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Dad Challenges School Dress Code after teen daughter sent home for distracting boys

Posted by on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:01 AM
  • 158 Replies

Dad fights school’s dress code after teen daughter sent home for ‘distracting boys’

Demetra Alarcon was told her clothes were distracting to boys, but her father argued there's something bigger at stake. (Source: CBS San Francisco)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS News) — A middle school in California is considering making a change to its dress code in response to a man who stood up for his daughter after she was sent home because of her clothing.

CBS San Francisco reports Fisher Middle School officials told 13-year-old Demetra Alarcon her outfit — a romper — was distracting to boys. Alarcon’s teacher insisted the garment was too short. Her father, however, argued that there’s something bigger at stake.

“I mean, today it’s 90 degrees outside and she’s wearing leggings because she doesn’t want to be dress-coded for wearing shorts,” said Demetra’s father, Tony. “And it’s not OK. It needs to change.”

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“I brought her a change of clothing, which included a tank top with spaghetti straps and shorts,” he added.

But school leaders weren’t happy with that outfit either because the shorts didn’t have a four-inch inseam.

“Fisher has a dress code policy, which is clothing specific. Most of the clothing mentioned are women’s clothing like halter tops (and) spaghetti straps,” said Alarcon.

He asked for input from neighbors on NextDoor.com, a private social media site for your neighborhood, to see if his argument against the current dress code made sense. He received dozens of messages of support.

One woman wrote: “Your post has reminded me of some fairly serious body image issues of my own that have stemmed from our cultural shaming and sexualizing of girls’ bodies.”

Alarcon doesn’t want his daughter or any other young girl to have to go through that.

“You have to stand up for what’s right and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

While she may only be 13, the eighth grader could end up being the reason a major change in the dress code policy occurs.

Los Gatos Union School District Superintendent Diana G. Abbati did not want to speak on camera, but she did release a statement regarding the dress code that reads in part: “Students are expected to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities in which they participate.”

The school district met Monday night to discuss the dress code.

Abatti said that parents should learn the decision on the dress code in the near future.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

by on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:04 AM
17 moms liked this

As the mother of a boy, this kind of stuff really bothers me. I teach  my son that women are to be respected, regardless of the clothes they are wearing or the jobs they hold, etc. Boys - and men - are going to encounter girls and women dressed in all kinds of ways as they go through life. They must learn to control their response to that sort of stimuli. To insist that women must dress differently so as not to "distract" boys is insulting to the male gender, IMO. Not every man has difficulty controlling his urges just because a girl walks by in a pair of shorts and a tank top. And to insist that they do is just giving some men an excuse to behave poorly. 

zandhmom2
by Bronze Member on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:11 AM
3 moms liked this

I thought most schools dress code consist of dresses, shorts and skirt reaching to the bottom of your fingers? You should be able to bend over without your under clothing showing. I think claiming it's too distracting for boys is wrong though. 

Btamilee2753
by Lee on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:12 AM
1 mom liked this

Dress code was an ongoing issue at the High School I worked at for 13 years.  Females were called down to the office on a pretty much daily basis for dress code violations.  Skirts and shorts were measured.  It got so bad at one point that big Tshirts were kept for them to put on if they did not have any other clothing with them.  Certain females got sent to the office, and certain ones did not, often it depended on the teacher and honestly....who the student was.  Young men need to be taught to respect females, regardless of what they are wearing.  

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:15 AM
3 moms liked this


Quoting Btamilee2753:

Dress code was an ongoing issue at the High School I worked at for 13 years.  Females were called down to the office on a pretty much daily basis for dress code violations.  Skirts and shorts were measured.  It got so bad at one point that big Tshirts were kept for them to put on if they did not have any other clothing with them.  Certain females got sent to the office, and certain ones did not, often it depended on the teacher and honestly....who the student was.  Young men need to be taught to respect females, regardless of what they are wearing.  

This is exactly my point. Just because a woman is showing too much cleavage isn't an excuse to ogle her or God forbid, decide she is asking for unwanted sexual advances. We are teaching our boys that it's OK to be pigs when we do this. 

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:16 AM
3 moms liked this

I will also say that I am glad I do not have a girl. Have you guys seen girls' clothing choices? It can be very  difficult to find shorts that are knee length these days. I'm 43, and even in the "old women" clothing section, things just seem to get shorter and shorter every year. Girls should not have to wear pants in 100 degree weather. 

coolmommy2x
by Platinum Member on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:18 AM
3 moms liked this
I agree that the using the reason it's distracting for boys is not right and I applaud him for fighting to fix that.

However, I disagree with him bringing her shorts that didn't fit the 4" inseam requirement to wear as a replacement outfit. My DD has very long legs so I know it can be hard to find appropriate length shorts but it's not impossible. It feels like (to me) he's saying I don't lime this rule so I'm just going to break all of them.
billsfan1104
by on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:19 AM
7 moms liked this

you can teach boys to be resepctful and so forth, but boys and men are visual creatures.  they always will.  whether or not they act on it, is a differnt story.

I am sorry, but that romper is not appropriate for school

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:22 AM
1 mom liked this

And that's what they need to be taught isn't appropriate. Both men and women are designed to see something we like and be drawn to it. But you have to teach both genders about controlling their impulses. 

Quoting billsfan1104:

you can teach boys to be resepctful and so forth, but boys and men are visual creatures.  they always will.  whether or not they act on it, is a differnt story.

I am sorry, but that romper is not appropriate for school


billsfan1104
by on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:26 AM
1 mom liked this

exactly right, and while I dont think these kids would act on them, they can become distracted, which is human nature.  I still think that this outfit was inappropriate.  But I am old fashioned

Quoting cjsbmom:

And that's what they need to be taught isn't appropriate. Both men and women are designed to see something we like and be drawn to it. But you have to teach both genders about controlling their impulses. 

Quoting billsfan1104:

you can teach boys to be resepctful and so forth, but boys and men are visual creatures.  they always will.  whether or not they act on it, is a differnt story.

I am sorry, but that romper is not appropriate for school


canadianmom1974
by Platinum Member on Sep. 19, 2017 at 8:42 AM
4 moms liked this
I'm so glad the high school I work at doesn't lose it's shit over this stuff. I've seen girls in shorts or skirts/dresses that would not pass the fingertip test, in strapless or spaghetti strap tops, with a little bit of midriff showing. If seeing that is going to distract a male (or female) student to the point their education is impacted, they have bigger issues going on.

I have boys and I expect them to control themselves and their thoughts and actions. It is not the female students, nor girls and women in the world at large, responsibility to provide them with a distraction free school, workplace, life.
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