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diavolobella's avatar

Do you feel that this dress is in violation of this dress code?

Asked by diavolobella (7925points) October 26th, 2010

The situation:

Your child’s public school has a dress code. You take your child to school and approximately 45 minutes later, you receive a phone call from your child. Your child tells you that an administrator has told them they are in violation of the following portion of the dress code: “Skirts and dresses must be longer than mid-thigh.” This is the only portion of the dress code that mentions dresses or skirts and the only portion your child is accused of having violated.

Your child tells you that the administrator wants you to either come get her or bring her other clothing. You can do neither of these things, as you are now 50 miles away at your workplace. You ask your child to put the administrator on the phone, but they are not available, so you speak to a staffer who has no authority and who knows nothing about the situation. You ask for the administrator to contact you and email the vice principal. No response. Your child is sent to class in a tee shirt and athletic shorts given to her by the office staff.

The dress in question is the same dress being worn by the child in this photograph, but in the color black rather than gray. Your child is wearing the dress with black ballerina flat shoes. The child in the photograph is 5’7½” and your child is 5’2”, so the dress is not the same length on her, but actually slightly longer.

My question is:

Do you feel this dress violates the dress code?

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34 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Huh? That dress is just above the knee. I would ask the Administrator what they are smoking.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Of course not, as shown. But are you certain that she didn’t change her clothes on the way to school? How much would you bet on that? Does the dress perhaps have a slit or a button-up front that could be undone?

wundayatta's avatar

What kind of school is it that they have such a dress code? I guess it’s all about community standards and power. Maybe they just want to harass you for some reason.

FWIW, I don’t find that dress to violate the dress code. I mean, it obviously doesn’t. So there must be some other reason of giving you a hard time.

Even so, what can you do about it? Do you even want to, or are you asking for sympathy. Whatever. I think you been done wrong.

Seaofclouds's avatar

How much does the dress go up when she raises her hands above her head? In the schools I use to go to, if we raised our hands and the dress/skirt rose above the dress code they would make us change. (If I remember correctly, our dress code was that the bottom of it could not be more than 2 or 3 inches above our knee and yes, teachers and administrators would measure it.)

I personally would call the administrator and discuss it with them. I’d ask them exactly how they figure it is a violation of the dress code considering the length of the dress.

diavolobella's avatar

@CyanoticWasp. That is the dress she wore. I had to drive her to school myself because her bus never showed up and it was starting to rain. She doesn’t own any short dresses to begin with. There are no slits and no buttons. The dress is pulled over your head. And I would bet my life on it. My daughter has to be shoehorned into wearing a dress to begin with because she hates to show her legs. I was amazed she chose to wear it today.

@wundayatta This is a standard American public high school. No, I am not looking for sympathy. I’m legitimately trying to see if anyone here thinks this dress violates the dress code. I’m baffled why they’d single out my child, especially when I see blatant violation of the dress code (mini skirts, sagging jeans with exposed underwear) on a daily basis.

@Seaofclouds She is so short that when she raises her hands over her head, the dress hits about 1.5 inches above her kneecap. It’s a very loose fitting knit dress so there is not a lot of movement when you raise your hands, like there might be if it was form fitting. I’m really bummed about this because my daughter is usually such a tomboy in jeans and a tee shirt and I was actually so pleased to see her look so sweet and old fashioned for a change. This dress is so long on her that I have a hard time imagining anyone singling her out for the “hands-up” test to begin with. I’d think a much shorter dress would prompt that test.

AmWiser's avatar

That is so unfortunate for the child to be subjected to an administrators nit-pickiness. What irritates me is that the administrator did not have the professionalism to call you personally and inform you of the situation. The dress looked perfect.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We’re missing something here. The dress is fine, and shorts and a tee shirt are going to show more skin than that dress. Contact the administration again for an explanation, and if not satisfied go to a school board member and show them the picture and ask for an explanation.

diavolobella's avatar

@AmWiser I am really interested to find out which administrator is involved. I have my suspicions. Unfortunately, there is an administrator at the school who has a history of overlooking blatant dress code violations by some students and accusing and harassing others who are clearly not in violation.

