A mother of a 13-year-old middle school girl has written a letter to her daughter's school principal after she was told the girl had violated the dress code.
When Catherine Perlman's daughter, Casey, came home with a letter that said Casey had been dressed "inappropriately" for school the past two days, Catherine decided to write a letter challenging the principal to take her daughter shopping and see how difficult it is, according to Mic.
"Thank you for sending a note home for the second day in a row to say my daughter was dressed inappropriately for school," Catherine wrote in a letter published by Today. "I'd like to offer an additional thank you for forcing her to change into large mesh shorts that have been worn by only god knows who and potentially never washed."
Catherine challenged the principal to take her daughter shopping to find something that not only adheres to the school's code, but also to her daughter's specific tastes. She wrote about the difficulty of finding clothes for Casey, who is 5 feet 7 inches tall and has longer arms and legs.
"I wish you loads of luck," Catherine wrote, as she listed the number of requirements that Casey has for her clothing.
"She doesn't like anything pink or purple or frilly," wrote the mom. "She won't wear pants because she gets overheated easily. Trust me I've seen this. It will cause a scene in the school yard."
"She absolutely will not wear a dress either," she continued. "No item of clothing can have a logo visible because to her that's not cool. She will however, wear any type of superhero, Green Day or USFL T-shirt if you can find them. You might be able to try for an occasional Beatles reference but that’s touch and go."
"Now, don’t forget that you will have to find something in the stores that also meets with your dress code requirements," added Catherine. "Here are the tricky areas that are most difficult to avoid. As per your policy she cannot wear tank tops. Shorts and skirts must not extend to the end of the fingertips (This is a toughie.) "
According to Catherine, because of Casey's long arms, it's "impossible" to find shorts that won't violate the dress code.
"I can tell you from experience that just heading to the mall, Target and the outlets won't cut it. Not much for her there. I've already checked," the mother wrote. "One last point: please try to stay within a reasonable budget. We can't spend a fortune on her wardrobe. She is still growing after all."
She also took a moment at the end of her letter to call out the double standard applied to girls' clothes.
"I forgot to thank you for making it clear to my daughter that her body is somehow a distraction, either to herself or to the boys," wrote Catherine. "I thought she might have missed the message earlier in the year when the gym teacher told her she couldn't wear yoga pants because the boys aren't able to control themselves."
In another case of a school-age girl being told that she violated her school's dress code, Summer, a senior at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, North Carolina, was suspended after she wore a blouse that showed her collarbone and shoulders, WCNC reports.
When Summer was told to cover her top with a jacket, she reportedly responded, "I think my shirt is fine."
Even after she borrowed a jacket from a friend and covered her blouse, the principal told her she would have to go to the control room to change her clothes. Summer stayed seated, saying that the school can't take her anywhere unless they contact her mother.
"I stayed in my seat just like a lot of role models that I have looked up to stayed in their seats," said Summer. "I mean, you have to stand up for what you believe in."
Summer, an honor roll student with a 4.4 GPA, was suspended for two weeks over the incident. The cause given for her suspension was "insubordination."
She said she worried the incident could affect her college scholarship.
"This is my life, I'm on a pre-med track," she said. "A full ride means so much and that is on the line right now."