Uniform Blues

Many parents in your community have requested that the school district require students in grades K-6 to wear uniforms to school. A school board meeting has been aranged to discuss the matter, and to make a decision. The school board has promised a fair meeting with equal time for all groups concerned.

You need to do research on how school uniforms affect grades and behavior in school. You may also want to talk about how being forced to wear uniforms affects your rights as an American citizen.

Teachers Notes

The Task

Your job is to role-play a character in one of the 7 groups in this lesson and create a presentation for the school board. The school board has promised a fair meeting with equal time for each the group. You need to do research on how school uniforms affect grades and behavior in school. You may also want to talk about how being forced to wear uniforms affects your rights an American citizen.

1. Each student will be expected to turn in one of the following:

  • A short research paper on uniforms and their effect on grades, behavior, and how this affects your rights
  • An opinion paper addressed to the school board or newspaper with details on your position and why you feel that way
  • An effective and well made poster that could be presented to the school board stating your position and reasons

2. Each student will be expected to answer the questions at the end of the lesson.

3. Each group will make a 5 minute presentation to the board using an overhead projector or a computer program such as PowerPoint or HyperStudio.

Groups for School Board Presentations
In Favor Against Neutral
Parents ACLU California Supreme Court
State Board Students US Supreme Court


Local School Board

The Process

Groups can be made up of 4-5 students each. Each student will be responsible for doing research for their individual assignment, and they will take on one group role.

Roles that could be used are:

    &Mac183; Main presenter (before the board, other students may assist)

    &Mac183; Recorder (to take notes from group and write a draft presentation)

    &Mac183; Editor (to edit and organize the presentation)

    &Mac183; Program Specialist (to oversee the multimedia or oral presentation)

    &Mac183; Props Manager (to find pictures, props, etc., for the presentation)

Create a presentation that clearly states your group’s points and convinces your audience to agree with you. Invite another class to come in and role play your audience.

Materials Needed:

    1. Basic classroom materials for writing activities and/or poster making

    2. An overhead projector and/or computer with PowerPoint or HyperStudio installed for presentations

    3. Optional: word processing equipment for students to type completed assignments (AlphaSmarts, etc.)

Timeline:

This is very flexible depending on how many computers you have in your classroom or lab. Allowing for a 45 minute period each day:

    1. You will need approximately one day to set up for this project

    2. 4-5 days for researching the topic

    3. 2-3 days for individual projects

    4. 2-3 days for writing the presentation draft and editing it

    5. 2-3 days for planning and designing the presentation

    6. 4-5 days for creating the presentation

    7. 1 day with an audience for the actual presentation

    (It would be best to block out the whole morning or afternoon for this activity.)

Resources

Parents
Long Beach Unified School District

Students
Ask Sybil Liberty-http://www.aclu.org/studentsrights/discrim/12826pub19971231.html

American Civil Liberties Union
A Google Search of ACLU website

California Supreme Court
Uniform Policy Challenged in Court

United States Supreme Court
Manual on School Uniforms
Federal Judge Sides With School District Over Uniforms
Long Beach Unified School District


Conclusion
The issue of school uniforms and how they affect grades and behavior has been a huge argument for a long time. You should have learned whether or not uniforms make a difference in school and if our government has a right to require you to wear them. As you come to the end of your project, please answer the following questions in written form.
  • Do you think schools should do what is best for students regardless of individual rights?
  • Should all students be required to wear uniforms at "uniform" school? Why or why not?
  • Based on what you have learned, do you believe that uniforms actually help with the problems that many students/schools face today? List reasons to support your opinion.


Last Revised:04/06/06

The Task
The Process
Conclusion
Teacher Notes
Home Page
Resources