genders.

As I recall Charles, you once remarked on SLOG that you favored separation of the sexes in school.


@7 Interesting paper on that topic. In short, there's no evidence that segregating learning environments by sex are beneficiary OR harmful (I wouldn't have known either way without reading this).


Uniforms, separation of younger girls and boys, and some instruction of moral values for students.
Why this sounds like --- Catholic School!
Great idea!


There is already a uniform in Seattle public schools. If you are a white female, you're a VSCO girl. If you are a not white female, you are also a VSCO girl. If you are a not white boy you look like Chance the Rapper. Also if you are a white boy.


I'm sympathetic to the argument that uniforms could reduce student's perception of class differences, but...
Too much is sacrificed to gain too little. Kids can work it out.
The bewilderment of choice is an unavoidable aspect of modernism.
The core value should be encouraging individuals to know themselves and they can only do that through self-expression.


2 and #10 cover most of it. School kids already wear uniforms if their own devising. Every girl 10 and up has a Fjallraven Kanken pack and every boy wears athletic wear (tights under shorts, UnderArmour hoodies). But if they were all in khaki pants/skorts and white shirts, you would still know who came to school in an Escalade and who rode the yellow bus.


Don't worry, some kids can still show off with a pair of $300 Air Jordans, instead of, say, good grades.


"you would still know who came to school in an Escalade and who rode the yellow bus"

Escalade? Oh dear, Audi Tiguan or Tesla now in Seattle, unless your parents are hardcore white "progressives" and your kid has dyed blue hair, in which case it's still the standard Lesbaru.

An Escalade is far, gangsta.


@12: Absolutely.


In theory I agree 100%, but in my experience as a teacher, when I’ve worked in uniform schools way too much of my job is taken up with uniform enforcement. I’m really not interested in creating that dynamic with kids as I feel it runs contra to a safe supportive learning environment I try to create in my classroom and instead creates all these power struggles over coloured accessories or other bullshit I really don’t care about. So in summary, great in theory but tiresome and counterproductive in practice.


Uniforms are great, so long as they're not a burden on cash strapped parents. I remember being a child and my parents having to choose uniforms over transportation maintenance, which was a big deal given we lived in a desert town with no public transportation so cars were mandatory for employment that was sometime 40-50 miles away.

There has to be a provision for allowances for needy families and assurances that it won't be lock in to a specific company providing the uniforms. You should be able to wear roughly equivalent uniform options and it should be broad enough that said clothing is easily acquired from a number of stores.

Even with all that in place, there is still the reality that humans will find a way to discriminate on the most minor of differences. You wore the same shirt two years in a row? Your skirt is last year's plaid pattern? You bought a used school blazer at good will? Same clothes, current model? They'll just move on to where you live, do you ride the bus/walk? There is nothing more atrociously cruel than an adored child; I have first hand experience they will notice even the most minor of differences. We're kind of a shit species.

Either way, if you want a case in how bad uniform costs can get, just Google "Japan uniform expense problem."

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.