This mom knew she had to say something after her daughter was cited for violations of the dress code two days in a row.
Most people have now heard about the controversies surrounding school dress codes, but while some students and parents quietly take the embarrassing enforcement of the rules when they break them, others find it hard to stay silent about something they deem an injustice. One such parent is Catherine Pearlman, a doctor, professor, and author, whose daughter was recently forced to wear mesh shorts two days in a row after apparently not following the dress code.
In a hilarious letter that Pearlman went on to publish on NBC News’ TODAY, the founder of “The Family Coach” invited the principal of her daughter’s middle school to take her daughter shopping. In the letter, which most parents can relate to, Pearlman outlines the specifications for the clothes, which include the young girl’s tall height and refusal to wear certain items.
“To reward you for treating my daughter with such concern, I am cordially inviting you to take my daughter shopping.
“Here are the specifications you have to work with. I wish you loads of luck.
“She is 5’7” and 13 years old. Built more like her father, she has exceptionally long legs and arms,” Pearlman said in her letter.
The part about her daughter’s arms and legs being very long is particularly important because of the rules outlined in the dress code. In archaic fashion, the rules specify that girls are not allowed to wear shorts that are shorter than their longest fingertip. Since this girl has long arms and long legs, her shorts would need to be unusually long for someone of her size to meet this rule.
“Now, don’t forget that you will have to find something in the stores that also meets with your dress code requirements. Here are the tricky areas that are most difficult to avoid…. if I were you (and I’m glad I’m not) I’d focus on the shorts first. She has very long fingers which seems to make finding shorts that won’t get her sent to the principal’s office impossible (On the bright side the piano teacher says those fingers are an asset),” Pearlman said.
Pearlman was driven by the fact that her daughter had been cited for violating the dress code two days in a row and the next violation would result in a detention, which the mom didn’t see as fair. To end the body of her letter, Pearlman pointed out that the principal must also stay on budget because the cost of clothes really adds up and her daughter is still growing.
Of course, no good act of defiance towards a school dress code is ever complete without pointing out the implications of having such a dress code and the reasons behind it. In her post-script, Pearlman added,
“I forgot to thank you for making it clear to my daughter that her body is somehow a distraction, either to herself or to the boys. I thought she might have missed the message earlier in the year when the gym teacher told her she couldn’t wear yoga pants because the boys aren’t able to control themselves. I appreciate how hard you are working to drive the point home.”