Senior Busted For Wearing ‘Inappropriate’ Dress On Her Last Day Has Mom Wear Same Dress To Graduation

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 5.39.34 AMNow that the school year is finally drawing to a close in most parts of America I hope we get to take a break from all of these totally ridiculous and arbitrary instances of schools slut-shaming girls for wearing ensembles that most of us would find completely reasonable. This one involves a senior at Central Davidson High School in North Carolina named Violet Burkhart who was sent home with two hours remaining in the school day on the last day of her high school career after teachers pulled her aside to tell her that her dress was half an inch too short. A dress she had worn five times previously to school. Mom wasn’t too pleased about this. From MyFox8:

“I literally looked back at the clock and I’m thinking, it’s 1:00 in the afternoon on her last day of her senior year. My daughter — it’s supposed to be one of her best days and she’s there crying,” said Amy Redwine, Violet’s mother.

Redwine isn’t arguing with the school’s dress code, but said she thinks the situation could have been handled differently. Especially since she says her daughter had worn the dress to school several times before.

“If I thought this dress was inappropriate, I would have never allowed her to wear the dress,” said Redwine.


So Redwine decided to subtly protest the way the school handled this situation, by wearing her daughter’s dress to her graduation.

(Image: Facebook)

(Image: Facebook)

You go, Mom. Looking at the dress I’m not sure how it is in any way inappropriate, because it isn’t as short as shorts that you see a dude wearing in summer. And considering this was the last day of school with only a few hours left in the day I don’t see how Violet’s dress was disruptive or non-conducive to learning or whatever. The dress code at Central Davidson High School is admittedly vague. According to the school, it doesn’t allow ‘Shorts, skirts, skorts and dresses shorter than mid-thigh,’ noting that ‘Mid-thigh is a difficult measure.’ I love how mom supported her daughter in this way and I think they both look lovely in the dress. And I’d like to note we have spent a whole year without one story of a boy being sent home for wearing something too tight or too short.

(Image: Facebook/MyFox8 video)

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  • shel

    How is that dress not mid-thigh? It even passes the fingertip length test (which is another very arbitrary way to measure).
    And I don’t get the point of calling her out with 2 hours left in the school day on the last day of school… especially if she’s worn that same dress to school before… somebody was on a power trip.

    • Lackadaisical

      Skorts are cullotes I presume? The dress looks fine on length but the lower half looks like culottes rather than a skirt. Not the way to handle a last day, though

    • AugustW

      Skorts are skirts with a built in pair of shorts underneath.

    • Lackadaisical

      That makes sense. In which case not a reason to ban this. I know at my school, where sixth form between 16 and 18 years could wear home clothes, it would have been unacceptable for the low cut top but the school seem not to have mentioned that. However at my school a teacher would have discretely talked to the student about not wearing it again but not have asked her to go home or change and then had a talk with all students the next day to remind them of the dress code without singling anyone out. Sending home on the last ever day with a dress that is borderline at worst seems rather mean.

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  • Kelly

    Are you kidding me? That’s considered inappropriate? It’s a simple summer dress. Plus it’s well past the tips of her fingertips. That’s ridiculous.

  • SunnyD847


  • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    Because we all learned so much on the very last day of our senior years, I am sure…

    Pretty ridiculous. I like how the mom is handling it and how she specifically says it’s not necessarily the dress code itself, so much as it is the way it was handled. I so completely agree. If it was fine the rest of the year, it was fine on the last day.

  • allisonjayne

    That is so weird. It’s a cute dress that comes well past her fingertips. What the hell?

  • Rachel Sea

    The administrator should be disciplined. What a stupid waste of their pay.

  • jane

    That is an awesome mom.

  • MynameisNaeMe

    That would have broken dress code at my high school. It’s not the length, it’s how deep the V is and the straps. Both got plenty of girls a free school t-shirt to wear for the day back in the late 90′s at my HS lol. Not saying I agree, just that I understand what was probably out of code.

    • Katherine Handcock

      Apparently, the school said it was the length – part of why everyone is so confused!

    • MynameisNaeMe

      Ah yeah somehow I missed that. Yay for half ass reading :D

    • Kat

      I know it says that it was the skirt part, but some male teachers/principals may give that as a reason, because they don’t want to get harassed when dealing with a girl’s torso. I know my school would have said the same thing. Otherwise they’d be afraid of parents coming along & asking “why were you even looking at her chest?!” … It’s just a safer excuse.

