On February 24, 1996, President Clinton signed a directive to distribute this manual to the Nation’s 1600 public school districts (Clinton, “Text,” 2). Furthermore, the leaders of our schools appear to have hastily embraced this new proposal. A recent national survey of 5,500 secondary school principals shows that they feel school uniforms would help eliminate violence (Tousignant 1). Shawn Ashley, principal in the Long BeachUnifiedSchool District, claims there have been fewer incidents of fighting since they imposed the mandatory school uniform policy one year ago.
Ashley reports that incidents of fighting has dropped from 1,135 in the 1993-94 school year, to only 554 for the 1994-95 school year (Kennedy 1). Clearly, this is an issue that affects parents across the nation, and should be carefully examined before giving our unconditional support. I believe that any proposal is dangerous if it fails to address the real problem, threatens to diminish our constitutional rights and has been promoted by using misleading statistics.