Dress codes

I went to watch a chorus concert at the middle school here in town tonight, I have gone to many such programs to see my children, nieces, nephews and now grandchildren entertain us. The students were told what the proper attire for the concert consisted of, boys wearing black pants and white shirt, girls were to wear black slacks or black skirt with white blouses, the hemline of the skirt was to fall at the knee. Do I have a problem with dress codes? Not at all.

But what may be the norm for a student to own a black pair of pants or skirt with a particular length is not the norm for all. Some children feel blessed to own a few pair of jeans and shirts. The student I went to see in the concert last night is an excellent student, on the honor roll. By no means does she live in the Vallamont Drive area but she is always dressed presentable and clean. When reminded of the rules for attire she went home to find something the teacher would find pleasing. She had two black skirts the longer of the two fell at her fingertips when she stood with her arms down at her side, it was a tighter fit but longer than the teacher requested; she tried to borrow from another girl but it didn’t work out.

At school she approached the chorus teacher explaining her dilemma and was told the length was not acceptable and reminded her she had to be there or it would go against her grade. After many tears, the student dressed in her pretty outfit and did her hair and went to perform after months of practice and stand in the front row where it had been decided by the teacher.

As the group began to arrive in single file and take their places on the risers on the stage, each excited member in the audience stretched their necks to get a glimpse of their loved ones; I mentally began to count, 1, 2, 3, maybe even 4 or 5 girls had a hem length that was above the knees seemingly about fingertip length.

We did not know what the teacher said to her and we looked up, trying to see her, every other student’s smiling face was visible and our girl was only seen if the student in front of her moved. After the concert we met with her and before the question could leave my lips she broke down crying. As the teacher took ahold of her pushing behind the other students she said she was not allowing her to be up front in “that skirt.”

If this was such a terrible outfit, why not before the group entered the auditorium have one of the young ladies in the second row change places? Why wait and do something in front of the entire audience, causing shame and a horrible cruel memory of a night that should have been a wonderful memory? In a day and age when the media is filled with terrible stories of bullying and teaching kindness and compassion is it that we have a teacher who could be so cruel and unkind to a well behaved, honor roll student? We are brokenhearted and angry.

Donna Cole


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom