english- Proofread, URGENT!!

Please, proof read and help make any suggestions or adjustments. I need to make it 'flow'. Final paper, very important, thank you.

Tuesday, April 20, 1999 the state of Colorado woke up to one of the largest, most violent mass-slaying of students in school in our country’s history. Two 18 year old boys, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold started shooting and spreading bombs all over the school. Their senseless act of violence left 15 dead: 12 students, one teacher, the two perpetrators committed suicide and many more were injured. Investigations revealed that the two boys belonged to a gang and were picked on by other students because of their apparel and grooming. This tragedy may have been avoided if the school had a dress code. While there may be opposition from students and parents, dress codes should be enforced in schools as they encourage discipline among students.
As Christopher B. Gilbert states in his article We Are What We Wear: Revisiting Student Dress Codes “There are many reasons for a school to adopt a dress code. A recent court opinion sets forth an illustrative list of such reasons offered by one school district: (1) to promote a more effective climate for learning, (2) to create opportunities for self-expression, (3) to increase campus safety and security, (4) to foster school unity and pride, (5) to eliminate "label competition," (6) to ensure modest dress, (7) to simplify dressing, and (8) to minimize cost to parents.” (Gilbert 1999, pg3)
The foremost cause for concern for school districts trying to implement dress codes in schools is the rising problem of school gangs. Many violent, gang related crimes have taken place in many campuses, hence the need for dress codes. Having dress codes in schools help to promote discipline and prevent gangs from forming on campus. “The National School Boards Association has estimated that approximately 135,000 guns are brought to the nation's 85,000 public schools every day. Gang related violence and crime in the public schools continues to grow and challenge school administrators and students. The problems faced by school officials and students have grown considerably in the past twenty years. Reports of the crisis in our public schools are staggering. Student attendance and drop out rates are alarming, as are the presence of drugs, weapons, and violence in many schools.” (Wilson 1998, p 147)
The rise of violence in schools has created an uneasy feeling for school districts. The urgent need for safety in our schools has led many school boards to enforce mandatory dress codes. These dress codes prohibit students from wearing clothing that is identifiable as gang clothing, such as bandanas, particular colored handkerchiefs, college jackets, earrings, and accessories.
Some students may think that this type of clothing is trendy, but these items are gang clothing and the students wearing them may be mistaken for gang members and could get in serious trouble.
Some states have even passed laws that allow the public school districts to mandate school uniforms. Many innocent students get killed randomly due to mistaken identity when they show up to school wearing gang colors. To the students who wear such clothing, they think wearing those kinds of apparel makes them look “cool”, but in point fact, what they wear will only get them in trouble. Gang members may see the students wearing such apparel as rival gang members and trouble will stem from there.
Not all school authorities and parents are united in the decision to enforce dress codes. Some parents feel that dress codes are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence. “There is no certainty that dress codes reduce school violence or improve academic achievement. Furthermore, strict dress codes, which school officials justify because they are aimed at preventing gang violence, have been adopted in several areas that do not have gang problems, undermining some school official's justifications.” (Wilson 1998, p147)
Proponents of dress code implementation believe that having dress codes in schools helps to reduce gang related violence. The biggest news, to date, comes from New York City public schools where police department statistics report overall school crime down 14.7 percent in 2000.

