Joselyn Lewis doesn’t have an issue with student dress codes, but when the mom was turned away from a school for the way she was dressed, she thought things had gone too far.
As KPRC News reports, the mom from Houston, Texas was trying to get her 15-year-old daughter out of a bullying situation at her current school by enrolling her in a new one.
Last Monday, Lewis went to Lamar High School to remove her daughter from that school. Afterward, the mom went to Madison High School. She intended to enroll her daughter at Madison but was asked to leave because of her outfit. She told KPRC:
“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. I mean, I didn’t understand why my headscarf and my dress would conflict with me enrolling someone in school.”
At the time, the mom was wearing a headscarf and a t-shirt dress with a picture of Marilyn Monroe on it. She said she was wearing the scarf because she’d had her hair done and didn’t want to wear it out. As for the dress, Lewis said it passed the fingertip test for length.
However, the staff at Madison High made it clear that her outfit was in violation of their school policy, even after Lewis made it clear she was a parent, not a student:
“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. She said that my head scarf was out of dress code and my dress was too short.”
The mom asked to see the parental dress code, which only exacerbated the situation, prompting the school to call the police to have her removed:
“I wanted to see proof of where it says parents can come dressed a certain way, but it 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.”
Lewis said she planned to try again to register her child and would change her outfit the next time. However, she admitted that she’s furious that her clothing prevented her from enrolling her daughter in school, especially as she wasn’t wearing anything revealing:
“I can wear what I want to wear. I don’t have to get all dolled up to enroll her to school. My child’s education, anyone’s child’s education should be more important than what someone has on, that shouldn’t matter.”
On social media, there were some who agreed with the mom, saying it was ridiculous to have rules about how a parent has to dress while enrolling a child in school.
Others, however, disagreed. Some applauded the school for creating standards for students. A few simply thought that Lewis’ outfit didn’t meet a minimum standard for appropriate dress.
While the high school’s online policies do not specifically mention parents’ clothing, a handout from the Houston Independent School District states that parents have a responsibility to be a role model for their children and “adhere to school rules and procedures.”