    • pixie

      For me, I could see if the school objected to how deep the “V” was and the thickness (thinness?) of the straps if it was clearly stated in the school dress code for both sexes (let me emphasize BOTH sexes), was the first time she was wearing it, at the beginning of the school day, and not the last day of school. But since it seems like the school is complaining about the length of the skirt and not the cut of the top, I think the school is being ridiculous.
      And that being said, I also think that the school could have given her gym clothes (at least my high school and I’m pretty sure the two public schools in town kept extra gym clothes on hand for students to purchase; my school also had extra uniforms because it was a Catholic school, in case someone had the wrong shirt or got caught walking to school in torrential downpour and needed something to wear while their clothes were in the school dryer) to wear instead of sending her home if they really took THAT much issue with her dress, since that cuts away from learning time. But again, two hours left of the last day of school…

  • Katherine Handcock

    I’m starting to feel like the dress codes at most schools are more confusing and distracting to the students than the “inappropriate” clothing! I understand the need/desire for a dress code, but if you’re going to have one, it has to be clear and consistently enforced.

    • C.J.

      My daughter is in grade 6 and the dress code has become a problem. Her teacher decided to have a stricter dress code than the school actually does. My daughter keeps coming to me in tears because she is scared she won’t pass dress code in her class. I buy her clothes so that they pass the school dress code not the teacher’s extra ridiculous rules. He will make them change into a pair of scrubs if he doesn’t like their clothes. I told her if he has a problem with her clothes to request that he call me. I am dreading when my younger one has him, her legs are so long everything looks short on her. She will have to only wear capri’s in the hot weather if she gets him.

    • Katherine Handcock

      Will the administration not step in on this? It seems bizarre to me that the teacher’s rules can be different.

    • C.J.

      We don’t have a very good principal. He really doesn’t do anything about anything. If the teacher were to give my daughter a hard I would take it higher up. So far he hasn’t said anything to her. He has with a few other kids though.

    • 2Well

      This would make sense if he was teaching older students who were taking a science lab. I never had science labs in high school, but extra rules for safety, such as tying hair back or wearing certain kinds of sleeves, or even footwear rules, would make sense in certain situations.

    • C.J.

      That would make sense since it is a safety issue.

    • Ddaisy

      My high school had the coolest principal ever. At the start of every school year, we had a welcome assembly. Every year, he brought in ridiculous mannequins–one male, one female–who violated the dress code in every way possible. He went over their attire, piece by piece, so it was perfectly clear what was and wasn’t okay. It was a great way to do it.

    • SarahJesness

      Bleh, tell me about it. The “distraction” argument doesn’t even make a lot of sense. A girl would come in with her hair dyed blue, everyone will say “your hair is blue!” and then stop giving a shit after two minutes.

  • Jem

    I truly want to know what lesson they thought this would teach her. Punishments with no reasonable lesson to be learned are incredibly stupid and ineffective.

  • LK

    If the school claimed it was length, I am also confused. Especially if, as the mom said, she’d worn it before. But this would absolutely not have passed dress code at my school due to the deep V and the straps. Of course also last day of school, so who gives a shit about 1/2 inch, seriously? I think the inconsistency with which dress codes are enforced is a pretty across the board crappy policy, which probably has more to do with the humanity of the teachers, who I would guess have varying degrees of comfort pulling aside a kid and telling them what they are wearing is not OK. I would avoid that shit LIKE THE PLAGUE if I were a teacher.
    So all that said, I wouldn’t send my kid to school in this. I’d be totally fine with her wearing it out or to a wedding or a party or just about wherever. And I think with the rash of news stories lately on what HS girls are wearing, we should be careful not to create a false dichotomy. You can simultaneously think that an article of clothing is too revealing AND think girls are unfairly burdened with this kind of crap. Me thinking the shorts a girl is wearing are too short does NOT mean I think the girl is a slut. But as much as I want my kids to know that showing a little leg or shoulder or WHATEVER does not make a woman (or a man) an acceptable target for slut shaming or rape or whatever the hell else, I ALSO want them to know that modesty isn’t necessarily the DEVIL either.

    • ChelseaBFH

      Yes, It’s a really fine line to walk but it is possible to teach girls both to feel comfortable wearing what they want and that there is clothing that is appropriate for different occasions. For example, what you wear to the beach isn’t appropriate for school – it’s not a value judgement on what you’re wearing at the beach, it’s just a fact!

      On this specific story, the dress seems fine at a glance, although it wouldn’t have passed dress code at my high school (because of the straps). But that’s not the point – if she’s breaking dress code (even if she’s gotten away with it before), it’s a problem. Unless someone told her she is dressed too slutty, or distracting the boys, or something else shame-y, it’s just an issue of there being a rule, and failing to follow it.

