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Madison students, 1965

These three Madison High School students in 1965 were honored with good citizenship awards. From left, they are Sue Vilhauer of West High, Jo Ann Benell of Central-University High, and Glenda Natvig of East High.


This letter to the editor ran in the State Journal on March 6, 1968: Sirs — I was a participant in the recent demonstration against the dress and grooming restrictions.

I was surprised to hear comments on a local radio program concerning the protest. So many people seem to have the students who are against the dress code stereotyped. Many appear to think we are revolting against all authority. Quite the contrary: Two of the signs read “Reaffirm Parent Power” and “Hair is a Family Affair.” We feel it is up to the student and his parents to decide what is “good taste.”

Many people also seem to think we were all sloppily dressed, in need of a dress code. The girls were neatly dressed in skirts or dresses of moderate length (no miniskirts). The boys also looked respectable. I’ll admit there were a few with what would be called by some “extreme” in hair styles, but there were also many with relatively short hair.

I have also heard people say we are just a bunch of irresponsible kids who would go out and protest against anything if we got the chance. This also is a falsehood. Among us were quite a few honor students, myself included. ...

Why can’t people judge others on their acts and behavior instead of outward appearance? I can say from personal experience that long hair and mustaches have very little, probably no, effect on the educational process. ... If the administration had not put up such a fuss about dress and grooming, the students wouldn’t have paid much attention to the few who wear “extremes” in dress and hair.

Nancy Snyder, Madison