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[Susan notes: I wrote a similar letter to the New York Times on this subject. This one is better.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re The Battle Over Dress Codes, by Peggy Orenstein (Op-Ed, June 14):

We don't wear short shorts, super-saggy pants or midriff-bearing shirts in the workplace, so why enable our kids to do so at school?

School is a coming together of the community, where children learn how to follow codes of conduct, practice mutual respect and do their part to create an environment that supports learning by all. Moderate dress codes allow children of all religious and cultural backgrounds, shapes and sizes to feel less self-conscious so that they can focus more on the work at hand.

Is this really the setting for children to work through issues of their own maturing bodies, emerging sexuality and objectification? Hardly. Educating kids is hard enough without these distractions. Parents, it should be enough to let your kids wear expressive or skimpy clothing on your own watch.

Kate Levin Markel

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