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Are Destructive Gilbert Keith Chesterton once said, “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. ” Certainly, Mr. Chesterton would not be so pleased if he could read a recent article by Mark Mathabane, entitled “Appearances Are Destructive,” in which the author claims that the interest of the present-day students in learning, “the soul,” has been replaced by the fiercest desire to have the best and most expensive outfits.

By that reason, many parents and school personnel nowadays are more interested in children wearing uniform that they believe could lead studying process to more disciplined atmosphere. Nevertheless, trying to analyze advantages and disadvantages of both open and strict dress codes, three particular aspects should be considered: students’ progress in studies, their discipline and respect for the parents and other adults, and also their freedoms and rights.

One of the main problems caused by the open dress code is the students’ excessive attention paid to what they wear instead of what they learn, which of course negatively affects their studying progress. In comparison, uniform allow students’ to forget their social and outward differences, as everyone looks the same and there is no way to show off. Freedom of choice of own appearance is believed to develop student’s unique personality and taste but at the same time we can easily notice how many of the bad results it led educational system to.

Certainly, these current day “school fashion shows” create a cruel competition among the students because every one wants to look the best. Mathabane notices that American students seem to pay more attention to the labels of their clothes rather than their academic achievements. Children even allow themselves to taunt at those who have an ordinary or inexpensive look and seem to be more interested in studying. When I was studying in school, we had the same kind of competition.

Most children came to class with only purpose of showing their new outfits and gaining their portion of attention and respect. Moreover, in my private school, clothes were not the only way of showing off. “The morning parade” of different expensive cars with drivers and students coming out of it with shiny and proud of their status faces was maybe the most important part of the day. Unfortunately, on my own experience I’ve understood that competition among the classmates not only draws their attention far away from learning but also makes them unfriendly and sometimes even cruel to each other.

In the modern world, the pecuniary side of life has become the main factor in distinguishing people by social classes; even in families children began to measure their parents’ love in the amounts of money they pamper their kids with and if they don’t they are considered bad ones. With this easy way of getting money, children don’t understand how hard some of their parents have to work to gain it. Kids want to have the best things to be able to boast of it and earn respect from others for their cool look.

Teenage girls now believe that the only way to attract boys’ attention is to wear showy open clothes which they think make them look “sexy”. All these motivations create a circle because when one of the students comes to a class in a new and stylish outfit – everyone instantly wants to have the same or even better. Therefore, they come to their parents asking for these new clothes saying that if mom and dad love him then they want him to look the best. My friend David was always one of those kids who gets everything he wants by “playing on the feelings” of his parents.

He had everything brand new and most expensive, so everyone wanted to be his friend. At one time his family was going through hard times and their income temporarily decreased. David became an ordinary child for a while and in this moment he realized that the only thing he was previously respected for was his parents’ wealth but not his own personality. The results of the kids’ material perception of the world can be disastrous: when you see money as the only way of becoming happy you can do anything to get it; therefore, nowadays, children frequently become convicted in crimes and drug selling.

Material benefits are certainly a good thing to have if you are a mature person who can treat it right but anyway it should never take over any human qualities or feelings. We all know the word “Freedom” as a representative of the United States well-being and liberty but thinking of the dress as a way of restricting human rights cannot be totally correct because of the many obvious benefits we have because due to it. Many of the current day enterprises have strict demands towards their employees’ appearances. Mostly it concerns their uniform.

Dress codes give people a sense of unity and cooperation with each other; therefore, the working process seems to become highly effective. The presence of the dress code in schools has even greater results. It isn`t very expensive and every family can afford it. Furthermore, school uniform makes children more disciplined and better focused on the studying process because nothing draws their attention. In spite of all of these positive aspects, many people see the negative effect of school uniform in preventing children’s individuality.

They think that if the children are alike in their clothes that makes them think and act ordinary and it restricts their freedom of expression. I have never been restricted in a way I present myself and it did harm my academic achievements by no means but it’s only one case; therefore I can’t claim it the only truth. The argument about any sort of effects on freedom people have has always been very popular as it opens a subject of human rights in which for some reasons people so furiously try not to be infringed, even if these restrictions lead to better results.

Given the overwhelming evidence that the dress code has both negative and positive aspects of its use, I see it reasonable for every country to have both types of schools letting families to decide which school they want their child to study in based on their own views and beliefs. The only thing of great importance before making such a decision is to study all of the material on this topic in order to be aware of everything and don’t miss any significant detail.

MGT 324 – Lolo

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