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.
“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.
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.”