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Letters: Dress codes do some good

September 08, 2013

Re "Dressing down school dress codes," Opinion, Sept. 5

Law professor Ruthann Robson opines that a dress code focusing on "the number of inches between the hem of a skirt and top of a knee" tends to "divert attention from substantive learning."

Having raised five sons through adolescence, I submit an immutable correlation: The higher the hemlines of female high school students' skirts, the less attention nearby males pay to their studies.

On-the-ground school administrators seem better positioned than ivory-tower judges to make sensible decisions about students' attire. Courts weighing the constitutionality of school dress codes should defer to those well-considered rules, legal niceties notwithstanding.

Jo M. Alston

North Las Vegas, Nev.

As someone who grew up in England, I don't understand the aversion to school uniforms.

The daily problem of what to wear is taken care of, which is a boon to parents of modest means. Uniforms also level the fashion playing field for families of modest income because everyone looks the same.

Surely a child's "job" is to get the best education possible. What clothes they wear and causes they wish to take up when outside school are entirely their own business.

Really, does wearing a school uniform stifle a person's development into a thinking adult? Or have the armed forces and police departments got it all wrong?

Valerie A. Paulson

Yorba Linda

When I attended school, my shirt had to be tucked in and my hair cut above my ears. Are the dress codes sloppier today? I think so, but Robson would have us believe they actually inhibit academic achievement.

A dress code promotes respect for authority and good behavior, and it relieves peer pressure. Does a dress code deny a student freedom of expression? Perhaps, but it does so insignificantly, for it actually instructs students that they have little or no freedom of expression in a working environment.

Giuseppe Mirelli

Los Angeles


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