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Curious how you'd take this: B&M teacher dress recommendation


SKL
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Gonna post an email I received yesterday from a teacher.   My kids claim this teacher frequently singles out my eldest in various ways, in front of the class.  (11yo 6th grader.)  Note that this is a Christian school, and I am fine with conservative dress codes.

 

"Today in English I was reminding the 6th graders that we are so looking forward to going to [nearby Lutheran high school] tomorrow.

 
I reminded the class that we need to wear school attire for the service.  I did let the girls know now that we are in 6-8th grade it is important the girls who participate in the games wear school pants on this day.,
 
I know [sKL's eldest] said she doesn't wear pants at all.  No problem there - [sKL's youngest] said she does wear them.  Now that some of the games we play the gals do bend over and have to sit on the floor and it becomes hard to not show stuff.     I know she wears tights under her skirts which is good. 
 
I do not know what 6th graders are picked for the games.  I shared with [sKL's oldest] very seldom do I ever wear pants either for school.
 
We are so enjoying Lutheran Schools week.  Looking forward to our day at [___].  Just keeping your informed. Let me know if you have any concerns."
 
My kids told me that when the subject came up in class, Eldest responded that she wears leggings [not tights] under her skirts.  Her leggings, always black and not tight-fitting, are quite decent even with just a t-shirt.  She is quite skinny in the waist and butt.  Also there is zero chance she has ever "shown stuff" at school.
 
Can't help wondering what is motivating this teacher.  Does she really think my 11yo and I are both too stupid to keep "stuff" covered in public?
 
ETA my daughter said that in class, the teacher told her she might not be allowed to play the "games" if she doesn't come in "pants."  
 
ETAA I just remembered - my daughters also said a boy in the class picked up on the conversation about not flashing people and made a loud, inappropriate comment about my daughter.  Another teacher called the boy out on it.  Now I am thinking the English teacher was worried that I would hear all this and get angry, so she thought she'd email me her side of the story (part of it).
Edited by SKL
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Growing up, the girls couldn't wear dresses to school on gym day at my public school because some style of dresses restrict movement, making it more difficult to participate in gym class.

 

The reason the teacher gave for requesting pants be worn is silly in light of the fact that your D has leggings on under the skirt.

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The email annoys me. She should just say what she wants to say. Does she want your dd to sit out of games unless she's wearing pants? Are tights not good enough? She says 'that's good' but the rest of the email doesn't seem to jive with that. 

 

Leggings (or honestly, even tights) hide all the girl parts well enough for a game.  Heck, when I was in Catholic school (in Atlanta) it wasn't cold enough to wear tights so we played in skirts all the time.  Sure,  some boys caught occasional glimpses of our panties.  But for the most part we learned how to play without that happening.  

 

Could she wear bike shorts under her skirt? I know it's too late for it this time, but maybe in the future?

 

Who is this teacher who calls the girls 'gals'?

 

 

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I *think* she is saying --

 

"Today in class, we were talking about what to wear for the field trip. Your dd and I had some back and forth. I'm fine with what she said and what she wears. I just wanted to let you know about the conversation from my point of view in case your dds talk about it at home."

 

 

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To clarify, this is just a fun day and the "games" are not gym class.  My daughter participated last year in a skirt and leggings.  She is a very active girl who manages to do frequent cartwheels and handsprings and win races in her school skirt/leggings.

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I am wondering if she is concerned about the dress code at the other school.  It sounds to me as if she might be walking a tightrope between some who don't wear pants for religious reasons and some who are concerned that all of the girls should wear pants so that they can be active.  Is there an official definition of "school attire"?  

 

I am hoping that you paraphrased and quickly typed the teacher's note.  If it is verbatim, I would be more concerned about an English teacher's writing than the dress code. 

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I would think the note was just a reminder for your youngest to wear pants and your oldest to wear leggings/tights under her skirt.  

 

I wouldn't think anything of it other than that.

 

We were part of private schools for years and often got reminders about such things before events. It sounds like the teacher was just casually relaying part of the conversation to you so if your daughter mentioned it, you would know what was said. 

 

BTW...some people use the word tights for leggings, it is more of a broad term to them.

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I am wondering if she is concerned about the dress code at the other school.  It sounds to me as if she might be walking a tightrope between some who don't wear pants for religious reasons and some who are concerned that all of the girls should wear pants so that they can be active.  Is there an official definition of "school attire"?  

 

I am hoping that you paraphrased and quickly typed the teacher's note.  If it is verbatim, I would be more concerned about an English teacher's writing than the dress code.

 

I agree with both points.

 

Find out if dd is in compliance with the daily dress code or not, and whether the dress of the day for field trips is exclusively pants. The school should have a firm policy, and the teacher should be able to communicate it.

