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View Poll Results: School uniforms in Switzerland?
Good idea - kids can focus on learning and not branded clothing 61 93.85%
Bad idea - Makes them all the look the same, they'll grow up with no sense of fashion or creativity 4 6.15%
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  #1  
Old 12.03.2006, 20:24
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School uniforms

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Schoolyards have become such a showcase for expensive brands and street fashion that uniforms are being suggested by some as a necessary response.

But they are virtually unknown in Swiss culture and there is strong opposition to the notion of children and teenagers wearing them to school.
The above quote comes from an interesting article, the full text of which can be read here:

http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissin...05&sid=6525681

I've found that the issue of school uniforms is very much a cultural thing. If you had to wear them you think it's a good thing, and if you didn't have to wear them then you think it is a bad thing. Those people who come from Anglo-saxon backgrounds are generally in favour of uniforms, because they are used to it in their school systems (except in the US where uniforms aren't so common).

The main counter argument to uniforms, it seems, is that it will stiffle the children's creativity. I'm not so sure if that argument holds much merit, but I'm not going to debate the pros and cons here (because I'm sure you all will instead)

But in closing I'd just like to raise 2 points.

1. Children of sufficent age (16) can smoke on school premises as long as they have a note from their parent. When I was at school getting caught smoking even on the way too or from school would have meant expulsion without question. Did that stifle my freedoms or rights?
2. Take a look at the attached picture - taken in my local gemeinde. These signs are to be found in all the areas of the school where children might play on the grass. Does restricting a child to only play on concreted areas restrict their creativity?



I'm lost for words...
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  #2  
Old 12.03.2006, 22:32
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Re: School uniforms

Mark, what was the legal smoking age when you were a kid?

In CA, it was 18, and well understood that you'd get busted for doing it on school grounds. That went for sex and drinking and all the other good stuff you were too young to be doing, too. Drugs are illegal to everyone, so it was doubly worse to be caught with them as a minor.

Who do kids think they are these days? I had to ask a couple not to make-out during French class 2 years ago when I was substitute teaching in CA. I let it go on for about half a minute praying it would stop until the loud slurping started making me nauseous.

Rules are rules and we have them for a reason. I am so glad I stifled those horny kids and I don't think I ruined their creativity.

I also observed many schools who enforced dress codes while I was substituting. Only there, it is more of a way to keep gangs out of school than prevent bullying and fashion snobbery. My niece who lives in Hanford, CA has not been able to wear red to school since she was a little girl. So she wears it on her own free time, if she wants.

Personally, I feel that this dress code just draws attention to the color red, burning it into kids' skulls so that they will forever associate it with the gang who wears it.
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  #3  
Old 12.03.2006, 22:49
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Re: School uniforms

Interesting idea - if you don't have a uniform then you have to force those kids who try to make their own uniforms (gangs) to wear different clothes. I never really thought about that, but I guess whatever system is imposed (uniforms or complete freedom of clothing) there will always be those who want to make themselves different (or the same) depending on your point of view.

Of course having a uniform solves the dress code once and for all, and avoids the need for "colour discrimination" as you described.

As for smoking - the legal age to smoke had nothing to do with school policy. Someone might have been 18 and still at school, but it didn't mean they could have a beer at lunch time!

Actually, now this has got me thinking back to school days, and all sorts of strange memories are coming back. I remember that every now and then we had a day when we could wear whatever we wanted (within reason). These days were often connected to a fund raising event or some other occassion. I do remember feeling very self conscious about my choice of clothes on those days, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. I'm glad I didn't have to do that very often - as a child I just really wasn't into clothes/fashion etc. Nobody gave me grief about it at school so there was never any trouble. Sure there was always plenty of ribbing that went on about hair cuts, the school bag you chose or any number of other things - but never clothes.

It was also impossible to tell who the rich kids and poor kids were - in fact I don't think we really gave much thought to it.
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Old 13.03.2006, 00:23
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Re: School uniforms

I grew up with school uniform and would say that it actually challnged our creativity. We all tried to get away with modifying our uniform somehow to make it a little cooler...

We also had fund raising events during which we were allowed to wear our own clothes. I didn't really enjoy those days.. the only bad thing about school uniform in my opinion is the fact that you never really learn to dress... I think I am one of the world's worst dressers and wish someone would do the whole "what not to wear" treatment to me !
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  #5  
Old 09.06.2006, 11:20
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Re: School uniforms

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Makes them all the look the same, they'll grow up with no sense of fashion or creativity
they all dress the same and all drive Audis now so what would change exactly?
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  #6  
Old 09.06.2006, 11:26
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Re: School uniforms

You quoted my original message a little out of context - I was listing a counter argument - but I personally don't agree with it. But I take your point - when everyone is trying to wear designer gear there isn't much freedom of expression at all when there is pressure to conform.

