We've written before about dress codes for students, and how they disproportionately affect young girls. They can't wear certain shirts or shorts above a certain length. Their dresses can't be too tight or too short or too low-cut. They have to wear a bra, even under a bulky sweater. School administrations routinely police the way their female students dress, and seem to just consider the way male students dress as totally fine. We've also talked about how parents dress at school pick up or drop off, specifically moms. Moms are shamed for dropping their kids off at school in house clothes or pajamas (even though we ALL do this, don't lie). But now, we're seeing a weird combination of the two coming out of Tennessee. A lawmaker in Tennessee is proposing a dress code for parents when they're on campus at public schools in the state. At first read, it sounds ridiculous. But when you dig it, it makes a certain kind of sense.
State representative Antonio Parkinson is proposing a new school dress code aimed at parents. Parkinson says that after talking to other parents, teachers, and administrators, he realized it was a big problem, and wants to address it. But we're not talking about forcing parents to come to schools in their Sunday finest or dressed for a business meeting. Parkinson is hoping to put an end to parents who come to schools dressed inappropriately. Parents who wear shirts with expletives on them, or wearing very little clothing at all. One parent, according to Parkinson, routinely comes to school in lingerie, with body parts exposed. In those cases, we 100% think this is a good idea!
But the proposed parent dress code would cover more than just clothing - it would be a whole code of conduct for parents who come onto school campuses for any reason. Parkinson cited examples of parents cussing teachers out and generally behaving in a way that students shouldn't be exposed to at school. The goal of the proposed code of conduct is to make sure that everyone who comes onto public school campuses in Tennessee is conducting themselves in a way that is supportive and not harmful to students. The proposed parent dress code and code of conduct has gotten a lot of support from parents and school officials. It sounds pretty simple - no one is telling them they can't drive through drop off in their jammies. But when you come onto campus, maybe a coat over your see-through bed shirt is a good idea.
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