I’m not a super fan of dress codes.
I understand that they’re in place to teach kids about appropriate work attire, and I definitely appreciate the role they play in curbing bullying, but the creative side of me thinks that kids should have room to express themselves through their appearance – and honestly, proper hygiene should be more important than appearance anyway.
But whether or not you agree with me, I think that it’s pretty safe to say that a school’s dress code doesn’t extend to parents.
Sure, parents should probably show up to their child’s school covered, but outside of that, dress codes are for students. Just because my child isn’t allowed to have a nose ring in class, doesn’t mean that I need to take my piercing out to visit the school, right?
Madison High School in Texas apparently extends the school dress code to anyone that wants to enter school grounds, and have made headlines after refusing entry to a student’s mom.
The mom in question, Joselyn Lewis, went to the school to register her 15-year-old daughter for classes. Lewis was in the middle of getting her hair done when she made the trip, so she had a headscarf on and was sporting a Marilyn Monroe T-shirt dress.
She told KPRC, an NBC affiliate out of Houston, that she first thought administrators mistook her for a student, so she explained who she was and why she was there.
When the administrator told her that she was still not allowed on school property due to dress code violations, the mom was shocked.
“She went on to say that she still couldn’t let me on the premises because I was not in dress code and I still didn’t understand what that meant,” she says in an interview with KPRC. “She said that my headscarf was out of dress code and my dress was too short.”
For the record, Lewis reportedly would have been fine with the request if her dress had been too short or if her private parts were showing, but she did the fingertip test and the dress she was wearing was not shorter than her fingers, which is the typical rule.
Upset by the incident, Lewis asked for documentation that said parents must be within dress code – and when the school couldn’t produce that paperwork she refused to leave and called the school board.
Meanwhile, the school called the police department who sent an officer to tell her to leave.
Lewis maintains her stance and told KPRC that she can wear what she wants to wear and doesn’t have to get ‘all dolled up” to enroll her (daughter) in school.”
“My child’s education, anyone’s child’s education should be more important than what someone has on, that shouldn’t matter,” she says.
I tend to agree with her. Her daughter’s education is more important than what her mom chooses to wear and her mom shouldn’t have to dress a certain way to run errands – I don’t know about you, but I’m not going out of my way to wear a pantsuit to the grocery store.
Sure, how you present yourself to the world is important, but the world should also be mindful that some people don’t have the money to afford designer clothing and that some work long or odd hours and have to show up in work clothing, or in this case, clothing that they wore to the hairdresser.
None of that should have any affect on their children and they shouldn’t be judged for it.
We’re all just trying to get by and do the best for our kids, and what does it teach our kids when someone is turned away because their appearance isn’t good enough in that moment? Not something we want them to learn, that’s for sure.
What do you think of this story? Was the school wrong to send this mom away or should Lewis have dressed up to run to her daughter’s school? Drop your opinion in the comments.