Flags, Skirts, and The First Amendment

The article ''Schools Adopt Mandatory Ties, Skirts,'' June 15, raises the ongoing issue of whether or not uniforms should be mandatory in schools.

The proposals are wide-ranging. Supporters believe that problems like gang violence and lack of discipline, among others, can be curtailed or stopped if uniforms are introduced in schools.

Opponents believe it is within students' first amendment right to wear what they choose, if it does not disrupt learning, create ''substantial disorder,'' or infringe on the rights of others.

If students are going to be in gangs, they are going to be in gangs whether they wear uniforms or not. Students identify themselves in groups - if not by clothing then by hairstyles, race, or gender.

Enforcing mandatory student uniforms violates the first amendment and will not solve the underlying problems in today's schools. The problems will resurface until children are brought up with values and morals.

Ann Vlnar Rexburg, Idaho

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