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 I am hoping that you paraphrased and quickly typed the teacher's note.  If it is verbatim, I would be more concerned about an English teacher's writing than the dress code. 

 

It is cut & paste, and yes, her writing skills are suspect, not only here but in all of her correspondence.  :P

 

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I would think the note was just a reminder for your youngest to wear pants and your oldest to wear leggings/tights under her skirt.

 

I wouldn't think anything of it other than that.

 

We were part of private schools for years and often got reminders about such things before events. It sounds like the teacher was just casually relaying part of the conversation to you so if your daughter mentioned it, you would know what was said.

 

BTW...some people use the word tights for leggings, it is more of a broad term to them.

I agree. My daughter rarely wears pants either. There’s been a couple times her teacher(at public school so no religious issues) has emailed me just to remind me they’re doing something that day where DD should probably make sure to wear some leggings under the skirt.

 

I think that’s all this teacher is doing. She was nice to make your daughter feel good by telling her that she(the teacher) prefers to wear skirts and dresses. I think she’s just trying to be empathetic and send a reminder.

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I would think the note was just a reminder for your youngest to wear pants and your oldest to wear leggings/tights under her skirt.  

 

I wouldn't think anything of it other than that.

 

We were part of private schools for years and often got reminders about such things before events. It sounds like the teacher was just casually relaying part of the conversation to you so if your daughter mentioned it, you would know what was said. 

 

BTW...some people use the word tights for leggings, it is more of a broad term to them.

 

I'm pretty sure I was the only parent to receive this message though.  For a benign reminder, she could have sent a general email to all the parents with the day's dress code info.

 

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DD went to a Catholic high school which had a uniform that included a skirt; pants were not an option.  The girls could wear tights (but not what would be considered "leggings") or knee socks.  It was an all-girls school.  Almost all of the girls wore Nike running shorts under their skirts on a daily basis.  

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As for my kids' normal everyday school attire, it always meets and exceeds the school dress code, and I have been told that by teachers on multiple occasions.

 

There is no rule that girls have to wear "school pants" in any situation; my kid does not own pants because she doesn't want or need them.

 

I will say that it's been a point of discussion in past years when they were going on an outdoorsy field trip.  But we always figured it out without me having to go buy pants.  Well, except for that one choir concert that required everyone to wear khakis ....

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I agree that the email is confusing.  She goes back and forth between being supportive and being critical.  This is how she is in all her emails to me (and she has emailed me more than any other teacher ever).  Her emails are always about small things that did did not require an email, and they are always full of feeling, "excited," "disappointed," "surpised," etc.  It makes me tired.  Deal with it at school or dock the kid's grade if she isn't perfect.

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I'm pretty sure I was the only parent to receive this message though.  For a benign reminder, she could have sent a general email to all the parents with the day's dress code info.

 

Is your daughter the only one who only wears skirts?  If so, then that may be why. Other kids may have received other reminders as appropriate to them. Maybe the other girls are all fine wearing pants so there wasn't a need to mention it.  

 

I really wouldn't read more into it that what it is, a simple reminder.  She was just letting you know about the conversation and an extra reminder to wear tights/leggings under her skirt that day. No biggie

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I guess if I felt the need to send such a message, I'd say there's going to be both a chapel service and some physical games tomorrow, so wear dress code clothes that allow for active play.  I wouldn't get into a lecture about how we need to not "show stuff."  I would assume there is not one parent or 6th-grade girl who is stupid enough to need that information.

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I am wondering if she is concerned about the dress code at the other school.  It sounds to me as if she might be walking a tightrope between some who don't wear pants for religious reasons and some who are concerned that all of the girls should wear pants so that they can be active.  Is there an official definition of "school attire"?  

 

I am hoping that you paraphrased and quickly typed the teacher's note.  If it is verbatim, I would be more concerned about an English teacher's writing than the dress code. 

 

 

I am having a hard time understanding what the heck she is getting at.

 

I think I would ask for clarification.

I can't figure out what she means either. Either she meets the dress code or doesn't, if she does then there shouldn't be anything said, if she does then she needs to be explicit as to what she should change. If they are visiting somewhere that has a different dress code then that needs to be said outright. If your daughter had been flashing other kids inadvertently then that needs to be said.

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if she's actually naming your dd in an email about the entire class, to single her out for her style of dress - I *might* be polite enough to address it with the teacher, but very probably skip right on over and go to admin.  it's beyond inappropriate.

 

at the least, she's very unprofessional.   she could *easily* have said  " we're going to ___, and ___ will be the dress code to be able to participate in activities because of ___".  no singling out any student required.

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I just read it as a heads up that the games for the Field trip require pants due to the nature of the games or the other schools rules.

 

Then it seems like she acknowledges hat your dd doesn’t like pants and that’s okay. She doesn’t either. And acknowledges that your dd always wears something under her skirts so she never shows anything, so this is not an issue her teacher ever has with her.

