A Maryland middle school student sparked controversy in her district when she was reprimanded for wearing leggings to school.
The BayNet published a letter written by the girl’s father about an incident involving his daughter, Madison, wearing leggings to school. He shared a photo of the sixth-grader’s outfit alongside the letter.
The father claimed Madison walked into school, “past the principal and 5 to 6 teachers and administrators and no one said anything about her outfit.”
A boy in Madison’s homeroom then pointed out her outfit to the entire class.
“Madison has leggings on,” the boy told their teacher.
The teacher reportedly felt Madison’s outfit was acceptable, as she was wearing a low-hanging button-down shirt, but instructed her to check with the office to be sure.
“Madison went to the office where the principal told her to put her gym shorts on over her leggings because her shirt was not 3 inches above her knee,” her father wrote in the letter. “Madison was devastated and embarrassed and called me from the bathroom.”
Madison’s father quickly went to the school to talk to the principal, who pulled out the dress code and pointed out that her outfit was against their district’s policy. The school district’s dress code specifically prohibited “skin tight pants” and “form fitting clothing.”
Madison’s father said that while in the school, he noticed many other students and even some teachers wearing “tighter and more revealing” pants than what his daughter was wearing at the time of the incident.
The father was referred to the head of the board of education, who he asked about the policy and their reasoning behind it. He was told that the code of conduct is a guideline and not a strict policy.
“How can each school make up their rules based on such a vague policy/guideline?” the father asked.
“I would never let my daughter leave the house in something like that but what she is wearing is completely appropriate, not to mention it is comfortable so she can focus on school work and not be uncomfortable in jeans all day,” Madison’s father added.
“Next point, has anyone seen the volleyball uniforms or the cheer uniforms or the poms uniforms provided by the schools for the girls? Well, they are completely against every rule in the dress code.”
The upset father said he was told part of the reason for the policy is because tight pants distract boys.
“How about we teach our boys to respect the girls and not look at them in that way and go to school to learn,” he wrote.
Madison’s father said he was “completely outraged” at the school’s dress code policy, and soon began coming together with other parents who felt the same way about the school’s policy and wanted change.
“Our girls should be allowed to go to school and be comfortable as long as they are adequately covered and the clothes do not affect the school atmosphere,” he said.
Sources: The BayNet, Mill Creek Middle School Dress Code / Photo credit: The BayNet