Despite what certain people say the evidence about school uniforms is that they are NOT good.
What ‘certain people’ say is inevitably ill-informed, misinformed, inaccurate, misleading, unscientific – and, considering where it comes from, the mouths out of which it comes, improper.
That ‘improperness’ is important. It comes from the mouths of people paid to lead and show exemplary conduct, people paid respect and given priorities and considerations not given the rest of us. To mouth illconsidered ( and that’s a leaning-back politeness, of course, it would well be they considered carefully before pronouncing their misleading junk) statements influencing policies that cause considerable disturbance, difficulty and even economic hardship is reprehensible in the extreme.
Look here now: The Sydney Morning Herald publishes directions to the truth.
This study can be seen Here (if you’ve the access or are prepared to pay for it).
These studies though DON’T tell the full story.
They study academic parameters or the ludicrous nebulous parameters put forward by lovers of uniforms ( ‘esprit de corps’, ‘feeling of community’ etc…) and inevitably after expense of much money and time, find negative correlations if any.
Then they publish these facts and these facts are carefully ignored by those lovers-of-uniforms and haters-of-individuality (why are these people challenged, frightened of, hiding from, individual children and their personalities, abilities, life forces?).
What they DON’T investigate and DON’T publish facts about is the strain and turmoil, the pain and disturbance and hardship brought about within families by the introduction of these farcical play actings.
Strain between children and parents apparently (my children are not yet adolescent) grows as the children near school-leaving and become ever more sensitive to their own appearance.
Strain for the parents I can vouch for. The hassle of looking for clothes every morning to clothe children hell bent on destroying every article of clothing they’ve ever owned, or hiding it, or throwing it away and at the very least dirtying every single item the minute it comes in from the line is only vastly increased by some tyrannical dictate that one finds a clean, untorn UNIFORM item every morning.
Add to that the financial cost and we’ve already racked up a fair weight of problems, difficulties, impositions and intrusions upon one’s life.
But there is, of course, even more, because one is supposed to shop for these things. One is expected to dutifully get into the wheels and trundle down to the shops and shop for the appropriate items. A great demand on time, energy, fuel, resources and one to which I take great exception.
Add all that in and then you’ve got an assessment of the effect of school uniforms. Then you are somewhere near an appraisal of the actual efficacy of the things.
But even then the picture is not complete. No scientific study would really be complete. For there’s the whole question of implementation. How are these policies implemented? How are they devised? How much of these methodologies is within their authority? Clearly disseminating false information is not. How much more are they doing that they have no right to do?
In other words implementation of uniform policies also includes the area of proper conduct of administrators and educators: hiding under a masquerade of promoting proper conduct for students – raising hoops and bars and hurdles and insisting that students negotiate this obstacle course in order to prove ‘proper conduct’ – and imposing the same on parents – these people meanwhile hide the fact that their own conduct is sadly – SADLY. Because we want good educators and we want them on our side and we want to be on their side. SADLY. – sadly miscreant.
Listen: MY CHILD IS NOT IN SCHOOL TO APPEAR AS A BLOODY IDENTICAL DAISY IN YOUR DAISY CHAIN OF CLONES – HE IS THERE FOR AN EDUCATION!!!
Why can’t they understand this?
And there’s the rub. They obviously cannot understand that this business has nothing to do with education. They cannot understand scientific evidence. They will not even search for it. They cannot understand truth – they utter misleading or obviously false utterances. They cannot, it seems, conduct themselves as they should – given the positions they are in, the tasks they have.
THEY SHOULD BE SACKED!!
Or given remedial education of some sort. They are not doing their jobs. They are being stupid and false and bad.
And it is the duty of the Minister and the Department to see this.
How can it be otherwise? The facts are plain. The facts are simple.
There are three features to the uniform question, two of them never mentioned, generally:
. Efficacy in the claimed academic context.
. Effect upon the parents, the home, the parent/child relation, the parent/school relation.
. Proper conduct context of the administrators/educators promoting and implementing these policies.
In each of these three areas we see clear failure of the good.
No efficacy in any study. Harm at home. Improper conduct at school.
Why don’t the educators see this? THAT is the over-riding question. Why don’t they see these things?
1. They don’t care about academic efficacy.
They only want our children to look like peas in a pod. Thereby reducing their status and their individuality and potential threat as a workload and real challenge to them.
2. They don’t care about the home, about you or me.
About the parents, about the child at home and his/her relationship with the parents or about the harm the school is doing there. A whole sociological study in itself.
3. They don’t care about their own proper conduct.
They feel they are above the law, laws unto themselves. They feel they teach – ‘teach’ everyone and everything… they are the ‘teachers’ therefore they ‘know’ and the rest of us don’t. Therefore no one can direct them in any way. Therefore they are above the law.
And that’s the nub of it.
A vast canker within our educational system. Education gone badly wrong.
So the situation we have at South Primary School, Murray Bridge is this:
The Principal says that:
On the grounds of no evidence for any benefit and with total disregard for any harm, damage or inconvenience to parents or students and without regard to what I can properly do or not I command that you all immediately comply with my mandatory school uniform policy…..
because I like to walk through a sea of maroon.
How’s that? You want your child educated by that sort of attitude? That sort of milieu? What effect do you think that has on the child?
I’d like to maroon him in a sea.
And did you see that bit in, what was it, the last newsletter? About the 27th was the last day to get your ‘Annual Parent Opinion Survey’ back? Your last chance to ‘…. have your say about our school…’ ?
Did you get that survey? I didn’t. We didn’t. Isn’t it funny that we got every (or at least many) missives about the tyrannical uniform policy but nothing about inputting our opinions? Isn’t that a strange quirk of fate?
As with so much hereabouts though it is not right. You, me, none of us have had our ‘..last chance to have..’ a say about the school.
We are – though he may not know it or may know it but not agree with it – free citizens of the country of Australia and the State of South Australia and we are free to express our opinions at any time.
Not only that but as good citizens it is incumbent upon us to express our opinion of things we know of that are possibly detrimental to the health and growth of our society.
Such things, incidentally, as a school that says things like that, has attitudes like that.