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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2002

School district dress code should provide more specific guidelines

Our clothes manufacturers have lowered the bar once again. As your children shop for their school clothes this year, you might want to consider the school dress codes. The Kenai Peninsula School District Handbook has a section on page 17. It reads as follows:

"Research demonstrates that there is a close relationship between dress and student attitude toward school and personal conduct. Students are to dress and groom themselves neatly in clothes that are suitable for school activities and an educational, not social, setting. Clothing or accessories that tend to be costumes or draw undue attention will not be allowed.

"The appropriateness of dress is the judgment of the teachers and administrators.

"T-shirts or other clothing that carry profane, drug/alcohol/tobacco-related, sexually suggestive, or otherwise objectionable slogans or pictures are not permitted. The students will need to replace the offending item or go home to change if necessary. Repeated violations of the dress code will result in consequences for insubordination."

Last week, I approached the school district to make the dress code more specific. Forgive me for not giving them time to respond to me regarding my request, however, I think parents need to be thinking about this now.

There are a lot of very cute clothes out there, but there are also some clothes that are marginal and could pass under that low bar with the above dress code. An example might be the new peasant blouses. There is an open loop under the tie that lets more peak out than should. Also, the little tees that have a split at the neckline plunge a little too far.

What's the purpose?

I personally do not think girls should be permitted at any school age to wear anything in school that shows cleavage, stomach or too much leg with a short skirt or short-shorts. That is simple to remember!

I think leaving the dress code in the "judgment of the teachers and administrators" opens the door much too wide. There are too many differing opinions. It needs to be absolute and then enforced. A specific dress code for homecoming and prom dresses needs to be addressed well ahead of time as well.

Calling the school district three months ago about this would have been a better thing to do, but if you want to see some changes to the above dress code to make it more specific consider giving them a call at Central Office and kindly voice your opinion. It can't hurt! Their number is 262-5846. The more calls they get, the more likely they will be to address it as soon as possible. Your quick call can make a difference.

Thanks.

Annette Pankoski, Soldotna

Poor children can't get proper dental care in Kenai, Soldotna

What about our underprivileged children?

Our elected state and local officials seem to be wearing dark shades and ear muffs when it comes to protecting the rights of our under-privileged children in the Kenai-Soldotna area. Complaint after complaint has been reported to our state and local officials regarding dental care being denied for children who receive state Medicaid.

Local dentists have become so rich and independent evidently that they are refusing to accept underprivileged children who receive state of Alaska Medicaid insurance as payment for their dental services. If a family is receiving state of Alaska adult public assistance and Medicaid insurance for their children under 21 years who are in dire need of having dental work done, forget it.

Not one dentist in the Kenai-Soldotna area will accept state Medicaid insurance as payment for their services.

I have talked to several dental offices' regarding why they refuse to accept state Medicaid insurance as payment for their services for doing dental work on children who are receiving state Medicaid. Most complaints from the local dental offices are that the state of Alaska is too slow making payments for their services. Other dental offices' complaints were there is too much red tape and paper work to fill out.

If these are the real reasons why our local dental offices are refusing to accept state Medicaid insurance for underprivileged children, then we will all need to get on our telephones and start calling our local and state representatives and demand this matter be corrected immediately.

Underprivileged families and their children who are receiving adult public assistance and who live on a very low fixed income in and around the Kenai-Soldotna area have no choice but to travel to Homer or Anchorage to get dental work done to their children's teeth. What happens to the underprivileged families with children who need emergency dental assistance, and what about the underprivileged families who have no vehicle or cannot afford to transport their children to Homer or Anchorage to get dental work done on their children's teeth?

Nothing can be done; they just have to suffer.

Our local and state politicians have been put on notice and have known about this problem for some time; however, children are still suffering at their hands because of the red herring acts they are committing against underprivileged children by being distracted from the real issues at hand here.

I notice every time people who are running for political office want to show off their compassionate side to the general public, they always makes it a point to pick up some little child and hug the child. What they are trying to show is that they care about and love our children.

This is not the case here.

Over 2,000 children who live in and around the Kenai and Soldotna area know exactly what this letter spells out. It is high time this problem came to a close. Either the state of Alaska should correct this problem immediately, or these underprivileged families with children who are being denied and cannot receive the proper medical attention they are entitled to need to form a coalition and file a class action lawsuit against the state of Alaska for its failure to protect the rights of its own people who are being denied the proper medical assistance.

See rich families and politicians' families don't have these problems. This is sad.

James Bounds, Kenai



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