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Student Dress Codes Reveal the Parents' Attitudes

September 15, 2002

Re "Wrinkles Seen in Dress Policy," Sept. 11: All three of my daughters went K-12 through the L.A. school system, and I have watched with growing frustration the emergence of fashion policing. I suspect it is a myth that the majority of parents support these increasingly restrictive and invasive dress codes. The one school my kids attended where the issue was actually put to a vote by all the parents (not just a committee) it was resoundingly defeated, 83% against.

When one of my daughters was a senior in high school (San Pedro High), a parent volunteer told me her skirts were too short and her tops showed too much cleavage. My daughter was on the cheer squad and the school newspaper, was an active member of Earth Club, had been working after school (part time) for the previous two years, didn't smoke or do drugs, was in a three-way tie for valedictorian of her graduating class and was the only churchgoing member of our family. I would have found it difficult to tell her she was not "dressing for success."

Our kids are dealing with a lot of vital and sometimes scary issues these days. Let's give them our support instead of adding petty concerns to their already full plates.

Karen Stathis

San Pedro


I was amazed at the parents' willingness to support their children's inappropriate dress. One male parent worries at the possibility that male teachers might be ogling at his daughter on campus but complains when she is given detention for revealing too much skin at her waist. Another parent complains that it will be too difficult to replace her daughter's too-revealing new clothes. (Did she bother to read the letter sent home warning parents of the new dress code?) As a high school teacher, I often found most challenging the task of dealing with such ignorance on the part of the parents. I believe that adopting a school uniform would take care of the dress code problem.

Jose Arroyo



How timely! Granada Hills High just contacted me because my daughter was in violation of the new dress code. Her shirt did not touch the top of her pants, hence the showing of some skin; not even a belly button, just skin. It's disturbing and scary how some teachers are way overzealous in their interpretation of what this code should include.

Common sense has been negated to the point of degrading and humiliating students. Recently my daughter was made to reach to the ceiling so this same teacher could see how far her skirt came up. I could support a dress code that focuses on tube tops, halter tops, too-short shorts and skirts, but not to the extent that this policy is being enforced. Why some teachers find it acceptable to go to this degree--as well as the school administrators who are supporting them--is disturbing.

Elise Vickery



The father of the 17-year-old girl who was showing too much skin at Granada Hills High School was concerned about what was going on in the heads of the male teachers. He has it all wrong. He should be much more concerned about what's going on in the heads of all the 17-year-old boys. (Or has he forgotten?) What may be appropriate for Saturday night is not appropriate for Monday morning. I applaud Granada Hills High School for placing learning above fashion shows.

Maya DeBus

Van Nuys

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