    • LK

      I agree. Clearly there is a cultural problem that places too much responsibility on girls’ shoulders to manage the desires of men (who apparently are helpless against their lustful ways). But I struggle to believe that every example of a girl getting called out for dress code violations is the right rallying cry for this issues unless, as you suggested, they are treated poorly by administratiors. I think this distracts from more important aspects of the issue.

    • Spitting_mad

      But why wouldn’t she wear it, when it’s clearly quite long and she’s worn it several times before? Even in a big school, once students are broken up into smaller classes teachers do tend to notice violations.
      If I wore a skirt to work multiple times throughout the year with no problems, and then suddenly one day it was against the arbitrary dress code and it was my fault for breaking said code, I’d be confused and angry as well.
      I don’t think it’s likely that she just “got away with it” several times before. It seems much more likely that someone in the school decided policing students was, once again, more important than ensuring their education. Maybe since it was the last day that adult had nothing better to do.

    • ChelseaBFH

      I like the anology someone had about speeding – just because you speed down the same road every morning doesn’t mean it’s unfair when you get a ticket. That said, if this was my sister or friend or me, I’d be annoyed and think it was dumb that they chose that day to strictly enforce the dress code, too. But I’d roll my eyes and get over it.

      I just think it diminishes the instances where girls are actually judged by what they’re wearing that every time a girl gets sent home for breaking a dress code we cry “slut-shaming!!!” Sometimes it’s just that dress codes are written badly and the wrong teacher sees you in the hall. Sucks, but that’s life. Not worth getting the internet all fired up about.

    • Spitting_mad

      That analogy would only work if the speed limit said “I dunno, 50-ish”.
      And then some people went 65mph without problems and some were ticketed for going 48mph.

    • Guest

      Haha I would love to see a speed limit sign like that. For some reason that is really giving me a good laugh. I think the “I dunno” part got me.

    • ChelseaBFH

      Like I said somewhere else, the school clearly has a problem with making the rules clear and enforcing them consistently. No argument there. But this isn’t a case of, as the article says, “slut-shaming.” It’s just a misunderstanding, and hopefully one that they will try to avoid in the future. But let’s save the outrage for instances like the girl who was kicked out of prom even though she wasn’t violating dress code because she got the dads all hot and bothered.

    • Spitting_mad

      No. I’m going to be in these posts, commenting about any time a girl is given unclear dress code rules in which her clothes are considered slutty for arbitrary, unclear reasons. You’re free not to comment if micro-aggressions don’t upset you, but don’t tell me how to feel about it, and don’t tell the writers it’s not worth discussing.

  • Iwill Findu

    I don’t really care for the last comment about how guys don’t get sent home for to short/tight. I know from my own experience my high school dress code did have bits that did affect boys more so then girls, and that was no swearing, drug or sexual references on any clothing (and since the town at the point had a medical pot farm almost all the guys owned at lest one shirt with a pot reference) It really comes down to the types of clothing that boys and girl will have a preference to girls it’s pretty (which tend to be short or tight) and boys it tends to be t-shirts that are crass. Boys also tend to be less pissy when they get told they can’t wear something, so don’t go crying to the internet. One guy was sent home pretty much every day because of the content on their t-shirt.

    Was it stupid in this case yes, but it does happen to guys.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Yeah, I actually bust boys about the same amount but it’s for different things. Low riding pants were you can see their underwear (we send them to the nurse for a belt), sneaking in hats, and wearing stupid chains (they damage stuff). Oh, and they’re not allowed to wear those shirts where the sleeves are cut out and you can basically see half their chest. And yes, they do try to wear them, and yes, they get sent to the nurse for new clothes. And they don’t usually call their parents and bitch about it. You’re right.

    • Korine

      It seems like these boys are violating clear dress codes, so there’s nothing to bitch about. They tried to get away with something, failed, moved on. Many of these girls we hear about aren’t knowingly violating anything. She wore this not very short dress 5 times to school and then was told it was wrong, based on very vague rules. There’s something to bitch about.

    • SarahJesness

      Pretty much, and the rules are often enforced inconsistently and often unfairly.

    • Guest

      Yes exactly! This wasn’t about a girl trying to break dress code-it’s about another girl being sent home for no good reason other than the administrators can’t seem to get it right. If all the instances reported on so far had been about girls breaking dress code, then it wouldn’t be an issue. The boys that were sent home WERE (purposely) breaking dress code and it was fair that they were sent home. It’s comparing apples to oranges. I agree, there’s something to bitch about.

