Letter of the Day (Nov. 21): School clothing

  • Updated: November 20, 2012 - 6:38 PM

Few teachers relish the opportunity to speak to a student about how much of his or her body is exposed.

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Leggings and yoga pants are usually worn with a long top covering the hips.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

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As a middle-school teacher, I saw more breast cleavage, gluteal cleavage and dropped pants than I care to remember ("A principal's plea: 'Cover your butts up,' " Nov. 14). In expressing that, I mean no disrespect to those who choose to dress differently than I would in a school or work environment.

Some students may leave home dressed more modestly, and some may have parents who embrace the same style. As Gail Rosenblum suggests ("Let's not shoot from the hip on leggings issue," Nov. 15), the potential distraction of a student in leggings and a short top is eliminated during the time that the student remains seated.

However, a student who is leaning forward attentively while wearing a low-cut, cropped top with a push-up bra and low-rise jeans exposes a lot of flesh, fore and aft. Would only a hormone-crazed or judgmental person take notice?

While conducting class, teachers are expected to monitor students' attention and to address distractions in an appropriate way. Few teachers relish the opportunity to speak to a student about how much of his or her body is exposed.

An administrator's leadership in establishing expectations sets the tone for discussions at home and, if necessary, at school.

ELISA HAYDAY, ST. PAUL

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