Passive Aggressive School Sends Dress Code Violators Home Without Coats In Winter

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green coatUsually, when a story about a school having a ridiculous reaction to a dress code violation draws my attention, it’s because the school is either trying to shame the violator by making them wear something embarrassing, or because a person was asked to change when what they had on was completely reasonable. But a North Carolina middle school went in the opposite direction. Instead of making kids cover up, they sent kids home without coats for violating the school dress code. Because hypothermia, that’ll teach ’em!

Foxnews shared the story of Chanda Spates, a mother who spoke to her local news station about the incident. Spates has three children who attend Ranson IB Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. On Tuesday, a day when temperatures in Charlotte only reached the high 30s, her children came home from school without their coats. According to Spates, their coats, and the coats of at least 20 other students, were taken from them during lunch because the coats did not comply with the school dress code. Spates said her children were told that if they wanted their coats back a parent had to go to the school.

Spates acknowledges that school dress code states outerwear must be in the school color, hunter green. Last school year the school sold coats that fit the dress code colors, but this year they did not.

The school issued a statement, using an unnamed employee as a scapegoat. From Foxnews:

Outer coats are a part of the uniform at Ranson. Until today the policy has not come into question. Coats that did not meet the color requirement for the uniform dress code were taken by an employee (Tuesday).  The employee’s intent was to return the coasts to students before they went home. This action did not take place.

The school also claimed it returned all of the coats the next day and that disciplinary action was taken against the employee.

First of all, this isn’t How The Grinch Stole Christmas, you don’t get to pretend to be a hero by giving back stuff you never should have taken in the first place. And secondly, a dress code to try and keep students modest is one thing (not that I agree with it) but to take action like this because of a color is ludicrous.

This letter is the school just trying to protect itself from a lawsuit. Because I don’t see how this teacher could have acted alone. Cafeterias are staffed, so I’m sure multiple teachers and administrators at the very least saw, if not participated in, the coats being taken from the children. And if the plan really was to return the coats at the end of the day, I find it highly convenient that they all forgot to make sure the coats went back or that no one noticed children leaving the school without jackets.

Thankfully none of the kids suffered any long term ill effects, and that will have to satisfy us, since I don’t think we’ll ever know why the school decided to act in such a passive aggressive way instead of sending home notes or calling a PTA meeting. But I definitely think that who ever decided to take these coats needs to lay off watching Mean Girls for a while and find an actual problem to focus on.

(image: Tania Zbrodko/