James 2:2-3 says, “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, IN FINE APPAREL, and there should also come in a poor man IN FILTHY CLOTHES, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool, “ have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (Capitalization mine)
James teaches us that in the public worship of God, it is wicked to show favoritism or partiality based on how someone is dressed. And what is forbidden in worship is also good to avoid in our day-to-day lives-including our time at school. One of the blessings that come with our uniform policy is that it helps parents and teachers fight the temptation among kids to disobey this passage. Think about it, teachers are unlikely to think that a student is godly because they are wearing a nice sweater. But students often dismiss other students with contempt because they can’t afford the right designer clothes or their shoes have the wrong logo. A school clothing policy is an important tool to help parents and teachers instruct the children in avoiding this sin.
On the flip side, Scripture tells us that devoting effort to make ourselves look attractive like a peacock struts its tailfeathers is also forbidden. “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.” (Matt. 23:5) A very common problem in schools is the problem of trying to be “cool.” A school clothing policy is a great help in teaching the students to avoid this particular temptation as well.
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