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Document Number: 2298

Dress Codes and Uniforms - Dress codes are one of several measures used by school districts to maintain order and enhance student safety. This brief discusses the historical use of dress codes and uniforms in American schools and how the issue is perceived today. Advocates of dress codes argue that the regulations improve student behavior, promote self-confidence and diminish differences among socioeconomic levels. Opponents contend that uniforms infringe upon students' First Amendment rights and are an unnecessary means of control. The article presents recent research and court decisions on the issue, examines how dress codes are used and discusses successful policies. ( CEPI 2000, Policy Issues, Virginia Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute, Bruce Morris and Donna Wells, editors.)...

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