When a mom went to enroll her teen daughter in school, she thought, as a parent, “I can wear what I want to wear.” But, administrators felt differently and wouldn’t permit her to register her child in school after the mom “broke the dress code.”
Joselyn Lewis, a busy Texas mom, was simply trying to enroll her daughter at Madison High School in Houston after un-registering the 15-year-old from Lamar High School due to bullying issues her child encountered at the school. Unfortunately, the simple task wouldn’t be so simple.
When Joselyn arrived at Lamar, she didn’t have any problems. When she went to Madison, however, she was told she wasn’t allowed on the property to register her daughter for class — and it was all because of what she was wearing. “When I went to Lamar, I had no problems, but when I got to Madison High School, they refused me access to the premises because of what I had on,” Joselyn said.
Realizing that administrators had taken an issue with her outfit, Joselyn thought they must be confused and had mistaken her for a student. The mom explained that she was a parent and was there to register her child for classes, but she was still told to leave.
“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,” Joselyn said. “I mean, I didn’t understand why my headscarf and my dress would conflict with me enrolling someone in school,” she added. “She said that my headscarf was out of dress code and my dress was too short.”
Joselyn was sporting what she said is a graphic T-shirt dress featuring Marilyn Monroe, which she claims met the fingertip rule for length since it was not shorter than her fingers when her arms were resting at her side. And, she was wearing the headscarf because she was in the process of getting her hair done.
“I’m not saying that it’s a part of my religion, but it could have been, but I just wanted to have it up. Who are you to say that I can’t wear my hair up? In a scarf? Who are you to tell me how to dress?” she said, adding that she demanded to see the “parent dress code.”
“I wanted to see proof of where it says parents can come dressed a certain way, but [the school administrators] wouldn’t show me that. I wouldn’t leave, so they called the police department. They called them on me and I guess he was coming to tell me to leave, but I was already on the phone with the school board,” Joselyn recalled.
Madison High School’s parent responsibilities don’t specifically talk about a dress code for parents, according to Click 2 Houston. But, it does say, “Be sure their child is appropriately dressed at school and school-related activities.” Some would argue that setting an example as a parent, by following the dress code while on school property, is the best way to ensure your child will also comply with the rules. Joselyn, of course, feels differently.
“I can wear what I want to wear. I don’t have to get all dolled up to enroll her to school,” the upset mother said. “My child’s education, anyone’s child’s education should be more important than what someone has on, that shouldn’t matter,” she added, saying she would understand if her rear end or chest were in view but that wasn’t the case so she couldn’t see the problem.
Others, however, did see a problem, and it wasn’t just the school administrators either. While some said there was nothing wrong with what the mom was wearing, plenty of social media users were quick to chime in to say you should put more effort into your attire when going to school — or in public at all — to “command more respect” and claimed the dress looked too much like she was wearing a t-shirt without pants.
While opinions run the gamut, what’s important is that this mom was simply trying to take care of her kid. She was concerned about her daughter’s treatment at school and her ability to get an education. Regardless of what she was wearing, that’s commendable. Juggling our responsibilities as an adult can be difficult, and sometimes things like appearance just don’t take priority. But, both sides seemed to have valid concerns from their own perspective.
The school wants to make their expectations known right off the bat, and in this case, that seemed to start with the mother. If this is what she wears to the school, what might her child wear? The busy mom, however, just wanted to get her daughter enrolled so she wouldn’t be missing school, and as she said, “getting dolled up” wasn’t a priority. So, who’s right in this case? We’ll let you decide.