Can you pass the test?

Christy Janes
Published on June 10, 2014

If you keep up on the news I’m sure by now you’ve read, seen or heard about the fuss over dress codes at some schools in the province.

Recently, at a school in Labrador some female students were sent home due to their clothing violating the school’s dress code policy. They were wearing tank tops and shorts and in some cases a bra strap or two was showing. At first I thought what a bunch of foolishness. It’s summer and a girl can’t wear a tank top and shorts without being condemned for showing too much skin and distracting the male students. I was in a tizzy.

But lately I’ve learned that the nagging voice in my head I try to ignore at any cost — my logic — was telling me to calm down and think about it. I don’t ignore it anymore because it has given me a lot of valuable guidance in the past few months.

Let me explain.

There is a fine line when balancing dress code and common sense. I don’t think teachers or parents expect students to wear turtlenecks and jeans in late June just to cover up. It’s not practical, we dress for the weather, we’re Newfoundlanders. Our warm weather is short lived and we have to take every opportunity to enjoy it. I love wearing shorts and a tank top, but I can’t wear it to work, its not appropriate. I have to follow a dress code. That’s reality.

With that said, there is a happy medium when choosing what’s appropriate to wear to school. As a mother of twin girls that will enter this stage in a few years, I will share with you a few guidelines that I feel are a good comprise and we will enforce at our home:

• If you can’t pass the “drop test” you will be changing your clothes. This means is you drop something on the floor and cannot pick it up without showing your bum. You need longer shorts.

• If you can’t pass the “bend test” you will be changing your clothes. If you can’t bend over to tie your shoes without your breasts falling out of a tank top. You need a higher neck line.

• If you can’t pass the “tummy test” you will be changing your clothes. If you say you are ready for school and I can see your belly button. You guessed it — you’re changing your clothes.

I’m not a monster. I’m a mother. It’s not being strict if you insist your daughters dress modestly and respectful. It may seem like I’m picking on the girls, but whether anyone wants to admit it or not, it’s different for boys.

I would love to hear your feedback on the dress code issue. Feel free to contact me by email or 535-6910. Letters to the editor are always welcome at the Pilot and can be forwarded to