Capital fetishists may be surprised that the forward-looking step backwards from Wermelskirchen secondary school (North Rhine-Westphalia) sends encouraging signals. But why actually?
As of last week, the school bans sweatpants and crop tops. As expected, the students react with defiance and see their personal rights threatened. And once again the question arises as to whether school uniforms should not be given to adolescents as a matter of principle.
The reasons for this are as well known as they are wrong. Uniform clothing would not prevent students from marking social differences, which can easily be done with consumer electronics, jewellery, watches and with the brand of nail polish that all genders wear today. Not to mention the sneakers that status-seeking kids can now buy for four-figure prices.
And that uniforms instead of jogging pants and bare midriffs could put a stop to a decline in morals is an even more ludicrous idea. As the Netflix series "Elite" shows, neat uniform clothing does not protect against indiscriminate sex or drug excesses. And from the new novel by Bret Easton Ellis, we know that as early as 1981, girls were shortening their school skirts towards panty height
Nevertheless, a nationwide introduction of compulsory school uniforms would be an attractive experiment. In a society that views every regulation as an impertinence and at the same time suffers from its own informality, the children and teenagers streaming out of school in uniforms in the afternoons would be a signal that, to paraphrase Karl Lagerfeld, we are not yet in control of our lives have lost.
Besides, they would look better. Children are not allowed to choose their own menu. They also have to learn fashion skills first. It would also make educational sense, because at some point every healthy teenager would tear their uniform off. Youth without rebellion is like yeast dough left out in the draft: it doesn't rise.
A completely different question is feasibility. There was haggling over funding, religious and ideological sensitivities stood in the way. My prognosis: Against the introduction of school uniforms, debates about nuclear power, the synodal path or global warming are a walk in the park.