Rant time! Last week I stumbled upon a news story concerning a principal, who decided to enact a dress code for parents. Carlotta Outley Brown, the principal of James Madison High School in Houston has banned parents from entering the school in pajama bottoms, sagging pants, ripped jeans, head wraps (not religious), hair rollers, leggings and any other revealing clothing that’s inappropriate for a day out in public.
I’m going to get my head bashed in for saying this, because I SUPPORT HER! Yes, and I’m sorry if this seems like I’m identifying with the aggressor or I’m acting bougie. Those are the arguments I’ve heard from the very people who would never in a million years show up to a school, let alone work wearing a see-through shirt out in public.
I’ve been an educator for twenty years, and honestly I almost think you have to work in a school to understand where I’m coming from. Dress directly affects behavior and instruction. That’s actually why some schools enforce uniforms. It’s very easy for a person to come out of their adult self, when they’re yelling at you in the front office with a headful of rollers, pajamas and slippers. Oh, so you’re going to tell me the school isn’t as important as the movies, a restaurant, the mall, or your nail appointment? Puuleassss.
This ban has now been turned into a racial issue, where the educated black woman, who has forgotten where she came from is stripping the “little” people of their rights. Apparently only people of color wear bonnets and curlers. No, not true. Men are not going to wear undershirts, woman are not going to wear revealing clothing and everyone is expected to respect the school house space. It’s not about race and class if you’re able to go out that very same day to take class, meet a friend or shop dressed in jeans and a tee shirt or sweater. Like students, parents have been allowed to gain a certain amount of control in school, which is not benefiting anyone. Since when is it appropriate to scream at the woman in the front office for enforcing a rule, she didn’t even create?
Another issue? The school is an educational environment. What’s more important than school? I’ll bet you didn’t know that James Madison High is struggling with their graduation rates. Do you think that’s okay? Success begins with the minor changes. EVERYONE is held to the same standards, and that goes for teachers who want to teach wearing sweatpants and inappropriate tee-shirts. Once behaviors come under control and the disruptions stop, there is more time for academic content. To spend ten minutes fighting with a student to pull up his pants is ten minutes YOUR child didn’t receive for test review, or some much needed one-on-one time with the teacher.
As parents, we set the example for our children. Since when have hats been allowed in school anyway? That means a baseball cap, bonnet, or hoodie. And just to reiterate, we’re not talking about religious head coverings. As for the mom who came to school in a tee-shirt and nothing else to enroll her child, NO, JUST, NO. Come back tomorrow. No student needs to see ass cheeks and your vagina. The mom who ran into the school because her son said he heard gun shots? True, my daughter had a school shooting in her school this year and I was also in panic mode but don’t even try it. A situation as egregious as a school shooting is not in the same realm as coming into the school on a regular day in a see-through shirt with breasts and nipples on full display.
As a society we need to do more to support our children. It’s a fact that how you dress affects your behavior. If you don’t think school is the most important thing in your child’s life and you’re more worried about whether or not you can wear leggings and a crop top to a teacher conference, then shame on you.
Check out the YouTube video below, what are your thoughts and comments?