Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Dad hits back at school for shaming five-year-old daughter in 'inappropriate' dress

Untitled-5.jpg

We've all experienced the strict rules and regulations of dressing at school. 

But a father in America has hit back at the double standards imposed on girls after his five-year-old daughter was told her knee-length dress was inappropriate for school. 

When journalist Jef Rouner's daughter walked out of her nursery in Houston, Texas, at the end of the day, he was surprised to see a T-shirt and pair of jeans under her spaghetti strapped rainbow dress.

"Did you feel cold?" he asked. "No," she said. "I had to change because spaghetti straps are against the rules."

Shocked, frustrated and angered by the situation, Rouner wrote a blog post about his experience on the Houston Press, which has since gone viral. 

"I'm not surprised to see the dress code shaming come into my house, I have after all been sadly waiting for it since the ultrasound tech said, 'It's a girl.' I didn't think, though that it would make an appearance when she was five years old."

"Cut her hair and put her next to a boy with no shirt on and she is fundamentally identical. I guess you could argue that a boy would not be allowed to wear a shirt with spaghetti straps either, but the day they sell anything like that in the boys section of a Target I will happily withdraw my objections."

When he checked the dress code for the school district, Rouner found "There are literally no male-specific guidelines anywhere on that list. I mean prohibitions against exposing the chest or torso could hypothetically apply to boys except that they don't. Not really. They don't sell boys clothes that do that....Essentially, a school dress code exists to prevent girls from displaying too much of their bodies."

"I didn't pick up my daughter's dress at My First Stripperwear. It's not repurposed fetish gear from a store for very short people. It's a dress from a mall chain store in her size. It covers everything but her shoulders and a small section of her upper chest and back. She's worn it to church, and in the growing heat she was looking forward to wearing it a lot because it's light and comfortable," he continues.

"I really didn't think that I would have to face that particular dragon before she even entered a numbered grade. Now I have this child, the one that argues scientific points about everything...wordlessly accepting that a dress with spaghetti straps, something sold in every Walmart in America right now, is somehow bad. Wrong. Naughty. And most importantly that the answer is to cover up."

"Make no mistake; every school dress code that is not a set uniform is about policing girls and girls alone," he adds. "Part of me very much wants to go buy a nice dress for myself and drop her off at school in it for the rest of the year to prove a point. In the meantime I think I'll employ the greatest weapon a five-year-old possesses; the question 'Why?'"

He says he'll continue to let his daughter wear her dress and tell her there's nothing wrong with it. "I'm going to tell her that some people think a girl who shows too much skin is wrong or dangerous, but that those people are, for want of a better term, lackwitted thugs living in a bad place."

The school district has not released an official response to Rouner’s complaint as of yet.

Related

Fake tan glow.jpg

Hilarious illustrations show you how to get ‘beach body ready’

11182776_10153256319685775_7697283757958095359_o.jpg

Student pens powerful open letter to man who sexually assaulted her

ThinkstockPhotos-465245187.jpg

Woman calls police after being wolf-whistled at by builders

267_ns_feat_mentalhealth_v1.jpg

Stylist hears first-hand what it’s like to live with mental illness

bikini body.jpg

The best and funniest take-downs of the Beach Body Ready campaign

Lena Dunham.jpg

Lena Dunham opens up about being raped

Comments

More

What to wear based on the capital's hottest exhibitions

London, my fashion muse

by Susie Stone
02 Dec 2016

A 2017 diary for every kind of woman

Life planners to party organisers

by Anna Pollitt
02 Dec 2016

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

02 Dec 2016

Samantha Cameron is launching a fashion label

Expect classic elegance with a modern twist

by Harriet Hall
30 Nov 2016

Why this £76 jacket from Urban Outfitters has gone viral

Have you seen it?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
29 Nov 2016

Is Beyoncé the person to make Christmas jumpers cool?

If anyone can do it...

by Moya Crockett
29 Nov 2016

Tommy Hilfiger: designers should be "proud" to dress Melania Trump

People “shouldn't become political about it”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
23 Nov 2016

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals: Stylist's definitive guide

The biggest days on the shopping calendar

by Sejal Kapadia Pocha
23 Nov 2016

This week's Style List: from party cheese boards to festive bling

From dinner party cheese boards to festive bling

by The Stylist web team
21 Nov 2016

Compostable trainers are the next big thing in eco-friendly fashion

These new Adidas kicks are made from synthetic spider silk.

by Moya Crockett
21 Nov 2016