School Uniforms the Legal Debate Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Schools are legally allowed to mandate uniforms for sports as well as protective gear. The ACLU notes that school administrators can make students "wear special stuff like the gym uniforms or goggles if they are needed to protect" them. Although schools cannot restrict hairstyles, certain they can ban certain types of clothing ranging from low-rise jeans that show panties to trench coats that might conceal weapons. The courts can and do balance public safety needs with First Amendment rights. School uniforms are not necessary to improve school safety, even if dress codes might be.

Legal precedent proves that school uniforms pose a genuine threat to student freedoms and constitutional rights: those protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. School uniforms are unconstitutional because they prevent students from expressing their allegiance with social organizations or with their religious and cultural heritage. Clothing can become means of self-expression and identity formation for young people. Thus, courts have ruled on the side of civil liberties enough to remind public school districts and their administrators to cease wasting valuable taxpayer money on fighting unnecessary legal battles. Dress codes are sufficient means of securing safety, and do so without compromising the core values upon which the nation was founded.

References

American Civil Liberties Union ACLU (ND). Student freedom of expression. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.aclu-il.org/legal/highschool/teachers/freedomexpression.shtml

Booth, M. (2007). Federal Judge: First Amendment Bars School's Ban on 'Hitler Youth' Badges. New Jersey Law Journal. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1190278978670 deMitchell, T.A., Fossey, R., and Cobb, C. (2000). Dress codes in the public schools: principals, policies, and precepts. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=info:jPVgHos_DKwJ:scholar.google.com/&output=viewport&pg=1

Felch, R.F. (nd). "School Uniforms: Prevention or Suppression?" Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.gate.net/~rwms/UniformRay.html

Hudson, D.L. (2009). Clothing, dress codes, and uniforms. First Amendment Center. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/speech/studentexpression/topic.aspx?topic=clothing_dress_codes_uniforms

Learning, J. (1999). Public school dress code challenged on religious-liberty grounds. FreedomForum. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=8553

Pyle v. School Committee of South Hadley. First Amendment Center. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 form http://www.firstamendmentschools.org/freedoms/case.aspx?id=1680

Simonson, M.E. (1997). School Uniforms: A Blueprint for Legal Challenges. The entity from which ERIC acquires the content, including journal, organization, and conference names, or by means of online submission from the author. Inquiry & Analysis, p1-7. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED426488&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED426488

United States Department of Education. (1996). Manual on School Uniforms. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.ed.gov/updates/uniforms.html

Sources Used in Document:

References

American Civil Liberties Union ACLU (ND). Student freedom of expression. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.aclu-il.org/legal/highschool/teachers/freedomexpression.shtml

Booth, M. (2007). Federal Judge: First Amendment Bars School's Ban on 'Hitler Youth' Badges. New Jersey Law Journal. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1190278978670 deMitchell, T.A., Fossey, R., and Cobb, C. (2000). Dress codes in the public schools: principals, policies, and precepts. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=info:jPVgHos_DKwJ:scholar.google.com/&output=viewport&pg=1

Felch, R.F. (nd). "School Uniforms: Prevention or Suppression?" Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.gate.net/~rwms/UniformRay.html

Hudson, D.L. (2009). Clothing, dress codes, and uniforms. First Amendment Center. Retrieved Feb 12, 2009 at http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/speech/studentexpression/topic.aspx?topic=clothing_dress_codes_uniforms

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