When the average parent gets a call from the principal threatening suspension, I imagine most parents anticipate news of a scuffle, a colorful exchange of words or a obscene clothing malfunction, but not typically for sporting the wrong color blouse.
Let me introduce you to Camden County schools’ dress code that permits dark green, white or navy blue shirts, but not the shade of green that Kylie, 8, wore and received a one-day suspension for last week.
“I got suspended for wearing a different color than they wanted me to wear,” Kylie tells Q13 Fox TV. “The principal told me that I don’t have to stay here and I could leave.”
The vice principal at Winslow Township Elementary School No. 4 phoned the girl’s mother and told her Kylie “can’t wear that shirt, and if she does wear that shirt again, she would be suspended,” Mom tells a local reporter.
“My child messed up,” she continues. “I messed it up for my child, and she’ll be suspended next time for it. But to suspend the child over a shade of a color of a shirt – I found it a little ridiculous.”
The next morning, Kylie and her twin sister missed the bus, so their mom drove them to school in their matching navy blue dresses. The principal promptly greeted them when mom tried to sign her daughters in.
“She told me, ‘Don’t bother to sign her in,’ and then told Kylie she’s not in school today,” but the girls’ mother took them both home.
Other parents and grandparents have reported that their children, too, have been suspended for breaking the colors rules in Camden County’s dress code, which states, “school attire can influence a pupil’s behavior and potentially impact the academic environment,” Yahoo! Parenting reports. Not to mention, apparently exclude students from their public learning completely – an ironic tidbit commenters haven’t overlooked.
“Nothing promotes a good learning environment quite like barring kids from learning,” commenter MOLLYDTTT says.
The concept of uniforms, period, seems ridiculous to many parents hitting up the comments section of these articles, however those who enrolled their kids in this school knew it required a dress code.
Personally, I think the issue lies in the slack language and delivery.
What constitutes “dark” green? The code should specify – forest, olive, emerald, pistachio, Kelly, etc.
I’m not the only one to ask.
“Does the school system send out a color palette to the parents so they know what actually constitutes ‘dark green’ or ‘dark blue’?” commenter James Merrill asks on Raw Story. “This is petty tyranny taken to extreme.”
“How many parts per million of black should be in there?” asked WJM51. “And everyone has a meter to read that, right?”
Color-dubious parents and kids, beware.
What do you think? Would you be upset if your child was sent home for the same reason? Tell us in the comments below.