Wednesday, March 21, 2007

School Sued Over Dress Code

Move over Teddy, now it's time for Tigger!

NAPA, Calif. — A seventh-grader might end up in court for wearing Winnie the Pooh socks to school.

Toni Kay Scott, 14, was sent to an in-school suspension program called Students With Attitude Problems last year for violating a dress code, according to a lawsuit against the Napa Valley Unified School District and Redwood Middle School.

By the way, I just love the name for their in-house suspension program! But back to the story:

She had donned socks with the Tigger character from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons on them, along with a denim skirt and a brown shirt with a pink border.

But the school's policy requires students to wear clothes with solid colors in blue, white, green, yellow, khaki, gray, brown and black. Permitted fabrics are cotton twill, corduroy and chino. No denim is allowed.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Napa County Superior Court by The American Civil Liberties Union and a law firm on the girl's behalf, alleges that the dress code is unconstitutionally vague and too restrictive.

I don't see how it's vague at all. I see it as clearly identifying appropriate dress.

The lawsuit said the policy goes too far and forces aesthetic conformity in the name of safety. The rules violate the California Education Code, said plaintiffs' attorney Sharon O'Grady.

I do wish they'd identified exactly which sections of ed code were violated. That would make my life so much more enjoyable.


Anonymous said...

So, one school gets lambasted for wanting to keep the burqa out of their school, but this school can get away with suspending a student for wearing socks with Winnie the Pooh on them?

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Darren said...

I haven't heard about a school keeping burqas out. Where did that happen?

Anonymous said...

If you have a clearly stated dress code which specifies "plain" colored clothing, that includes socks. If the court sides with the student on this, what's next? By the way, I also love the name of their on-site suspension room--I wonder how they get away without having parents screaming about how it hurts little Susie's self-esteem?

Anonymous said...

wtf is a burqas?

Ellen K said...

When I taught in Catholic school we had to do nail polish and makeup checks with the girls. They were expected to wear the skirt-plaid knee length with short underneath for gym days, white button up dress shirt or polo shirt-no logos/and not see through, and a sweater or vest in navy blue-not baby blue, not sky blue, not crayola crayon blue, but navy. They could wear white or black sneakers. But the one way we allowed departure was to allow them to wear any socks they chose. It was a small thing, but when you consider the rigidity of the rules, it allowed them a little individuality. In the long run, there are far worse rules to break.