Please bear with me as my Korea Part II is currently under construction, written in bits and pieces and strewn together with incomplete paragraphs, thoughts and sentences. If my boss would just leave me alone so I could blog I could have Part V up by now. Jeez!
In the meantime, to hold you over and for entertainment purposes, I'm posting a letter that I wrote to the school principal regarding an issue that we faced last Friday. I don't feel above the rules, but I do feel that we respect and abide by them when they are written in black and white where we can follow them clearly. My boss is a retired school superintendent and says we're playing way too nicely here. He said if something isn't in writing then it cannot be enforced. We had a similar issue in the past with the dress code saying one thing and the school enforcing another at the elementary school. I basically lost money on several pair of pants I'd purchased to be used as school clothes after we were told they were "out of dress code". I'd even printed out the dress code to reference while shopping and the stance the principal took on why they were out of dress code made absolutely no sense. We backed down and abided by it regardless not wanting to be labeled as "trouble maker" parents. This time my boss is lending me his experience and knowledge from the other side of the fence and I expect to be provided sensible answers to my questions and not given some "gray" rules that have been made up as they go along. If we don't get a call back by lunch, I'm sicking the husband on them.
Dear Mrs. XXXXX,
Our daughter, Cassidy XXXXXXX, was sent to the nurse on Friday, November 3rd for being out of dress code. She was told the violation was that a hole in the blue jeans she was wearing was located too high, on the side of her pants near the top of her thigh. Then, later there was some confusion and we were then told that any holes were considered a violation. We're still unclear as to whether it was the location of the hole or the hole itself and would like some clarification. As parents, we have always read the dress code and shopped for school clothes accordingly. Friday evening my husband read the dress code online and wasn't able to find any specific reference to holes in jeans, which made determining whether the issue was the hole itself or the location of the hole impossible. We would like this to be made clear to us to prevent any future incidents. If necessary we can have her bring the jeans to school and try them on so you can see them on her.
The bigger issue that we're having is the fact that our daughter was sent home in a pair of used and possibly dirty blue jeans. Cassidy told us that the XXXXXX staff assisting her had to sniff and smell stacks of blue jeans until they found a pair that didn't stink. They even pulled out a pair with the legs rolled up indicating they’d been previously worn. We have a serious issue with the fact that she was required to wear blue jeans from a stack of clothing that appeared to be worn or dirty and find that to be absolutely unacceptable. Our daughter was asked if there was anyone at home who could bring her some jeans and she answered no to the question, which was correct. We were both at work but did not even receive a phone call regarding this issue. Had we been notified, one of us would've left work to handle the situation or given verbal instruction that she was not to put on those jeans.
We would appreciate a reply back from you either by email or telephone with clarification as to the "holes" policy, or a specific paragraph in the dress code we may reference that addresses it. We would also like you to advise us on the policy of the school concerning what is considered to be the acceptable condition of donated clothing before a child is expected to wear them, if there is such a policy. For example, is there a process in which it is received and cleaned before it is stored and distributed? Informing us of any policy which may exist would only be for information purposes. We would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that in the future, under no circumstances, is one of our children to ever wear any donated clothing items. We expect to be contacted and arrangements will be made to address any dress code violations. If contact or arrangements are not obtained, then by all means place her in an isolated atmosphere so as to not distract the other students until we can rectify the situation.
We are both also available to meet with you in person to discuss this matter and can be reached at the following numbers: