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Should schools be so strict about their students' dress code?

Posted by on May. 29, 2012 at 5:46 AM
  • 19 Replies

Junior High School Student Sent Home From School for Dressing Too Well

Posted by Kiri Blakeley on May 24, 2012 

Ah, teenagers. You have to love them with their rebellious nature, their obstinate attempts to carve our their own identity with nose rings, pink hair, and outrageous outfits. In fact, they can sometimes go so overboard in their unorthodox appearance that they can even be sent home from school. That's what happened to one father. He got called to his 14-year-old daughter's junior high school and told to pick up his kid because she was dressed "inappropriately." Oh oh.

You won't believe what the girl was wearing.

The father, who recounted his tale on his blog and then in The Huffington Post, arrived at his kid's school in Utah to find her dressed in ... are you ready? A flouncy brown patterned skirt with a big flower belt, a white t-shirt with short sleeves, and flats. Horrors!

The principal of the school had deemed that the girl's skirt was just a wee bit too short. Half an inch too short, to be precise. Writes the dad:

I began to think: "Luckily the school administration can look at her and see her as a provocative female," but then I thought ... no ... that is extremely creepy. I tried to think: "Luckily the school administration can look at her though the eyes of hormone-addled teenage boys to see her as provocative," but then I thought ... no ... that is weird-creepy.

The dad also mentions that, when the yearbook came out, he saw plenty of girls with shorter skirts on. Did the principal have it out for his daughter? Maybe she had the skirt hiked up higher than it was when her father arrived?

More from The Stir: School Bans 4-Year-Old From Class Photo Because of Her Hairdo

Looking at the photo, it appears the girl was dressed appropriately not only for school, but her age. However, if the school did have a very stern skirt policy, and the skirt WAS a bit too short, then the rules were broken. Still, it seems odd that the principal had nothing better to do than to measure this girl's skirt. But maybe it is just a really well-run school and nothing, absolutely nothing, was more important that day than preventing the rest of the junior high innocents from being subjected to this girl's stubby knees.

That said, inappropriate dress can often be in the eye of the beholder. I once wore a long black t-shirt with white lettering on it to my job as a hostess at a restaurant oh so many years ago. I myself thought the shirt to be quite classy. I'd bought it in Paris, and the white lettering spelled out ooh-la-la stuff like "Eiffel Tower," and "Louvre." As far as I was concerned, my authentic Paris t-shirt was good enough to put me on a couture runway.

My boss didn't quite think so. He took once look at my loose t-shirt and fired me.

Should schools be so strict about their students' dress code?

by on May. 29, 2012 at 5:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
HollyWilson2012
by on May. 29, 2012 at 6:11 AM

I think that there shouldn't be any sagging from boys and I think that a girl should be able to wear shorts and skirts and dresses as long as the are at least 2 inches past the knee. Also I think that kids should dress for their age!!

Delirium003
by on May. 29, 2012 at 8:14 AM

My son's elementary school has girls in SHORT shorts and skirts.  It amazes me how people let their kids dress!  I saw a (probably) 6th grade girl in a skirt so short, I'm sure her butt would have popped out if she bent over.  

I also see the saggy pants of boys everywhere.  C'mon now...no one wants to see your butt.  

If my crack or any other part of my butt were hanging out at those ages, I would have been mortified!  

I'm not saying lets all dress in floor length dresses and such...but a little decency goes a long way!

LuvingRN
by on May. 29, 2012 at 1:53 PM

 I think there should be some sort of a dress code but it seriously needs to be within reason.

My daughter is in middle school and they are not allowed to wear shorts shorter than the length of their arm.  So if my daughter puts her arms straight down and rests her hand on her thigh, her shorts have to be longer than that.  Fine, I can see that as appropriate...but what if someones arms are short??? o_0

I think saggy pants should just be outlawed period, LOL!!!

Mommy4000
by on May. 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I think there needs to be a more defined dress code. My kids school dress codes are a little confusing. The dress code at the elementary is no spaghetti strap tanks. My daughter wore a full length dress with spaghetti straps, but also wore a tank underneath with the broad straps. She had absolutely nothing showing and she's 8. They made her put a t-shirt on over it, but another child I saw was wearing a regular tank but not long enough to cover her belly button, and very tiny shorts, and was a 5th grader who was starting to develop, and nothing was said to her. She wears this type of clothing often so I know she hasn't been asked to change. To me that makes no sense at all.

mysticalmalissa
by Gold Member on May. 29, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I HATE the dress code at the public high school my two older sons attended. Everyone looked the same, no individualism.

