Friday, May 27, 2011


Yesterday, Lili was "spoken to" by the counselor about her style of dress. She was very upset that she was asked to dress "normal" for the rest of the school year. The counselor then emailed me about the conversation. She says Lili's outfits have become a distraction. This annoys me, because it shouldn't be Lili's responsibility to make sure other kids are not distracted. It also bothers me because Lili's fashion sense is nothing new, so I'm not sure why it is an issue now.

Here is Lili this winter. She does not dress crazy in order to get attention at school. This was taken at Papa's house while she was getting ready to go play in the snow.
 This is an outfit Lili wore shortly after Christmas. Santa put the skirt in her stocking, so how bad can it be?
 This is another outfit she wore in the winter. The leggings were a Christmas present.
 This outfit was worn in the Spring:
 Another Springtime outfit:
 The studio where Lili dances had tutus for sale for a fundraiser. I bought her two of them and she was over-the-moon excited to wear them. And what this girl can do with just two tutus!

 The gun didn't go to school as part of this outfit. But parts of this one were her dance recital costumes. I paid enough for the darn things, I figure she might as well get some use out of them!
 She didn't wear these shoes when she wore this outfit to school. And she has on shorts under the tutu. But this one apparently garnered her some attention from boys (according to the counselor...Lili said she didn't notice any extra attention.)
 And this is the outfit she was wearing yesterday when the counselor told her she was distracting other students.
What you have not seen in these photos is her poofed hair, the tiara she loves to wear, and the make-up and glitter. That is because I am not really fond of her wearing make-up so she waits until she's at school to put it on. And she has a pretty heavy hand. And she LOVES glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. But Lili is a straight-A student. She is responsible and respectful. She is helpful and caring. So I choose not to make a big deal of the fact that she likes to layer glitter on her face.

Now, I can see that if you stretch the dress code you could say the tiara is a hat. And if that is the case, she shouldn't wear it. But I do not see how anything else she has worn violates the dress code. The counselor said in her email that she spoke to Lili at the request of teachers. If the teachers thought she was violating dress code, they should have just told her to change. I think the problem is that they just don't like what she's wearing.

So basically, my daughter's school is disrespecting her right to individuality. They are asking her to conform. Too much of public education is about sameness. I am so proud of Lili for being quirky and unique and confident enough to show it. I am regretting that in my return email to the counselor I agreed that Lili wold CONFORM for the rest of the year. I am not happy about crushing my child's spirit, creativity and individuality. It makes me sad that the school would ask me to do that. I am sad that the school obviously doesn't appreciate my child as an individual. And I don't know what will happen next year. But I will not let them change my child just to suit their idea of what is acceptable.

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