@Adirondackwannabe. Exactly. That is what I thought. The shorts and tee will be shorter (and colder) than the dress could ever be. Not to mention form fitting. I forwarded the email I sent to the Vice Principal to the Director of Schools for a response.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I hope you hear back soon, it definitely sounds like something more is going on.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Clearly the dress shown is ok. Are you sure your daughter has not modified it in any way?
I lived near a Japanese school where everyone wore uniforms. The girls would roll their waist bands up to hike the skirt length as high as they dared. It was quite humorous to watch the e dress length change as they got closer to school. I wanted to take a picture but was afraid I’d be arrested as a pervert or something.
Make sure your daughter is not doing something and when in doubt, side with the school.
Your daughter will be a better person for it.

diavolobella's avatar

@worriedguy My daughter has not modified the dress in any way. I have absolutely 100% no doubt of that. My daughter is already a very good person, which is why I know she wouldn’t have even thought about modifying the dress. The only thing she had with her was her school books. She doesn’t even carry a purse, so if I even believed she would have done that, which I do not, she had nothing with her. My daughter is a huge tomboy who virtually never wears dresses. I believe she wore this dress to please me, because I bought it for her. I said something to her recently about the fact that it was so cute, but she’d never even worn it and so she put it on.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@diavolobella as others have noted plainly, the dress as shown certainly fits the dress code as quoted. So the options are either, that the dress has been altered, or something else has been substituted, or the administrators are hallucinating, psychotic, blind and vindictive. Which one of those options do you suppose is closest to the truth?

I’d have a long talk with my daughter if I were you. You’re not getting the full story. As much antipathy as I normally have for school administrators, it seems patently ridiculous to call you over the dress “as pictured”.

ucme's avatar

Is the schools motto Achtung Baby! by any chance :¬)

diavolobella's avatar

I have just received a phone call from the Vice Principal. He had my daughter put the dress back on and checked it out. He said that I am correct, that the dress is not in violation of the dress code in any way and she has been allowed to return to class wearing it. He said he didn’t understand what the other administrator’s issue with the dress was, but that he’d be speaking to her. I don’t know if he’ll get back with me about that or not, but I kind of would hope so. Thank you all for your input.

@CyanoticWasp I know my daughter.

llewis's avatar

1) Find some way to talk directly to the administrator. If you do not get satisfaction (and perhaps an apology to you and to your daughter?), I would then
2) Contact the school district administration. Depending on the response there, I might
2a) Contact local news media. They love this stuff, and your daughter is probably not the only one being harassed in this manner. And then,
3) Find another schooling option – charter school, different local school, whatever. Sounds like homeschooling is not an option (although maybe homeschooling jellies can correct me on that), but that doesn’t sound like a place I’d want my child.

diavolobella's avatar

@llewis Thank you. This whole thing had my stomach in a knot, because I knew she hadn’t done anything wrong and the dress is fine. I bet I’ll never get her to wear the d*mn thing again now though. :( She’s extremely shy to begin with, so it’ll be back to the jeans and tee shirts forever now.

diavolobella's avatar

I got this reply from the Director of Schools. It was nice of him to reply, but thankfully it’s a moot point now.

“Thank you for the e-mail. I am not able to make determinations on dress since I am not in the building, but certainly leave this to the school administration. I see no problem with the dress in the picture, so I can only assume there is something else. I will refer this to the principal”

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m glad the vice principal got in touch with you. I would still insist on getting an answer from the administrator to see if there is something else going on (with the administrator).

