I'm not one to rant... but I'm making an exception today.
I got a call from my sixth grade daughter (who was at school, crying) recently and was told I needed to bring her some clothes to change into because hers weren't 'appropriate' for school and went against the dress code. What??? I thought back to what she had on that morning, which was actually an outfit she wears to church; leggings & a baby-doll style top that came to her thighs--completely covering her butt--and a long-sleeved blue-jean jacket. I took a deep breath and told her I would be right there.
Well, when I got there, she was upset and embarrassed that she had to be taken out of class (missing her lesson) so she could wait on me to bring her clothes. When I asked the office why her clothes broke dress code, I was informed it was because her top didn't come within an envelope's width of her knees. Really? So, let me make sure I understand. She can't wear leggings when she wears a top over them that comes to her thighs? Okay. I understand (not really), but don't want to be one of those moms, so I hug my daughter and give her the t-shirt and jeans I brought for her.
That night, my daughter and I sat down to go over the dress code, since it had obviously changed. Well, come to find out, they can't even wear sweat pants! You know, the comfy cotton pants that everyone wears in the winter? Yeah, those. Nope, the only pants she can wear are athletic pants or jeans... and leggings, as long as she has another entire outfit covering them up, pretty much.
Okay, school systems... let me see if I've gotten this straight. The dress code seems to have been made mainly for girls, so they won't distract the boys. And even though they are COVERED and in no way look inappropriate (just like my daughter didn't), they will still be taken out of class so they can change from sweat pants/leggings into jeans, which are often made so they are even tighter than sweat pants. I know if my daughter is late or misses any classes for any reason, it is highly frowned upon and I get a letter stating this, however, the school can take her out of class, and in this case, for no reason, and it's okay? Hmm....
One thing I see that is a bit ironic and COMPLETELY goes against the school dress code happens to be some uniforms that are distributed BY the schools, themselves. I don't see how cheerleaders can wear (to school, might I add) skirts that come up to their butts, yet that seems to be okay. And the school's volleyball team have shorts that are made of spandex, no less, and also come up to their butts, especially when they are bent over or diving for a ball.
|(Photos are only examples and doesn't depict any particular school.)|
So, what kind of message does this send to our young girls? I can only imagine, since I, myself, am very confused by this. They are told not to wear cotton pants--clothes that cover them and are not inappropriate for most people--yet get assigned uniforms BY THE SCHOOL like the ones pictured and it's acceptable? It's okay to jump around and do flips in skirts that are butt high in front of the entire school, but it's not okay to wear cotton pants to class?
I don't know about the rest of you, but I think our schools need to re-evaluate their dress codes. Should short shorts or tank tops be worn? No. What about leggings with short t-shirts? No. However, when you utilize a dress code, make it reasonable and fair. Don't make it so girls get in trouble and feel guilty for wearing certain things that are cute and presentable, covering them up appropriately, yet do nothing to teach the boys to respect them no matter what they wear. Also, make sure you enforce it where it needs to be enforced the most, which, in my opinion, is in the high schools. I can't tell you how many girls I see coming out of/going into our local high school--walking right by the principle--with shorts on that are so short that it looks like they don't have any on. Then, on the flip side, my eleven-year-old daughter gets embarrassed by her school by being taken out of class because her top came to her thighs instead of within an envelope width of her knees? Get it together, dress code people!