School Dress Codes … What a Drag!

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The back-to-school drama starts with dress codes and you may wonder if schools are placing too much emphasis on it.

It seems each year school dress codes change based on fashions and schools … and a little bit of something else. Worry? Concern? That there may be too much knee showing. Or shoulder. Or (gasp!) skin!

We caught up with local middle schooler, Lilly, who shared what it’s like EACH morning at her school.

“A dean comes into my classroom each morning,” Lilly says. “Everyone stands up as they check clothes for dress code. If your clothes aren’t dress-code appropriate, you are sent to the office to put on a gym uniform. Sometimes they even make us raise our arms to see if our shirts go up too high. They even say they recommend we wear shorts under our skirts, even if it’s dress-code length.”

Oh my.

After talking to Lilly further, we learned that the 12-year-old middle schooler is totally terrified of being “dress coded” and refuses to wear any type of shorts, skirts or dresses to school AT ALL.

Local mom, Laura P., says she had a problem last year with her tall daughter’s shorts. The shorts she bought had “designer holes” in them. Laura says it’s hard to find shorts that are dress-code length for her daughter, so when she finds them, she gets them. But this year holes are not allowed in shorts or pants above the knee.

I called to verify whether the long shorts (with store-bought holes) specifically recommended last year for my tall child are in fact now banned,” says Laura. “I was convinced my child misunderstood. Nope. They are banned even though they go to her KNEES.”

In addition, Lilly shares a new rule most of us probably haven’t heard:  Girls are told to touch their necks. If a girl’s collar bone shows, the shirt is too low-cut. Oh, and lest we forget the noodle strap tanks: Banned. Those “cold shoulder” tops are OK (as long as there’s no noodle strap at the top).

Seriously, you probably got an email just before school started about your school’s dress code. And maybe for kids in high school some of the fine points are warranted. To us though, kids in elementary and middle school who are figuring themselves out should not be shamed for their choices or dressed in a gym outfit if they’ve met with parent approval on the way out the door. 

Just Sayin’.

Just Sayin' is a blog maintained by the editors of Nashville, Rutherford, Sumner and Williamson Parent magazines. Light on words but sharp on point of view, Just Sayin' seeks to shed light on subjects both controversial and obvious. Enjoy!

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