Is this crossing the line?
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We all know about schools having dress codes for students. But one Houston high school decided to take it a step further and extend the requirement all the way to the parents as well.
Now, parents of students at James Madison High School will not be allowed on campus grounds if they do not meet the new clothing standards.
This includes prohibiting parents from wearing all types of pajamas, leggings, sagging pants, low-rider shorts, short dresses, and low-cut tops. Furthermore, women are not allowed to wear satin caps, hair curlers, shower caps or bonnets on their heads.
“We have to have standards, most of all we must have high standards. We are preparing your child for a prosperous future,” Carlotta Outley Brown, the principal of James Madison High School in Houston, wrote. “We want them to know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for any setting they might be in.”
The decision stems from repeated instances with parents coming onto campus in clothing deemed inappropriate. One woman showed up in a “sheer top that exposed her breasts and a second walked in wearing low-cut jeans that exposed thong underwear.” A third parent arrived “in her night shirt, and a cloth head wrap with rollers in her hair and flip flops.”
But that hasn’t stopped many parents from expressing their frustrations or disagreements with the new rule. Take Rosemary Young, who was wearing a satin hat when she had to rush to school after her son broke his arm.
“It doesn’t matter how a parent should come,” parent Rosemary Young told CNN affiliate KTRK. “If we come here belligerent, out of control, things of that nature, that’s what you have the police for, but what I wear should never be an issue. I’m not revealing. I’m not doing anything. I don’t have any weapons.”
This report came to light after a woman claimed that she was not allowed to enroll her daughter into James Madison because of what she was wearing.
Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, also thinks the school overdid it.
“Having body parts exposed is one thing. Turning someone away because their hair’s in rollers … is a little ridiculous,” Capo told CNN. “This is an issue of a principal issuing a dictatorial edict rather than having substantive conversation.”
“Some of that stuff seems a little classist,” Capo added.
A significant part of the frustration towards the dress code has to do with the belief that there are racial undertones in the list.
It wasn’t the entire school district which has this rule; just one high school with a low-income student boy where a combined 98% of the students are either African American or Hispanic.
“I’m almost insulted,” Tomiko Miller, the mother of a current student, told the Chronicle. “I really think it was discriminatory, the language that was used. It was demeaning. And I’m African American — and if it’s misty outside and I have a hair bonnet on, I don’t see how that’s anyone’s business.”
But Brown, who happens to be African American, refuted any claims of racist traces.
“This is not about race, creed, or color and especially not about socio-economic status,” she said. “It is about elevating standards for students who will go out into the world in the near future and seek opportunities for themselves. I do not want them to face possible barriers.”
You can read more about this story on CNN.
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Is this crossing the line?