diavolobella's avatar

@Seaofclouds It will tell me a lot when I know who the administrator is. There is one administrator who I had to sort of butt heads with in the past over an issue with my son’s credits for graduation being miscalculated. I ended up having to go over her head and she’s not a very nice person to begin with, so I could see her holding a grudge. If she is the one involved, that might explain a lot. You hate to think someone in a position like that might be that way, but stranger things have happened. It helps that the Vice Principal is aware how self-conscious my daughter is. He used to be her advisor when he was still in the guidance department, so he knows her well.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@diavolobella It’s great that you have a great vice principal. I’ve heard of teachers and administrators holding grudges on younger children because of things that happened with their older siblings. It sucks to know that it happens, but it definitely does. It’s best to know now so you can take care of it before it’s something worse than this.

diavolobella's avatar

@Seaofclouds That’s why I emailed him in particular. There are actually four Vice Principals (it’s a huge school). I knew he’d listen to me and know there was no way my daughter would wear a short dress. [I’m kind of hoping the fact that I’ve interacted with him before will prompt him to give me the full story later on. If it’s the other administrator I mentioned, he knows what she’s like. I think everyone on staff has run up against her at one time or another]

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I stand corrected. Sometimes those administrators really are hallucinating, blind, psychotic and vindictive. So I’m not just imagining it!

flutherother's avatar

@diavolobella There is something not right here. Someone at the school has made a mistake. When you get a chance I would take a picture of your daughter in the dress that you could show to the Vice Principal if necessary. Rules are rules but they have to be enforced with fairness. Listen to what your daughter says about it when she gets home. I hope she has not been embarrassed by this ridiculous incident.

diavolobella's avatar

@flutherother Well, he’s already seen her in the dress in person at this point and said she was okay. I haven’t heard anything more, so I may never know who the administrator was or what their problem was with the dress. I’m sure my daughter is thoroughly mortified. She takes things to heart and is so painfully self-conscious as it is. :(

MissPoovey's avatar

I definetly would take a picture when you get home. You need proof. Professionals will harass children. My son was picked on by his teacher( jocks coach) because he dressed like a skaterboy (early 90’s). I had to take his papers to the principal to regrade. The work was given a B from a F. Then we got him moved to another teacher.
Do not doubt that personalities influence those in control.

flutherother's avatar

@diavolobella Being sensitive and taking things to heart is not a bad way to be :-)
I would be curious as to what happened however.

diavolobella's avatar

@MissPoovey and @flutherother I just spoke to my daughter briefly on the phone [I’m getting ready to leave the office]. Sure enough, it was the administrator with whom I’ve had issues. My daughter said that she passed her in the hall and the woman stopped her. She also said that they did not measure the dress or even do the “finger test” because the dress would have passed. She said the clothes she was given to wear were skimpy and she was very cold all day long and humiliated. When I get home I’m taking a photo and contacting the Director of Schools again tomorrow.

She also said when she left school to catch the bus she saw two different female students both wearing mini skirts that were practically up to their crotches

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@diavolobella as much as I’m sure we’re all on your side in this, as a mother you know darn well that “others are getting away with… (whatever)” isn’t going to work, so of course you’ll knock down that argument as a non-starter. And hopefully have appropriate action taken against the one who started this nonsense.

Good luck to you.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d look into filing a harassment suit or pulling your daughter from that school if the Administrator in question doesn’t back off or is not reprimanded for this and made to apologize to your daughter and to you.

Nothing’s worse than having your family mixed up in bad feelings at school. My parents once complained about prayer in the school room which got a teacher fired and me treated like absolute shite until I got pulled from that school. Kids’ lives don’t need any extra stress and drama, you know.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would have to see the dress code. If you disagree, welcome to the ranks of disgusted PC parents.

josie's avatar

One more reason for school uniforms.

Nullo's avatar

Congratulations! You may be experiencing corruption, first-hand. That dress ought not to have tripped any alarms.

If I were you, I would challenge this administratrix to single combat. It’s a good thing that I’m not you.

dasiagrayson's avatar

See there in nothing wrong with the dress. You must talk to admin . I think there must be some misunderstanding between you and admin. I think everything will be sort out once you talk to admin and make them understand than the dress is according to there dress code.

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