Dress Codes on Gang Violence Research Paper

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Since gang-related clothing is usually color coded, children wearing certain types of clothing may make them unwitting targets for violence" (p. 40). As to the effect these policies have on gang-related violence, Gullatt cites a dearth of timely research in this area but reports the results of a survey of educators in 15 states who said they believed that public school uniforms would diminish the threat of gang violence in the local school and state officials from 16 states concurred that school uniforms would "increase the total school harmony and positively affect the learning atmosphere of the local schools" (p. 40). Likewise, a school district in Illinois was considering implementing a dress code for their schools based solely on the belief that, "With everyone similarly dressed the threat of gang violence related to what students wear is reduced" (Wong, 2000, p. 1). In addition, a study by West, Tidwell, Bomba and Alexander reports only that "Uniforms reduce situations that may be dangerous, for example, less gang violence [and] fewer students assaulting and murdering each other for clothes" (p. 92). If they were available, I would ask Gullatt, Wong and West and his associates, "Where are the students in this ongoing debate?" After all, they are the ones with the most at stake. This point was addressed by Hoge, Foster, Nickell and Field (2002) who note, "School dress codes may not end dress-related controversies. On the contrary, such policies raise a multitude of issues and problems that call for careful thought, meaningful deliberation, and prudent school governance policies" (p. 284). These authors add that most young people want to express themselves in ways that help them develop a sense of individuality and identity; overly restrictive dress codes (uniforms included) may inhibit this process (Hoge et al., 2002). Moreover, Goldman (1997) emphasizes that many Hispanic students wear clothing that are expressions of their cultural heritage with no relationship to gang activity. Taken together, although my original thinking about gang violence and dress codes was confirmed, the confirmation was largely based on suppositions, opinions and beliefs rather than any hard evidence that supports the effectiveness of dress codes in preventing gang-related violence.

Research Log

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Cronkhite, C.L. (2005, May). Fostering community partnerships that prevent crime and promote quality of life. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 74(5), 7-8.

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Lopez, R.A. (2003). The Long Beach Unified School District uniform initiative: a prevention-intervention strategy for urban schools. The Journal of Negro Education,

72(4), 396-397.

3.

Griffin, M. & Meacham, M. (2002). Gangs in schools: An introduction to the problem and interventions. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 5(4), 15-16.

4.

Klein, M.W. (1997). The American street gang: Its nature, prevalence, and control. New York: Oxford University Press.

5.

Herbon, B. & Workman, J.E. (2000). Dress and appearance codes in public secondary school handbooks. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 92(5), 68-69.

6.

Gullatt, D.E. (1999). Rationales and strategies for amending the school dress code to accommodate student uniforms. American Secondary Education, 27(4), 39-40.

7.

Wong, D.T. (2000, March 10). North school might enact dress code for students.

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Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), 1.

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West, C.K., Tidwell, K.K., Bomba, A.K. & Elmore, P.A. (1999). Attitudes of parents about school uniforms. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 91(2), 92-93.

9.

Hoge, J., Foster, S.J., Nickell, P. & Field, S.L. (2002). Mandatory school uniforms: A

debate for students. Social Education, 66(5), 284-285.

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Goldman, D.S. (1997). Encounters with folklore. Journal of Folklore Research, 34(2),

References

Cronkhite, C.L. (2005, May). Fostering community partnerships that prevent crime and promote quality of life. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 74(5), 7-8.

Goldman, D.S. (1997). Encounters with folklore. Journal of Folklore Research, 34(2), 123.

Griffin, M. & Meacham, M. (2002). Gangs in schools: An introduction to the problem and interventions. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 5(4), 15-16.

Gullatt, D.E. (1999). Rationales and strategies for amending the school dress code to accommodate student uniforms. American Secondary Education, 27(4), 39-40.

Herbon, B. & Workman, J.E. (2000). Dress and appearance codes in public secondary school handbooks. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 92(5), 68-69.

Hoge, J., Foster, S.J., Nickell, P. & Field, S.L. (2002). Mandatory school uniforms: A debate for students. Social Education, 66(5), 284-285

Klein, M.W. (1997). The…[continue]

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