No jeans allowed, tucked in polo type shirts WITH undershirt and belts.

I fought it an was finally able to do away with the undershirt part. If its still the same when my youngest hits high school, they will have to deal with me again.

nicoledanny
by on May. 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM

In my daughters' school they are allowed to wear tank tops until 2nd grade.  After 2nd grade it's forbidden. What teacher are they worried about getting turned on by seeing a 4th grader in a tank top?  We live in Texas.  It's hot here.  Kids want to wear shorts and tank tops.  My younger daughter lives for dresses (there's not really any summer dresses with short sleeves).  The clothes they sell at places like Justice and Gap do not follow the school dress codes at all.   I have to buy my kids two different sets of warm weather clothes (shorts season started in Feb this year and will probably last until November).  When they get home they immediately change out of their sweaty t-shirts and jeans (shorts have to hit the knee, which my kids don't like) and into tank tops and shorts to go play outside. My girls are 6 and 9 and will be in 2nd and 5th grade this upcoming school year, if that matters:) 

@Mommy4000: Is there a chance that child comes from a low-income family?  They might look the other way if they know the family cannot afford or refuse to buy new clothes. 


Sorry, I didn't realize this was a private group!  I don't know how I stumbled across this, but I did:o

martinmayhem
by on May. 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM
1 mom liked this

Everyone is going to bash me to pieces, but I think that schools benefit from uniforms. 

mysticalmalissa
by Gold Member on May. 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM


Quoting nicoledanny:

In my daughters' school they are allowed to wear tank tops until 2nd grade.  After 2nd grade it's forbidden. What teacher are they worried about getting turned on by seeing a 4th grader in a tank top?  We live in Texas.  It's hot here.  Kids want to wear shorts and tank tops.  My younger daughter lives for dresses (there's not really any summer dresses with short sleeves).  The clothes they sell at places like Justice and Gap do not follow the school dress codes at all.   I have to buy my kids two different sets of warm weather clothes (shorts season started in Feb this year and will probably last until November).  When they get home they immediately change out of their sweaty t-shirts and jeans (shorts have to hit the knee, which my kids don't like) and into tank tops and shorts to go play outside. My girls are 6 and 9 and will be in 2nd and 5th grade this upcoming school year, if that matters:) 

@Mommy4000: Is there a chance that child comes from a low-income family?  They might look the other way if they know the family cannot afford or refuse to buy new clothes. 


Sorry, I didn't realize this was a private group!  I don't know how I stumbled across this, but I did:o

This isnt a private group! Everyone is welcome =)

Mom4213
by on May. 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM

I think that if they are going to do a dress code that they should have a uniform. The whole time I was in school, if you were in a certain group then you could do anything, including wear skirts that barely hit mid thigh. If your parents were certain people in Elementry school, you could wear whatever or do pretty much anything if the staff knew them in a good way. Yet if your parents weren't looked on very highly, no matter what kind of kid you were, then the staff would like, nit pick whatever you did. It's like that no matter where you go. It's always the same story. The people who make up the school dress codes are thinking about themselves. They don't care about individuality. They want conformity. (Uniforms wouldn't help much, but at least you wouldn't have such wiggle room for excuses.) That's why if you do have anything that is 'different', they will try and make you drop whatever. Weather it's stated in the rules or not. The only way you can keep them from pushing you around is by arguing with them and pointing out facts. But even then, you have to have your parents on your side as well. So if they just want to appease staff so that they will leave you alone, then you as the kid is screwed. What parents don't realize is that that tells the child that what they want doesn't matter. It tells the kid that even though it's not hurting anyone, they can't be themselves and they have to be repressed. Parents need to stick up for their children, weather or not they tell them not to do whatever it is when they get back home or not....

PrettyJess
by on May. 30, 2012 at 1:40 AM
2 moms liked this

I am a firm believer that schools should have uniform policies. It prepares children for the real world. It is professional, and condusive to a productive learning environment. It promotes solidarity, and kids who don't belong in the school are readily identifiable. School isn't a party, it isn't a hang out, it isn't a play date, it isn't a fashion show.. It is a place where kids go to learn...academics, social interaction, real world skills. There should be an expectation for kids to dress appropriatly. Most of us would have no problem dressing our kids in their Girl Scouts uniforms, or their soccer uniforms, for example. We don't complain about them loosing their individuality then, so I don't understand why some parents get their panties in a bunch when it comes to school enforcing uniform policy. I expect that reaction from the kids, not the parents. 

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