  • kay

    I remember the last day of senior year how EVERY girl was rocking things against the dress code-tube tops and spaghetti straps for all! Our school didn’t say a thing. Cause really, who cares?

  • pixie

    Yeah, I don’t see how the length is the issue. That dress is not at all short.

    And sending her home when there’s two hours left on the last day of school? Kind of pointless since, unless this school is drastically different from the one I went to (been out for 5 years, so really not that long), I really doubt that A) they were doing any sort of learning (maybe exam review, depending on how exams are scheduled) or B) that most students were there. At my high school, hardly anyone showed up on the last day and most would only go to classes that the teacher stressed they would be going over what was going to be on the exam (we had our last day, then a week and a half or so for exams where we only went in during our scheduled exam time). My friends and I would go in for the morning, maybe drop by our class, but always end up in the music room. At lunch we would take off and hang out together pretty much next door to our school where there was a nice, grassy hill. When the final bell rang and the school was nearly empty, we’d go back to clean out our lockers together and laugh at all the crazy things that had been jammed in their since September (found halloween costumes in a few of our lockers lol)

  • kzc

    This outfit would not have passed dress code at my school because of the top. In the picture, the skirt length looks okay but that does not means she didn’t adjust it for the picture. I am wondering if there is more to this story. Had she had problems with dres s code and other outfits before? I doubt a student who is a first time dress code violator would be sent home, but a repeat offender most certainly would be. Many of my students ask towards the end of school, ” What will happen if I do/wear/say . . . on the last day of school? What can they do to me?” At our school, you are sent home.
    As for having worn the outfit before without a problem- so what? I don’t get caught every time I speed- does that mean I should never get a ticket?
    And maybe my school is an exception, but boys get consequences for dress code violations also.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      This is so true!

    • Kelly

      Adjust it for the picture?

      Tell me, how do you magically make a dress longer for a picture? Did she sew a few extra inches of fabric onto it real fast to make it look more appropriate?

    • Heather

      I think she meant she might have pulled it down from wear she normally wore it. If she wore the top part more “blousey” and not pulled down, it would make the bottom shorter.

    • AugustW

      We couldn’t wear spaghetti strap shirts, I remember.

    • shel

      The picture looks like it’s older.. her hair is a different color and much shorter… so I don’t think it was a picture specifically taken to make her point…
      But even on the mom the dress comes to “mid-thigh” which is supposedly what the dress code states, and mom is a bit taller than the student, too… so saying that the length was why she got sent home is BS.

    • Guest

      You think there’s more to the story, that she may be a repeat offender at the start of your comment. You even say that you doubt a first time offender would be sent home. Then you say that students ask about the last day of school (which this was) and that they are told that they will be sent home if they try to break a code. I’m just a little confused on that. I’m confused on what the connection would be-are you saying she could be a repeat offender and in which case would definitely be sent home, because it’s doubtful a first time offender would be, or that she may have been trying to pull a last day of school “I’m gonna wear what I want” trick, in which case she could still be a first time offender but sent home? Even though first time offenders aren’t sent home? Or are all of the students who ask that question repeat offenders? I’m seriously a little confused on this and how it all goes together.

  • Spitting_mad

    I thought she was going to be in trouble for the top (would have required a tank top with thick straps or a t-shirt under it, which would actually be kind of cute) but the skirt length?? How, why? It’s maybe and inch and a half above the knee.

    Go mom, and way to make sure yet another kid is happy to get the heck out of school, shitty school.

  • ChelseaBFH

    I have a feeling this isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but I’m getting a little tired of stories about girls who have been done a grave injustice by being busted for breaking dress code. If the girls are shamed for what they’re wearing or blamed for “distracting” the boys, that’s one thing, but if the code says skirts must be a certain length and you’re wearing a skirt shorter than that length, sorry, you’re breaking a rule and you can face the consequences. Just because guys don’t wear skirts doesn’t mean that a rule about skirt lengths is unfair. Schools are allowed to decide what they think is appropriate for a learning environment, and as long as the rules are clear, consistently enforced, and not unfairly targeting any one group, it’s fine. No one is saying you can’t wear whatever you want on your own time.

    Now, it sounds like this school was missing some of the clarity and consistency, which is something that they will hopefully look into. But to me, this seems more like a misunderstanding than something to get all worked up about.

    Someone who was sent home on one of the last days of 9th grade because of an arbitrary rule about backless shoes

  • brebay

    Maybe they could have just given her a garment to put over the offending dress…something long, drapey, maybe like a robe, or a gown of some sort…

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