Unreasonable school dress codes have been coming under fire more and more lately, as students and parents alike recognize them for what they are: outdated, sexist, and usually operating under the principle that females are somehow a distraction and males are unable to concentrate on anything but their sexual desires while they are supposed to be learning.
One mother became frustrated after getting a note sent home for the second consecutive day complaining that her daughter’s shorts did not extend past her fingertips (though her outfit was in no way risqué or distracting.)
After her daughter was forced to wear oversized mesh shorts all day to cover up her “inappropriate” outfit at school, her mother wrote an open letter to the principal and shared it with Today.
In the letter, the mother explains how difficult it is to find clothing for her daughter. “She has exceptionally long legs and arms,” she explains, “She doesn’t like anything pink or purple or frilly.”
She details that her daughter also “gets overheated easily,” and “absolutely will not wear a dress.” She then invites the principal to try finding a suitable outfit for her daughter that meets all of her daughter’s specifications and the stringent dress code.
“One last point: please try to stay within a reasonable budget,” she writes, “We can’t spend a fortune on her wardrobe. She is still growing after all.”
It’s a powerful, poignant letter that highlights both how difficult it is shopping for teens and how barbaric dress codes don’t take into account how hard they may be to follow. Separate from the women-as-a-distraction issue, this mother finds it strenuous to find her daughter clothing within the dress code that she will wear.
Don’t worry, though: she does address that minor sexist issue.
“P.S.” she writes, “I forgot to thank you for making it clear to my daughter that her body is somehow a distraction, either to herself or to the boys. I thought she might have missed the message earlier in the year when the gym teacher told her she couldn’t wear yoga pants because the boys aren’t able to control themselves. I appreciate how hard you are working to drive the point home.”