Mom calls out school district for sexist dress code: 'We need to stop body shaming our pre-teens'

An assistant principal allegedly asked the 12-year-old girl to remove her jacket and then said her outfit broke the rules. (Photo: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

A Texas mom was shocked to hear that an assistant principal asked her 12-year-old daughter to remove her jacket to see if the clothes she was wearing underneath violated the school dress code. She called out the dress code problem, which she believes is sexist, in a Wednesday Facebook post.

I believe strongly that the school districts dress code is inherently sexist and that the administrators and teachers’ implicit biased create an overwhelmingly unbalanced situation in which girls are targeted and unfairly disciplined for having bodies that are naturally growing at a disproportionate rate,” Amber Parungao said in a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle.

Parungao told CBS Austin that her daughter Juliette was dress coded twice in as many weeks at Leander Middle School in an Austin, Texas, suburb. The second time it happened, Juliette was wearing an oversized sweatshirt that belonged to her dad.

The assistant principal asked Juliette to remove the sweatshirt and then said her shorts were violating the dress code, according to Paungao’s account. Pictures Parungao posted of Juliette’s outfit show that the oversized jacket was longer than her shorts.

A spokesman for the Leander Independent School District confirmed the dress code violation to CBS Austin and said the district “strives for a gender-neutral dress code that supports a safe, positive learning environment for all students.”

But Parungao told the news station that Juliette has grown a few inches recently and alleged that girls who “are more developed are getting dress coded at a higher rate than girls that are not.”

“The irony of asking a child to remove an article of clothing to make sure the clothing they have underneath is appropriate? Doesn’t make any sense,” Parungao told CBS Austin. “We need a nonsexist dress code and we need to stop body shaming our pre-teens who are already struggling with body image.” 

People who saw Parungao’s Facebook post were just as angry. 

She looks fine to me! Especially if she wasn’t even walking around with her jacket off,” one person commented.

“This is ridiculous. Are they this meticulous in checking every female student for length of clothing on a DAILY basis? Grrrrr…..” another said.

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