Dress Code for Parents? Mom Says School Turned Her Away Because of Her Outfit

A Texas woman says she was asked to leave the property by a school official based on the way she was dressed

Usually it's students who find themselves fighting against school dress codes, often labeled as sexist, racist or just plain unfair.

The roles were reversed for a mother of a high school student in Houston who told NBC affiliate KPRC that she was unable to register her daughter because school officials asked her to leave the property due to what she was wearing.

Joselyn Lewis was wearing a T-shirt dress featuring a picture of Marilyn Monroe and a headscarf when she was trying to enroll her daughter in the school and an unidentified administrator at Madison High School asked her to leave.

"She went on to say that she still couldn’t let me on the premises because I was not in dress code and I still didn’t understand what that meant," Lewis told KPRC. "She said that my headscarf was out of dress code and my dress was too short." 

Lewis had just come from Lamar High School, where her daughter was previously enrolled, and said she did not have an issue there.

"I mean, I didn’t understand why my headscarf and my dress would conflict with me enrolling someone in school,'' she said. 

Lewis said she covered her hair because she was in the process of getting it done and that her dress was a suitable length because it was not shorter than her fingers.

"I wanted to see proof of where it says parents can come dressed a certain way, but it wouldn’t show me that,'' Lewis said. "I wouldn’t leave, so they called the police department. They called them on me and I guess he was coming to tell me to leave, but I was already on the phone with the school board."

TODAY reached out to the Houston Independent School District on Thursday and did not receive a response.

The "parents responsibilities" section on Madison High School's website does not have any guidelines listed as far as dress code and appearance for parents.

Instituting dress codes for parents has become a topic of discussion at schools in recent years.

In January, a Tennessee state representative proposed a dress code for parents visiting the state's public schools after hearing enough "horror stories" about the parents showing up in lingerie or short shorts. Several school districts in Florida have also considered dress codes for parents.

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