Letters to the Editor: Dress codes will never prevent the biggest distraction at school
To the editor: I have eight years as the dad of high school daughters, and seven years ago I became a high school teacher. Between my permanent assignments, summer school teaching and substitute teaching, I have been in the classrooms of 11 high school campuses. ("Why are school districts still using dress codes to discriminate against girls?" Opinion, Jan. 27)
From my experiences, I have found two things involving the way girls dress.
First, more often than not, the "objectionable clothing" was purchased by Mom. Second, I have never seen nor heard of any evidence that a boy was distracted by a girl's "revealing" clothing.
There is one big distraction teachers fight every day: phones. If parents would simply block smartphone apps during the school day, that would make a world of difference more than worrying about a bare shoulder or midriff.
David Lynn, Agoura Hills
To the editor: Of course girls aren't equal when it comes to dress codes.
Girls should not be wearing the "spaghetti straps, tank tops, crop tops and low-cut tops" that editorial writer Minerva Canto lists as prohibited. They should not be in attire that belongs in a nightclub or is considered provocative for all the obvious reasons that boys should not wear saggy jeans with their underwear showing.
Canto says, "Such emphasis on girls' outfits is harming the learning environment." When the learning environment is sexualized, it is harmful for boys and girls. It is rare that the jeans and T-shirts often worn by boys can be considered provocative — which is why girls' attire is judged differently.
I am the furthest thing from a prude, but provocative clothing does not belong in a school. Maybe schools should just return to uniforms.
Leni Corwin, Altadena
To the editor: If, as Canto writes, the "emphasis on girls' outfits is harming the learning environment," then here's a novel idea — school uniforms.
Allow Polo shirts, Dickies-style pants, Bermuda shorts, school-themed sweatshirts and cardigan sweaters. Tennis shoes can be of any type or color.
Every student is on even dress fashion ground and therefore can concentrate on lessons more than dress code issues.
Want to express yourself? Do it with the shoes. Now get to class.
Chris Jungels, San Clemente
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.