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Hoots, Hollers Over Work-Study Gig

A high school senior's choice for a work-study job was a little too racy in the eyes of her superintendent.

Laura Williams, 17, took a job about a month ago as a hostess at a Hooters restaurant, the national chain known for its scantily clad waitresses.

Superintendent Michael Moore has asked Williams to quit, saying the job is not appropriate for a work-study program.

"I have questions in my mind because of the advertising and sexual connotations," Moore said.

But Larry Williams said he does not mind his daughter working at the restaurant. He planned to appeal to the school board and argue that his daughter should be allowed to keep her job.

"I went to Hooters for an hour, and six families came in for supper during that time," he said. "This is a chain restaurant with high standards."

Earlier in the school year, Laura Williams got a job cleaning homes and businesses, but was encouraged by a school adviser to find a job where her performance could be better monitored, her father said.

Larry Williams noted that some work-study students are employed at restaurants that sell liquor, and others have worked at Hooters in non-school-related jobs on weekends and summers.

As a hostess, Williams wears a neck-high T-shirt and long khaki pants and does not serve customers alcohol.

"A lot of people have misperceptions about Hooters, but we try to appeal as a fun place for everyone," said Aaron Sharp, the restaurant's manager. "We give balloons to children; we have a kids' menu."

Vocational education programs at the high school allow students to leave the campus early each day to work at retail, administrative, service and other jobs. Students earn credits for the courses based on their supervisors' evaluations of their work ethic and performance.

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