NewsCovering Kentucky

Actions

Parents voice concerns about dress code enforcement at Morton Middle School meeting

Posted at 9:01 AM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 09:01:30-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Several parents voiced their concerns about the dress code at Morton Middle School and how it has been enforced at a meeting Monday, where school leaders said changes would be coming soon.

The Morton Middle School-Based Decision Making Council met Monday evening and discussed the dress code. Several parents and their children attended the meeting to express their concerns that their girls had been shamed and made to feel uncomfortable in front of their classmates, because their shirts weren't long enough.

"The embarrassment where she had to stand up in her classroom in front of her peers to be checked," said parent Liz Sheehan, during her public comment to the council. "This is teaching them that they are responsible for the reaction of someone else to their bodies."

Parents said several girls were disciplined last week for wearing shirts over leggings that did not reach their fingertips. Parents also complained that children who violated the dress code had been taken out of class, sometimes for hours.

"I really do feel like our daughters deserve an apology for what happened," one parent said to the council.

"Are we policing young girls bodies or are we teaching them in school?" another parent asked.Kayla Klarsfeld, a sixth grade student, said the enforcement was upsetting for her and her friends."Some of my friends were crying and I came in the bathroom," she said. "I saw maybe two girls crying and I was like, 'Are you OK?'"

At Monday night's meeting, one person did speak in support of the dress code enforcement, and said the school was protecting students.

But council members said changes will be made and discussed multiple possibilities, including removing the fingertip length requirement and altering the way the code is enforced.

"We don’t want girls to leave feeling that somehow they are to blame for distracting boys," said Kim Thompson, a parent representative on the council. "We don’t want that; it’s 2020."

The school's faculty will meet to discuss changes to the dress code on Tuesday, she said.