 

Overall, I see the email as explaining why your dd might not be able to participate in the games. And also explaining/reassuring that she herself doesn’t have an issue with the way your dd dresses. It seems genuine and meant to be done in a nice way.

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I guess if I felt the need to send such a message, I'd say there's going to be both a chapel service and some physical games tomorrow, so wear dress code clothes that allow for active play.  I wouldn't get into a lecture about how we need to not "show stuff."  I would assume there is not one parent or 6th-grade girl who is stupid enough to need that information.

Snip from original message........Now that some of the games we play the gals do bend over and have to sit on the floor and it becomes hard to not show stuff.     I know she wears tights under her skirts which is good. 

 

 

How is that a lecture?  She mentions it and says it isn't a problem for your daughter. 

 

Maybe you hear a tone in the letter (based on knowing the teacher) I am not hearing, but based solely on what is written here, I do not see or hear a lecture.  Just a simple statement and then she moves on. 

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Snip from original message........Now that some of the games we play the gals do bend over and have to sit on the floor and it becomes hard to not show stuff.     I know she wears tights under her skirts which is good. 

 

 

How is that a lecture?  She mentions it and says it isn't a problem for your daughter. 

 

Maybe you hear a tone in the letter (based on knowing the teacher) I am not hearing, but based solely on what is written here, I do not see or hear a lecture.  Just a simple statement and then she moves on. 

 

 

But - then why is she including this at all?  It seems to add nothing useful to the communication, it's a pointless observation.

 

Maybe she is trying to be conversational - but that also seems not quite the right interpretation.

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It really is an odd letter. It seems that if there wasn't something else going on, that all she needed to do was send a note home with all the kids stating that they will be participating in X activities on a certain day and here are the clothing choices allowed per school policy for that day for the children who will want to participate. I mean why be so convoluted about it all?

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putting aside the fact that my kid wouldn't ever be in this situation but imagining other situations.... I'd take it as a weird passive aggressive criticism of my parenting, or implication that even though we follow the dress code we're somehow not up to her standards. 

I'd be passive aggressive back and forward the email to the principal and say "Can you clarify whether the school dress code (which we follow to the letter) is adequate for out of school field trips?" 
 

(fwiw, tights & leggings are different things to me but I gather that's a regional thing) 

 

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I'm trying to figure out what the heck she's saying, too. I would be befuddled and ask for clarification. I don't get hints, though, and passive aggressive nonsense does. not. work. on me. Just be straight up and tell me.

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Snip from original message........Now that some of the games we play the gals do bend over and have to sit on the floor and it becomes hard to not show stuff.     I know she wears tights under her skirts which is good. 

 

 

How is that a lecture?  She mentions it and says it isn't a problem for your daughter. 

 

Maybe you hear a tone in the letter (based on knowing the teacher) I am not hearing, but based solely on what is written here, I do not see or hear a lecture.  Just a simple statement and then she moves on. 

 

It's more, why are you even telling me this, and why are you sending *me* an email at all?

 

I think maybe she was concerned that my kid would come home with her side of the in-class conversation and that would make me wonder.  Again, it seems like my kid is being singled out and the teacher is being too personal.

 

Oh and I also forgot to mention - the conversation in class prompted a boy to make a loud, inappropriate comment about my daughter.  (Sorry, I can't remember the exact words he used, but it was an add-on to the don't flash your stuff conversation.)  Another teacher called the boy out.  So maybe the emailing teacher was worried I'd hear she started a lewd conversation about my daughter ....

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if she's actually naming your dd in an email about the entire class, to single her out for her style of dress - I *might* be polite enough to address it with the teacher, but very probably skip right on over and go to admin.  it's beyond inappropriate.

 

at the least, she's very unprofessional.   she could *easily* have said  " we're going to ___, and ___ will be the dress code to be able to participate in activities because of ___".  no singling out any student required.

 

I got the impression this email was sent just to SKL.  If it was sent to the entire class, I agree, that goes to admin.  But my take on it is it was sent to SKL and was not about the entire class, but about this specific DD.  I'm not sure what I'd say/think/do, though.  :(

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I would try to talk to the teacher and see exactly what this is all about.  It sounds as if there was another teacher in the classroom when the male student made the comment? Is it possible that the teacher has noticed the male students making comments about how your DD is dressed?  I am not saying that their comments are appropriate or that it should change how your child dresses, I am just wondering what the series of events was and what exactly the teacher is dealing with. Perhaps was it where teacher was saying "We will be going to XYZ tomorrow and it is important to dress appropriately.  We will be going to chapel but we will also be playing games; so you need to dress both modestly and comfortably for outdoor activity."  and then the male student said "Yeah Jane, like how we see up your skirt when you do cartwheels..."  and the teacher's comments were meant to make Jane feel OK about her choices?  Was the teacher the one initially pointing your daughter out or was the male student in the class?

