Broward News

Palm Beach County Enters Parents Dress Code Discussion

It looks like the Palm Beach County School Board wants in on the parents dress code debate after Broward County took the lead last week in calling for parents who pick up and drop off their kids to dress more appropriately.

Broward County School Board member Rosalind Osgood called for moms and dads to not show up to school in saggy pants or curlers because, as she put it, "it's hard for me to tell a child not to show up for school with hair curlers, pajamas, or short shorts if they see parents wearing them."

Well, now Palm Beach County School Board member Karen Brill is raising the same concerns for Palm Beach, saying she has gotten positive feedback about possibly placing a statement about it in the student handbook. See also: Eight Reasons the Broward School Board's Parents' Dress Code Is Idiotic

Another School Board member, Debra Robinson, echoed Brill's concerns, saying that she's not only seen students and parents dress inappropriately but teachers as well.

Brill has described some of the parents as looking like "they're going to a nightclub."

"We don't need any additional reason to discourage parents from coming to school," she said, per the Sun Sentinel.

However, while Robinson sees it as a good idea, she doesn't want to enforce it on parents either, saying that the School Board doesn't need to give parents another reason to not show up to school -- which is something we sort of touched on in this rant earlier this week.

The president of Palm Beach County's Classroom Teachers Association, Debra Wilhelm, agrees with Robinson, saying that a dress code should be enforced only if things were to get out of hand but that otherwise there are more important things to tackle.

"I don't know that it's ever been such an issue that we need a policy on it," Wilhelm said.

Meanwhile, others feel strongly about a dress code for parents, believing that the students are directly affected by poor attire.

We received a handful of angry emails over our post from earlier this week, vehemently disagreeing with our stance that a parent dress code isn't as important as perhaps other issues parents, students, and schools in Florida are facing.

Here's a sample of an email we received from a reader named Jay:

"I read your article about the 8 reasons why enforcing a parent dress code is wrong. While I found part of the article funny and somewhat true, I think you may need to understand something. Yes these parents are coming to parent/teacher conferences dressed like pimps, hoes, and bums but the dress code is just the tip of the iceberg here. Those parents don't reinforce the value of education at home. Behavior issues and apathy to learning come mostly from the kids of these parents. Worst of all, these kids 'recruit' other kids to behave in the same way."

Broward County will likely hold a forum to discuss the issue in September, but Brill and the Palm Beach School Board looked to address it at Wednesday's meeting.

If a dress code is approved, the school district would likely start requesting that parents wear specific attire during school hours and during other school events. However, it won't have much power to enforce it.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph