Get ups and generation gaps

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By MIKE MORRIS

Every day, it's a battle of the generations for Bonnie Archer.

She's one of six security guards at Sonora High School who must make sure students abide by the school's dress code.

Archer said about 30 kids most in low-riding baggy pants or with midriffs exposed violate the code each week.

Like their peers at campuses across the country, students at Sonora High and Bret Harte High School in Angels Camp are struggling with their school's dress codes at a time when what's hip for teens isn't so cool with school officials.

Both high schools have similar policies, which state students can't wear clothes promoting alcohol or drugs. Shirts that show cleavage or midriffs and poorly fitting pants are also off limits.

"They expect you to wear ugly, old people clothes," said Stacey Scott, a Bret Harte senior.

Archer said she busted two students Wednesday: A boy was wearing a T-shirt that said "Bite Me," while a girl was showing too much skin.

"Britney Spears, J.Lo kids like that look," said Archer, 43. "But that's not our policy."

Paulina Keel, a Sonora High secretary, agreed: "The Britney Spears look just doesn't fly here at school."

After looking in clothing stores herself, Keel admits that what's available for girls to buy doesn't usually match with the dress code.

"Sometimes we're beating our heads against the wall," she said. "Clothes that are available in stores and popular are not always appropriate."

Students have mixed views on what exactly is "appropriate."

"A lot of people push the limits, wearing pants that show their underwear and thongs. Teachers are just trying to buckle down, that's all," said Sonora High sophomore Lindsey Hood.

A recent article in Bret Harte's student newspaper, The Lily Pad, states, "Dress codes are something you have to deal with all your life. However, the high school dress code seems to be on everyone's mind lately."

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The Union Democrat
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