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This is a 6th grade English teacher?! She needs a remedial course is writing and communicating clearly. Maybe if she can find something like Plain English for Lawyers, maybe Plain English for English Teachers, that could help her.

 

And, after recommending the book 😉 I'd have a chat with her about frequently calling out my child in class, even if it's positive. The other kids deserve attention too.

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I think it was just to me - at least I hope so . :P

 

Okay, well that’s good!

 

I giggle at the thought of replying, “Thank you so much for the information. I’ll try to make sure she wears underwear that dayâ€.

 

 

But seriously, I’d just reply with a thank you & that you’ll be sure she’s dressed modestly as always. The teacher gave you a ton of unnecessary information. I wouldn’t try to read into it, but just assume your child needs to wear her usual attire. ðŸ‘ðŸ»

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I would try to talk to the teacher and see exactly what this is all about.  It sounds as if there was another teacher in the classroom when the male student made the comment? Is it possible that the teacher has noticed the male students making comments about how your DD is dressed?  I am not saying that their comments are appropriate or that it should change how your child dresses, I am just wondering what the series of events was and what exactly the teacher is dealing with. Perhaps was it where teacher was saying "We will be going to XYZ tomorrow and it is important to dress appropriately.  We will be going to chapel but we will also be playing games; so you need to dress both modestly and comfortably for outdoor activity."  and then the male student said "Yeah Jane, like how we see up your skirt when you do cartwheels..."  and the teacher's comments were meant to make Jane feel OK about her choices?  Was the teacher the one initially pointing your daughter out or was the male student in the class?

 

The boy's comment was after the back-and-forth between my kid and the English teacher.

 

The boy has behavior problems aside from this incident, but this is the first time I ever heard of anyone saying anything about my kid relating to body parts.

 

I assure you that my daughter dresses very modestly.  She does not like to show skin.  She wears leggings under her skirts even in the summer time.  The skirts and polos are French Toast uniform clothes, and she also wears a long-sleeved sweater (buttoned) over her polo in the cool months.  Nobody is seeing anything they should not see.

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I guess if I felt the need to send such a message, I'd say there's going to be both a chapel service and some physical games tomorrow, so wear dress code clothes that allow for active play.  I wouldn't get into a lecture about how we need to not "show stuff."  I would assume there is not one parent or 6th-grade girl who is stupid enough to need that information.

 

 

 

Um, having taught in various school situations, I would not assume the bolded.

 

Unpolished as she may be, she seems to be truly trying to communicate.  As I'm sure you know, teachers have so many things on their plates at any given moment. I wouldn't be too quick to criticize for her lack of perfect communication. Just follow up to ask for clarification.

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To clarify, this is just a fun day and the "games" are not gym class.  My daughter participated last year in a skirt and leggings.  She is a very active girl who manages to do frequent cartwheels and handsprings and win races in her school skirt/leggings.

 

How does she manage inverted positions during cartwheels and handsprings with a dress? I'd be concerned about the safety factor. The dress flopping in her face and making it difficult to see or plant her arms properly. Does she take gymnastics classes, and if so what does she wear there? 

Edited by wintermom
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How does she manage inverted positions during cartwheels and handsprings with a dress? I'd be concerned about the safety factor. The dress flopping in her face and making it difficult to see or plant her arms properly. Does she take gymnastics classes, and if so what does she wear there? 

 

My daughter is a gymnast and she always wears leggings under skirts and dresses because doing cartwheels and handstands is likely to happen whenever she walks. I would say the same about her teammates. They are rarely right side up and it doesn't matter what they're wearing. Of course at the gym they are required to wear a leo.

 

ETA: I should add that my dd also considers leggings to be pants. She is super thin, very active, and has sensory issues with jeans and pants with zippers so that's all she will wear.

Edited by mom2scouts
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The teacher sounds like the sort that has a lot going on her head and has a hard time getting to the point in communications. :-)

 

I'd probably try to speak to her in person if I could, because that sort tends to misinterpret and confuse issues in writing. I'd say something like, "I got your e mail. Are you saying that X is fine to participate in the activity as long as she wears her usual leggings with her skirt? She doesn't wear pants, but we don't want her to be left out of any of the games."

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I am wondering if she is concerned about the dress code at the other school.  It sounds to me as if she might be walking a tightrope between some who don't wear pants for religious reasons and some who are concerned that all of the girls should wear pants so that they can be active.  Is there an official definition of "school attire"?  

 

I am hoping that you paraphrased and quickly typed the teacher's note.  If it is verbatim, I would be more concerned about an English teacher's writing than the dress code. 

 

 

:)  Have to admit the same thought occurred to me. 

 

Leggings are pants. Pants are garments that cover a person's body continuously from the waist to the ankle.

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