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School Dress Codes Revisited

September 05, 1993

* Unreasonable dress codes for students need not be unreasonable. Authorities should stop laying down the law. It's ridiculous to spend, as A. Cunningham's letter (Aug. 29) said, "time, money, and energy," in dictating what students cannot wear.

Let's cut out the negative and latch on to the positive by telling them what they can wear. It certainly will not cost anything more in time or money, to structure that communique to those maturing young people in an interesting and exciting manner. After all, it is in their interest that we are concerned with what they wear. What we wear is important, because how we look and the way we feel about ourselves dictates much to the way we act. I have yet to see school-age people dressed neatly and in good taste, with clean and well-groomed hair, performing graffiti on buildings, windows, and fences, or driving like crazy people while shooting other human beings as they pass on freeways.

It is terribly important that those in charge approach the matter of school dress codes with a positive attitude and a concerned and nurturing interest on behalf of those up-and-coming citizens.

RUTH HULSMAN

Newport Beach

* Having taught school at various age levels for 25 years, I can safely say I know a lot about kids.

In our wonderful country with all the freedom we have earned, I can respect Anne Cunningham's position (Letters Aug. 29).

However, until she sits and listens to gunshots outside her classroom door, collects various weapons from a number of lockers or watches the behavior of some of these Doc Marten-bedecked, Pendleton slinking "students," Raiders jackets, Bloods belt or F-troopers with their baseball caps on in her classroom day in and day out, perhaps she would change her mind.

Too many inexperienced, free-thinking people can extrapolate their opinions when they haven't spent much time in a school.

Our wonderful staff works very hard daily for the safety of our students. Our concern has to be more with attendance, good health and learning. Some of our students don't have food to eat so why should they concern themselves with such trivia?

The students in my class wear button-down collars, take pride in intellectual pursuit--and isn't that the whole idea?

Or are we in a fashion show making some kind of name-brand statement?'

We need more liberals volunteering in the public school system working security to spend their time working with a reasonable dress code with all the individual behaviors.

BRENDA WELCH

Huntington Beach

Brenda Welch works in the Santa Ana Unified School District.

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