Honor Student Violated Dress Code By Wearing Sexy, Racy … Brown Leggings

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Having a dress code in place is fine, if the school is actually busting kids for actually violating a dress code. Here’s your daily dose of stupid. And racist. But mostly stupid. 11-year-old honor student (since third grade!)  Deja Tunstill was sent home from school Friday for wearing brown leggings that a teacher’s aid claimed violated the school dress code. The sort of leggings that girls wear every day to school because they are comfortable, reasonable, easy to mix and match, and sold at every single store that sells clothing to school kids all over everywhere ever.

From KTLA News:

Deja, 11, was sent to the principal’s office at Mount Gleason Middle School by a teacher’s assistant on Friday.

The assistant allegedly said the tights were too racy because their color made it appear Deja was not wearing pants.

“I felt discriminated against,” Deja’s mother, Yolanda Tunstill, told KTLA. “Shocked… like, I mean are you serious? I can’t believe this.”

“I can understand if they said okay, this type of material, this type of clothing,” Tunstill said.

She continued: “But for you to make a remark to state becasue the pants were brown and to make a remark about my daughter’s skin color… That was not right to me.”

Deja looks like she is wearing pants. She looks like she is wearing pants and a t-shirt and a hoodie. There is nothing about her ensemble that is inappropriate or even looks like it could possibly violate any dress code. And yet she was embarrassed and had her learning interrupted because some teacher’s aide felt like she was being inappropriate because Deja has brown skin, and her leggings were brown. And not even remotely close to the same shade of brown. And even if the leggings were custom made to match Deja’s skin tone by some fancy designer she hired so she could start some new “Hey, I’m wearing pants but not really wearing pants trend!” all anyone had to do was look closey to see the material bunched up around her knees.

We’re so lucky the teacher’s assistants from Mount Gleason Middle School are protecting children from the threat of honor students wearing clothing in the same shade family as their skin because this is obviously the worst problem this school has ever encountered. If a white girl wore white leggings would she be sent home because it looked like she wasn’t wearing pants and thus violating the dress code? I think not.

I don’t blame Deja’s mom for being pissed off. I would be too. To raise a daughter who gets excellent grades and then have her yanked out of class for this  dress code non-issue is absurd. I could see sending a kid home to change clothes if they were breaking the dress code by wearing skimpy clothing or a T-shirt with profanity on it or a super tiny skirt but leggings? Leggings are a staple of almost every woman’s wardrobe. I usually make my own daughter wear leggings under a dress or skirt because by not doing so it violates my own personal “it may be chilly out” dress code. I want to hug Deja. Being an 11 -year-old is hard enough without having an adult make you feel creepy about your appearance when you are obviously a great kid and an excellent student and what you wear in no way breaks any dress code.

(Photo: KTLA News)


  1. LiteBrite

    September 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I’m looking at the picture. Looks like she’s wearing pants to me, and trust me, if **I** can see it, then it’s pretty visible. My eyesight stinks.

    • Eve Vawter

      September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Haha! I know! She’s obviously a bad kid this one, her twitter feed is all “I LOVE MY MOM” exclamations and posts about her dead grandparents 🙁

  2. Sara Power

    September 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Well, that color is “nude” for an African American kid. It’s the same as a white kid wearing “nude” or Khaki colored leggings. Would that same teacher have sent a white kid to the office if they were wearing tan leggings? Who knows. . .

    However, in every school I’ve worked in it’s understood that leggings are not pants. They’re undergarments and are to be treated like tights. The pants were not appropriate for school, but not beecause of the color but because they’re not pants.

    • Eve Vawter

      September 14, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Those are PANTS. Leggings are basically tailored sweatpants. These are not NYLONS, as in footless tights or pantyhose. They are leggings. She doesn’t look like she isn’t wearing pants at all.

    • LiteBrite

      September 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      I would agree with you except that’s not quite the situation here. Here is the statement that makes it different from your scenario: “The assistant allegedly said the tights were too racy because their color made it appear Deja was not wearing pants.”

      Saying leggings violate the dress code is one thing; saying the child violated the dress code because her leggings are the same color as her skin (when they clearly are not) is quite another.

    • CAT

      September 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      I’m black and that color is not “nude” on me. So now, black kids can’t wear brown clothes? What a stupid thing to say.

  3. Maya

    September 14, 2012 at 12:51 am

    It’s so upsetting to shame girls for wearing leggings, as it implies that the shape of *gasp* a human leg(!!!) is inherently wrong and “slutty.” But only for girls (middle and high school football players don’t get sent home for violating a dress code with their “leggings”). Also, leggings are something that we traditionally dress our toddlers and young children in–why not? after all they’re comfortable and stretchy and warm. But then *poof* suddenly the first sign of something construed as sensuality or sexual maturity (in an 11-year-old, for gawd’s sake) and leggings are no longer “appropriate”! How terrible to have to explain to young girls that the clothing they used to be able to wear for comfort and ease is no longer okay because our society wants to control female’s bodies.

    • Eve Vawter

      September 14, 2012 at 6:00 am


    • bumbler

      September 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      My friend got bullied by the cheerleading coach for wearing a dress that was “too short” (it wasn’t). I came to her defense and said that the coach’s cheerleaders wear mini pleated skirts all the time. She claimed it’s ‘different’ because they wear briefs (thick red panties) underneath. I replied that if briefs make all the difference then my friend is going to get a pair so she can wear any length of dress she wants. This happened over 12 years ago when I was in highschool but I still remember it today. Double standards are BS.

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