Preschool forbids 3yo from wearing favourite dress

Three-year-old Lola Stonehouse was forbidden from wearing a strappy dress to preschool.
Three-year-old Lola Stonehouse was forbidden from wearing a strappy dress to preschool. Photo credit: Facebook/Sadie Stonehouse

A Canadian couple were shocked to be told that their three-year-old daughter wasn't allowed to wear her favourite dress to preschool.

Lola Stonehouse went to Little Years Nursery School in Winnipeg as normal on Tuesday (local time). It was a hot day, with temperatures soaring to more than 30degC, so she wore a sundress with thin straps over her shoulders, Canadian network CTV reports.

Her parents, Jamie and Sadie Stonehouse, later received a text from the school telling them that Lola shouldn't wear the dress again.

"They said that her dress was inappropriate for nursery school, and she needed to have two-inch wide straps on her sundress," Mr Stonehouse told CTV.

The school said that if Lola wanted to wear the dress again, it would need to be over a T-shirt.

Her parents say they're appalled by the message the school is sending Lola and other young children about their bodies.

"She's not going to understand," says Mrs Stonehouse. "She's going to think that maybe she did something wrong, when she very much didn't."

"I don't think any girl should have to worry about how much shoulder she's exposing when she dresses to go to school or anywhere else. At any age."

Mr Stonehouse told CTV that he and his wife will be following the school's dress code in future, but he's not happy about adults calling Lola's body "inappropriate".

"She's a child. Innocence is innocence and we're the only ones who can give it to them." 

Little Years Nursery School told CTV that its staff abides by the local school authority's dress code.

However a spokesperson for the authority says it doesn't provide a universal dress code for schools to enforce, and that childcare providers should use their own personal judgement on the matter.