A Texas principal is standing by her decision to implement a dress code for parents, who wish to enter her high school.

According to Inside Edition, Carlotta Outley Brown, principal of James Madison High School in Houston, decided the dress code was necessary for two reasons. The first being the students.

Brown said:

“I felt the need to enact the dress code because it was an educational environment, a place of learning. When anyone walks in, we have impressionable children and we have to model what we want them to know and learn.”

Brown says the second reason was that parents have been showing up to the school in what she considered inappropriate attire.

As Dearly reported, Joselyn Lewis was trying to enroll her 15-year-old daughter at Madison High School when she was turned away for her attire earlier this month.

Joselyn Lewis
Screenshot/KPRC

At the time, Lewis was wearing a headscarf and a t-shirt “dress” with a picture of Marilyn Monroe on it. The mom said she was wearing the scarf because she was in the process of getting 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, Brown says the headscarf wasn’t the problem but referred to the “dress” as more of a “night shirt.”

The principal explained:

“You could clearly see that she did not have anything on under her garment.”

Another incident included a woman who had her thong coming out of her pants, Inside Edition reports.

Prior to that, Brown said:

“A mother came in with a see-through shirt and you could clearly see her breasts and her nipples.”

Further, Inside Edition reports that Brown sent a letter home to parents in early April warning them that they would not be allowed to enter the school if they weren’t dressed appropriately.

The principal wrote:

“We are preparing your child for a prosperous future. We want them to know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for any setting they might be in.”

The current dress code forbids adults from wearing low-cut tops, leggings, torn jeans that show too much skin, and Daisy Dukes. Also, men can not wear tank tops or saggy jeans.

Further, the policy also forbids headwear such as hair bonnets, shower caps, and hair rollers.

In regards to the hair bonnets, Brown said:

“You would not wear that to church. If I could be very frank, many of the parents, if they were going out on the town at night, they would not wear a hair bonnet. This is a professional place, where learning is taking place. A hair bonnet is permissible in the home, with your family. It’s not permissible in the school setting.”

However, Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, considers the code to be “classist.”

According to Inside Edition, he said:

“Who are you to judge others who may not have the same opportunities that you do? Having a wrap on your head is not offensive.”

Despite critics, Brown holds firm in her decision. She said that she enforced the same rules at the last school she worked at. Further, the principal said she has received a lot of support via email for her “courage” to address the “issue.”

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5 Replies to “Principal Explains Parent Dress Code Policy After Mother Was Asked to Leave: ‘We Have Impressionable Children’”

  • Anonymous 5 months ago

    I applaud the principal, pity more schools didn’t enforce a dress code for the parents.

  • Kimberly Warner 5 months ago

    I agree totally with the principal.

  • Mary 5 months ago

    I agree completely, with the exception of Dropping Off. The mornings are very early and getting a family together is hectic. If I am only dropping off, there should be no backlash for hair rollers or scarf or even pajamas. When entering any establishment, there should be a dress code already implied. For those unaware, education is the best facilitator.

  • LAVAUGHN THOMPSON 5 months ago

    All schools should adapt a dress code for everybody entering any type of school. My mother taught me and I taught my kids… you dress appropriate for the occasion! What you wear to a sporting event you do not wear to go swimming, what you wear to go swimming you do not wear to out on the town, what you wear out on the town you do not wear to work, what you wear to work you do not wear to bed. From head to toe everybody should dress appropriate. I don’t care if your rich or poor you can dress appropriate from your head to your toes!

  • Mark 5 months ago

    I think the bigger issue to really evaluate here is the principal had to do this because ADULTS WHO ARE PARENTS have to be reminded how to dress in public.
    Have pride in yourself (and to model for your kids) to wear appropriate attire. I support the principal, but shake my head at the fact it had to be done.

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Principal Explains Parent Dress Code Policy After Mother Was Asked to Leave: ‘We Have Impressionable Children’

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