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Letter to the Editor 6-15-18

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School district dress code fuels culture of rape, sexual harassment

Dear Editor,

This week, 75 parents, students and recent graduates of the Los Alamos Public School system sent a letter to the superintendent and school board expressing concern that the dress codes at the individual schools as they are currently written and enforced unfairly target girls with the following negative consequences:

• It sexualizes girls at a young age.

• It publicly humiliates them.

• It sends the message that it is acceptable for adult teachers and staff – including adult men – to judge their clothing choices and, by extension, their bodies. We strenuously impress upon our daughters and sons that it is not appropriate for adults to evaluate them sexually – and yet that is exactly what dress code enforcement allows.

• It puts the responsibility on girls to dress so as not to “distract” boys, rather than expecting boys to be responsible for their own behavior. This is a dangerous precedent that can fuel a culture of rape and sexual harassment.

• Furthermore, it unfairly assumes that boys will be unable to control themselves because of girls’ clothing choices.

Many of us are also the parents of sons, and we expect more from them – so should the school district.


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