Since this thread started a few things have changed. Summer is now here (apparently) and therefore the don't step on the grass in Zollikon has now been removed. The local school kids can now rejoice and play on the grass during their breaks. But at any sign of bad weather the signs will be bolted back up...

Onto the school uniforms I heard something on German radio the other day that one of the Länder had decided not to implement school uniforms. They had studied the situation in England and decided that school uniforms did not solve their social problems. Well duh, it's not the answer to every problem at school - it's just supposed to solve one of them - what to wear.
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  #7  
Old 09.06.2006, 12:01
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Re: School uniforms

Did wearing a uniform at school save me from being a teenage fashion victim? I'm sure I'll work it out in therapy some day.
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Old 09.06.2006, 13:23
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Re: School uniforms

I am just going this this process with my 14yr old son. Up until now choosing what to wear for school has been easy- there wasn't a choice! Purchasing clothes for school has also been easy,you went to the school with a list came out with the items.
We have spent the last few weeks in a mild panic trying to find stuff for his new school. Will this item be ok? Will he fit in,look cool? Will he look too british?!

As for stifling any creativity, When I went to school we couldn't wait to go to college so we could dye our hair, wear safety pins etc,it was seen as a rite of passage.
So, are uniforms better? This harassed mum says Yes! (so does my son)
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Old 09.06.2006, 14:23
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Re: School uniforms

Students need to remember:

Nike,Reebox,GAP and all other branded clothes WILL NOT get you a job after schooling.

YES. I believe style and individuality are important at school BUT today the competition in the market place is very aggressive and is requiring educational skills to match that aggression. Interviewers don't want thong style/Nike pumps, they WANT your skills and a presentable appearance in the market.

If your focus is distracted by not being part of the "in" crowd, then you may be distracted from studies. I emphasize MAY be as is not the case for all students.

To eliminate this senseless distraction and encourage what you are at school to begin with, thus learning, school uniforms would not be a problem as EVERYBODY is now part of the "in" crowd and can get down to studying.

REMEMBER:

What you wear outside of work or school is YOUR perogative of course and thus remains your individuality.
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  #10  
Old 18.10.2006, 00:41
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Re: School uniforms

Thought it was time to bump up an old thread when I saw some new news on the subject on Swissinfo:


Quote:
Forty secondary school pupils in Basel started classes in uniforms on Tuesday, in the first ever project of its kind in Switzerland.
The six-month pilot programme aims to measure how much a school uniform affects teaching, the pupil's identity and spending habits, but the idea has already met solid resistance and been branded as "unSwiss".
Full article here.
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Old 18.10.2006, 22:20
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Re: School uniforms

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, and as Mark pointed out - those of us with Anglo-saxon backgrounds are generally biased this way, but I remember the rule "no one except Matrics may walk on the grass". All the rest of the standards/classes had to stick to the concrete, asphalt or paved walkways. OK, big deal. The grass didn't die, instead it stayed nice and green all year round. The kids looked forward to the day when they would be the special ones that were privileged enough to relax on the lawns and in general everyone came to accept that there were certain rules to be followed in life. If you wanted to play on grass you went onto the school sports field, not the delicate lawns around the classrooms. If you wanted to smoke you grew up first or took your chances with expulsion. If you swore or stole you were punished forthwith. There were certainly no wanna-be "gangstas" or "rappas" (or however the hell they spell all that nonsense) with baggy pants hanging around their butts, untied shoelaces flicking all over the place and baseball caps worn in class. No-one felt pressured and set upon because they couldn't afford or weren't allowed certain "in" clothing. You wore your uniform and got on with learning. I know it's different now (and this is a different country) but the whole fashion parade that is school today is, in my humble opinion, ridiculous. In the firm where I work all the apprentices we take on are seemingly unable to follow even the most simple instructions, really don't appear to actually want to learn anything and want to have everything done for them, but boy oh boy, aren't they just the experts on clothing, jewellery and hairstyles!
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Old 19.10.2006, 09:44
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Re: School uniforms

I grew up wearing uniforms and I didn't notice anyone's creativity stifled. I think there is the benefit of removing a good deal of the image/brand one-upmanship and competitiveness that teenagers are notorious for taking to the extreme, allowing them to focus more on actually learning something than how they measure up fashion wise.
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Old 19.10.2006, 10:39
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Re: School uniforms

Seems like the uniform/dress code debate is not just happening in Switzerland. Based on this thread I checked out my old high school, looks like they are changing things as well. http://www.lawley.wa.edu.au/community/dresscode.asp

