Texas school issues controversial dress code for parents

A Texas high school has issued a warning to parents of its students: dress appropriately or stay away.

The principal of James Madison High School in Houston, Carlotta Outley Brown, sent a letter to each student's household that listed a range of clothing items that would no longer be allowed to be worn inside school premises or at school events.

The list includes items such as shower caps, hair rollers, pyjamas, low-cut tops, sagging pants, short shorts and "jeans that are torn from your buttocks".

The new set of rules are meant to set an example to students of how adults should be presenting themselves in public.

"To prepare our children and let them know daily, the appropriate attire they are supposed to wear when entering a building, going somewhere, applying for a job, or visiting someone outside of the home setting, I am going to enforce these guidelines on a daily basis," Brown wrote.

"Please know that if you break our school rules/policies or do not follow one of these rules, you will not be permitted inside the school until you return appropriately dressed for the school setting," the principal wrote in underlined and bold text.

However, parents have been quick to voice their anger at the new parental 'uniform'.

"It doesn't matter how a parent should come," Rosemary Young told KTRK-TV. "If we come here belligerent, out of control, things of that nature, that's what you have the police for, but what I wear should never be an issue. I'm not revealing. I'm not doing anything. I don't have any weapons."

The letter came just one day after one Mum was unable to register her daughter for classes because she was wearing a short t-shirt dress.

"[The administrator] said that my headscarf was out of dress code and my dress was too short," Joselyn Lewis told KPRC-TV. "I can wear what I want to wear. I don't have to get all dolled up to enroll her to school. My child's education, anyone's child's education should be more important than what someone has on. That shouldn't matter."

Principal Brown is a respected educator, featuring on an episode of Ellen DeGeneres' TV show and being awarded a national award by the US Education Department in 2008.

However, parent Tomiko Miller told CBS News she should be more focussed on academia than how parents are dressed.

"This is a failing school. You have other things to worry about than my attire. Let's hear the plan for taking care of the academic standards. Then perhaps, let's say, you know what, mums and dads, can we maybe up the ante a little bit?"

The full list of banned clothing items:

  • Satin caps, bonnets or shower caps.
  • Hair rollers.
  • Pyjamas or any other attire that could possibly be pyjamas, underwear, or home setting wear.
  • Jeans that are torn from your buttocks(behind) to all the way down.
  • Leggings that are showing your bottom and where your body is not covered from the front or the back (rear).
  • Very low cut tops or revealing tops that you can see your busts (breasts).
  • Sagging pants, shorts, jeans. Men's undershirts.
  • Short shorts that are up to your behind.
  • Daisy Dukes and low rider shorts.
  • Dresses that are up to your behind.