The effects of school uniforms on attendance and discipline among schools with and without mandatory school uniform policies

Cherie Antoinett Washington-Labat


The purpose of this study was to find if there was a significant difference between schools with and without, mandatory school uniform policy as it relates to discipline referrals, attendance, in-school suspensions, and out-of-school suspensions. The qualitative portion of the research study primarily focused on teacher's perception of school uniforms. The school districts researched in this study are located in small southern school districts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Two elementary, one middle and one high school in a each district were researched. A causal comparative study was conducted to determine if a there was a significant difference in attendance and discipline among a uniformed and non-uniformed school district. The archived data were collected over a 3 year period 2001-2003. The statistical analysis revealed that the only significant difference was found in the variable attendance over time. Year 1 had a higher attendance rate than year 2 and year 3. Discipline referrals, in-school suspensions, and out-of-school suspensions did not yield a significant difference between both uniformed and non-uniformed school districts. The qualitative portion of the study suggested that teachers perceived that school uniforms positively improved school culture, benefited economically disadvantaged students, and are more cost effective than purchasing school clothes.