Least in my day we could wear blue or grey jeans, just no printed wording. Which was mainly to control the "ACDC: Bon Scott, seeya in Hell" and "F*** the rest, Ford's the best" crew

Oh and I forgot that it was "special" language school, if I'd only taken German.
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Old 19.10.2006, 11:04
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Re: School uniforms

Quote:
Thought it was time to bump up an old thread when I saw some new news on the subject on Swissinfo:




Full article here.
But did you see the school uniforms - such better quality and style than you see in most schools in the UK and the cost ..... almost Fr 800 per set!
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  #15  
Old 19.10.2006, 11:12
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Re: School uniforms

Oh for the good old days! When I were a lad all this was green fields..

My school had uniforms with school tie and blazer. The following was noted:

Tie knots: small tight almost garrots to huge-knot Oscar Wilde Cravat style.
Blazers: Badges, rolled up sleeves, turned up collars, even worn inside-out
Trouser: Drainpipe legs or huge baggy with down the leg side pockets
Hair : Anything and everything
Shoes: Winkle Pickers to Polyveldts.

Every means possible was used to display your inclusion or exclusion from a clique or group.

The school tries to fight it, they even had a ban on button badges on blazers. My friend was reprimanded by the headmaster no less, for wearing a "999" (music band) badge on his lapel. He argued that he needed it to remember the UK emergency services number...this was slapped-down but was escalated by the kids parents until the badges issue was overlooked.

You didnt have gansta-rappers then : you had punks, new wavers, New romantics, and rockers.

Kids didn't conform then, and they don't conform now. Kids did not "get on with learning". (That made me laugh out loud: we need a rose-tinted specs smilie ).

I am all for school uniforms, but they cannot succeed in stifling expression. They are a great leveller, but I am sure there will be some Armani heading to a private school near you.

They do however keep a lot of the jealousy and trainer-envy out of the playground.

dave

Quote:
There were certainly no wanna-be "gangstas" or "rappas" (or however the hell they spell all that nonsense) with baggy pants hanging around their butts, untied shoelaces flicking all over the place and baseball caps worn in class. No-one felt pressured and set upon because they couldn't afford or weren't allowed certain "in" clothing. You wore your uniform and got on with learning.
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Old 19.10.2006, 11:19
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Re: School uniforms

This season's range. "This week I'll mainly be wearing..."
dave

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they all dress the same and all drive Audis now so what would change exactly?
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Old 19.10.2006, 15:24
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Re: School uniforms

I grew up wearing (those ugly) uniforms too, and I must say the rules in my elementary & high school were extreme, that we even had to buy our socks & rubber shoes in school (it was the cheapest brand & no, the school doesn't profit from this).

The belgian nuns that run that school (students are mostly from well-to-do families) apparently wanted to teach the students the value of money, simplicity & discipline. I must admit that I hated the every single day on that uniform, although I never felt that my creativity is limited by it in any way.

One disadvantage that I know though, is that every student wearing that same uniform is associated with that particular school & therefore carry its "reputation" in the public eye; e.g. when a student shoplifts (oh, you know stuff teenagers do!!) or does other outrageous things.. it's still "that"/ "from that" school..
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Old 20.10.2006, 02:08
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Re: School uniforms

Brownie, i know what you mean! you were still a part of the school untill you got out of that uniform! I did read recently that a couple of schools are giving it a go and i know i'm still young (cough) but i cant help feeling that it never hurt me!
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Old 17.11.2006, 10:28
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Re: School uniforms

I went to private schools where we had to wear school uniforms and was still able to fully enjoy my time of learning. Considering how many young people go dressed to school, school uniform enforcement seems like a pretty good idea to me.
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Old 10.04.2007, 16:20
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Re: School uniforms

School uniforms are great. I like to wear mine at home in the bedroom, of course I'm not sure stockings were ever part of the uniform but a man can dream eh? Wife thinks I'm wierd but I look so cute in that bonnet.
Seriously…
I was raised on uniforms and when I went to 6th form the change to having to wear the right t-shirt was a right pain, I mean, RUN DMC - bad, ANC Free Nelson Mandela - good. Eat the Whales (viz's take on Save the Whales) either good or bad depending on whether you were up against the new-lesbian or trendy sports teacher..
Whether my choice of apparel effected my schooling lord only knows. I suspect it would depend more on what tramp I was chasing at the time than anything I ever wore.
"Uniforms are un-Swiss" - hmmm, so's a decent car industry but I'm not sure there's anything to be scared of. Unless you are scared of foreigners - oh yeah! Un-Swiss - I see it now.
Please thank me for my post, I'm trying to get the score up...
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