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A school dress code for parents? Lawmaker proposes bill to set rules for mom and dad

Should schools set a dress code for visiting parents on campus? It’s being discussed in Tennessee. WOODY MARSHALL/THE TELEGRAPH
Should schools set a dress code for visiting parents on campus? It’s being discussed in Tennessee. WOODY MARSHALL/THE TELEGRAPH wmarshall@macon.com

A school dress code for parents is being hotly debated in Tennessee, after one state lawmaker proposed setting a standard for what moms and dads wear on campus, according to TV station WREG in Memphis.

Democratic State Rep Antonio Parkinson of Memphis says the idea came to him after he got complaints from principals about parents showing up in outfits that exposed too much skin, the station reported.

Some critics have already labeled it an example of unnecessary government interference, but Parkinson told The Daily Memphian and other news outlets that he has heard too many “horror stories” from school officials.

“There was a parent that came into the school and the parent was in their lingerie and there were body parts exposed. And this was an elementary school,” Parkinson told WMC. “We’re not trying to criminalize anyone...What we’re doing is educating and creating awareness.”

The bill intends to require each district in the state to set its own “minimal” standards, according to the Daily Memphian.

Parkinson told Fox 17 News he wants the bill, which he is still drafting, to apply not just to parents, but to anyone who visits a campus, including vendors doing their jobs.

“I want to make sure everyone understands a minimal code of conduct and how to behave, conduct themselves and wear proper attire,” Parkinson said, according to Fox 17 News. “Each district might have issues or needs specific for them.”

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Hundreds have reacted to the proposal on social media, offering a mix of support, criticism and disbelief that this is an issue.

“I think it’s sad that this has to be an issue,” wrote Amanda Hudson Metcalf on Facebook. “’Adults’ should know that you don’t show up to your child’s school looking like you’re going out to a bar to hook up or like you just rolled out of bed.”

“That’s what we need, more government interference in peoples lives,” posted Ben Crowder. “If Sally’s mom wants to wear her PJ’s to school leave her alone.”

“As long as they are covered up, what does it matter what people wear,” wrote Donna Svedberg on Facebook. “Have they ever been to Walmart after midnight? They’d definitely be appalled.”

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