There are many other reasons why schools should adopt dress codes. Some of them are: to eliminate competition, teach young people to dress appropriately, decrease non-academic distractions, and lower the parental clothing costs. One very important reason that most proponents of dress codes implementation states is: dress codes help to diminish economic and social barriers between students. When students are constantly picked on by their peers because of their outward apparel, it makes them feel very inferior and unhappy. Implementing dress codes in schools helps to reduce the feeling of awkwardness in students because there will be a feeling of equality, unity and school pride among students. Dress codes also helps to reduce the high cost of trendy fashion that parents are always pressured to buy for their children. According to President Bill Clinton in his 1996 State of the Union speech, "If it means teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms." (Clinton 1996) Dress codes promote equality and unity among students. In the photographs below of students from Ross Shaw Sterling High School, it is hard to distinguish between those who come from rich backgrounds and their peers who come from low income households.
It is hard to know which student in this photograph that comes from a rich family and one that does not; they all look equal because of their dress code.
The Houston Independent School District recognizes the importance of encouraging high standards in dress and personal grooming which is why Ross Shaw Sterling High School has a uniform dress code.
Dress codes in schools help to eliminate competition among students because they are no longer under pressure to keep up with their peers’ changing style. Most students get so caught up with looking at the latest pair of denims that their class mate wears to school and wanting to own one of such clothing that they completely forget the reason why they are in school, which is to learn.
Schools who have dress codes in place have recorded a positive increase in academic results of their students. The reason being: non-academic distractions have reduced considerably and students can focus on their studies, rather than wonder what their peers will wear to school that day and if they themselves measure up.
Opponents of dress codes policies feel that dress codes are a financial burden for poor families who can not afford the extra costs of uniforms.
True, but with dress codes, the students can own two sets of uniforms which they can wash, inter-change and wear to school. Meanwhile, with students wanting to keep up with class mates’ changing fashion everyday, it will cost the parents more money especially for some of the parents who are barely living off their paycheck.
According to Firmin “Providing clothes for multiple children attending over 160 days of classes per year obviously can be expensive, especially if the children wear designer outfits. However, wearing hand-me-downs from one sibling to the next can be more palatable among children with school uniforms, as noted by one administrator, ‘It was an economic benefit to the family because there were pass-down opportunities if we had a standard clothing pattern’.” (Firmin, Perry and Smith 2006, pg 155)

After a year of dress codes, New York students are reported to have improved in everything from tolerance and a sense of belonging, to increased safety and academic performance, according to a new study by french toast (an internet site), a resource for information on school uniforms. Among other benefits, the study showed:
1) 68 percent of parents think the uniforms helped improve the school's overall academic performance
2) 84 percent of parents say uniforms promote equality between boys and girls and 88 percent thought they reduced boy/girl teasing
3) 89 percent of guidance counselors say uniforms teach children to be more accepting of less fortunate kids
4) 89 percent of guidance counselors thought uniforms prepare kids for an eventual work environment Girls (80 percent) liked wearing the uniforms more than boys (62 percent) and 63 percent of teens age
5) 14 and over thought uniforms reduced teasing
6) 59 percent of guidance counselors say the uniform policy made for a safer learning environment
Dress codes in schools increase the sense of belonging and school pride among students. Students in dress codes or uniforms will take pride in their appearance knowing that they have a reputation to protect. Some students wear very inappropriate and suggestive apparels to school. Schools without dress codes have students turning up half naked for school because they think it is trendy and that should not be allowed. Schools should have strict policies that students should be required to follow and that includes having a dress code.
A student “dressed” for school, this type of clothing is very inappropriate to wear anywhere, much less to school. .
No parent wants their child or children, dressing very suggestively to school as it is a reflection on the parents themselves. This type of inappropriate dressing by students adds to the loud call for dress codes in schools.
We, as parents expect the learning environment to be safe for our children. What a student wears to school has often been the source of ridicule, resulting in student emotional distress and sometimes suicide or murder. Dress codes give a feeling of unity and equality among students by removing the source of social and economic difference. The high rate of violent crimes in schools will reduce significantly once dress codes are enforced.

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  1. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm
    Be sure to check all the comma categories in this link and fix all comma omissions.

    Pronoun-antecedent agreement.

    In that last part, are you writing from the perspective of a parent?? ("We, as parents, ... ") That is, do YOU have a child in school?

    And what style guide are you using for references and such? MLA? APA? What you have follows neither. And there seem to be several sections that NEED REFERENCING. Be sure to do so, so that your teacher doesn't question you.

    Check on some wording patterns, too. For example, in that last sentence, you've written "The high rate of violent crimes in schools will reduce significantly..." You have a problem with the verb "will reduce" -- exactly what is the "rate of violent crimes" going to reduce??

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  2. I'll make the necessary adjustments and repost later this evening. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

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  3. It's a good paper -- just needs polishing.


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  4. I read it and agree with Writeacher, all it needed was a polishing

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