A Houston area high school has implemented a new dress code but this time… it’s for the parents!
At James Madison High School, parents are no longer permitted on school grounds wearing satin caps or bonnets, hair rollers, pajamas, leggings or anything revealing, such as low-cut tops, sagging pants, short-shorts, and “dresses that are up to your behind.”
As you know, satin caps and bonnets are commonly worn by Black women to protect their hair so many are calling the new restrictions discriminatory.
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On April 9th Principal Carlotta Outley Brown issued a letter to parents who show up to the school in what she deems is undesirable attire.
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 at Madison high school we are preparing our children for the future and it begins here.
The school is under fire after a parent was denied entry to the school and the incident is what sparked their new parental dress code.
KPRC 2 Houston reports that on April 8, 2019, Joselyn Lewis wore a T-shirt dress of Marilyn Monroe and a head scarf to enroll her daughter at Madison High School, and she was not allowed on the property.
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) April 9, 2019
Lewis says she was wearing the headscarf because she was in the process of getting her hair done. Headscarves, as well as the banned satin caps and bonnets, are commonly worn by black women to protect their hair.
When Lewis refused to leave and asked to see a written dress code, she says they called the police on her.
The letter detailing the dress code was sent out the very next day.
?I?m not saying that it?s a part of my religion, but it could have been, but I just wanted to have it up,” Lewis said.
“Who are you to say that I can?t wear my hair up? In a scarf? Who are you to tell me how to dress??
A spokesperson for the Houston Independent School District declined to comment, and Brown did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, told CNN the policy “seems a little classist.”
“Having body parts exposed is one thing. Turning someone away because their hair’s in rollers … is a little ridiculous,” Capo said.
“This is an issue of a principal issuing a dictatorial edict rather than having substantive conversation.”
The policy is facing widespread criticism, with many people calling it discriminatory for how it disproportionately targets black women.