More Cincinnati-area schools are requiring students to wear uniforms, partly as a disciplinary measure, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. At least one-third of Cincinnati’s 79 public schools have uniforms, and many charter schools have similar dress codes. President Bill Clinton touted them in his 1996 State of the Union address. By 2000, an estimated 23 percent of elementary schools required uniforms. The number of middle and high schools with uniforms is probably half of that, because it’s more difficult to implement those policies in the upper grades.
After one Cincinnati school instituted uniforms, discipline referrals dropped by 600 from this time last year. Ronald Stephens of the National School Safety Center in Westlake Village, Ca., reports “pretty good anecdotal evidence that it does make a difference. One of the problems with school violence is that, with much of the oversized clothing, it’s so easy to conceal weapons or contraband.”