Tony Alarcon was taken off balance as he glanced at his phone to find that his daughter’s school was calling him. As he figured out how he was called to get his daughter out of bed, he assumed it had to be a mistake. He was too angry to let go of it; he had to do something about it.
A Normal Day
It was like every other hot morning when Tony Alarcon dropped his daughter Demetra away for college. In the morning it already reached nearly 90 degrees outside so Demetra was naturally wearing an outfit to make her comfortable in this extreme warmth.
No School Uniform
Demetra went to Raymond J. Fisher Middle School as a student. Her school didn’t have a rigid uniform, but for their lessons, students could wear what they were most relaxed with. Nevertheless, there was a kind of dress policy in effect to ensure that students dressed each day correctly for classes.
As a real estate dealer and a well-known investment banker, Tony Alarcon understands how to relate to people and how to advocate with his buyers. He is not one to stand down from anything that he believes in too much and his teenage daughter, Demetra, is particularly protective.
Demetra was shouted out in front of the whole class by her instructor on this day at school. Before, she wasn’t the first girl to witness such a thing, but it didn’t make it any less humiliating. Everything she wanted to do was fall into the seat and lay her head back. She was unwilling to imagine that this was happening to her.
With the dress that she was sporting, Demetra did not see anything wrong. In the terrible heat they were feeling, it was light, easy, and breathable. She didn’t think it was inappropriate for her blue romper, and her dad dropped her off at kindergarten, so he clearly didn’t think about it either.
A Huge Clash
Demetra was not attempting to dress anything inappropriate; during a heatwave in California, she just decided to wear something that would protect her from sweating and overheating. She surely did not know that her choice of outfit of the day would contribute to such a feud between her father and the school.
Such A Fuss
Soon enough everyone learned about Demetra around the campus. Not just this, but local news sources have figured out about what this school has accomplished and began publishing stories and news clips. There was one question caught in the heads of everyone: what was Demetra wearing that was so new or so much worse than what most girls were wearing at school?
In Los Gatos, California, she didn’t think much would ever come from her carrying a jumper to school on a sweltering hot day but she couldn’t have been more mistaken. She never expected what happened to her in school because of her costume.
This crazy hot day didn’t start the way Demetra figured it was going to begin. It was in her first lesson of the day where she was shouted out by her instructor and embarrassed in front of the entire class. He was the one who claimed her outfit was not suitable dress for college.
Principal Gets Involved
He referred her to the principal’s office for further investigation after embarrassing her in front of her classmates. The principal called Tony, Demetra’s father, after seeing what Demetra was wearing at school, and said that there was a situation and he needed to come in. He didn’t know that he would later regret that call.
A Choice To Be Made
Tony was told by the school principal that Demetra’s outfit was not appropriate to wear in school and that he had two choices: either he should buy her some new clothing to change into or he could come right now to pick her up from school. He was unable to imagine what he was saying!
Tony paused for a moment and said he would take his daughter to school by changing clothes. He began screwsing all the clothes in her wardrobe and wanted to buy her an outfit he thought perfect for classes. He put a couple of denim shorts in his car with a tank top and drove them to college.
The Battle Is On
Demetra took her dad’s clothes and went to a private room to turn into her new outfit. Her dad and principal were at the office waiting for her but the director said the outfit was still inappropriate when she came out. The body of Demetra was hidden, what was the issue? Now Tony started to get angry.
Tony was surprised that you couldn’t see the steam coming out of his ears, he was so angry. He told the principal that he needed to explain what was wrong with Demetra’s outfit. Everything that needed to be covered, was covered, and there was nothing wrong. As her parent, he would know if something didn’t look acceptable. He needed an answer now.
Protecting His Daughter
There had to be something else that Tony didn’t know about in this story and he wanted to find out what it was. He wouldn’t get a reply until he got one he knew was the truth. He suspected why his daughter was selected, but he hoped the school was better than that.
He Wasn’t Satisfied
The school director told Tony that his daughter was not necessarily modesty, but that her outfit was just too short. The ‘fingertip test’ wasn’t passed and then she couldn’t wear it. For one minute Tony didn’t trust him that this was what was really happening.
After he heard this, Tony became even more angry. He knew they lied to him and he made an excuse! He saw girls wearing identical outfits that he just dropped Demetra for class that morning. He knew something else was there. Why was his daughter chosen?
The Fingertip Test
If you’ve never heard of the ‘fingertip exam’ then the school will see if the outfit is acceptable; they’re testing this by making students put their hands on their faces and stand head up. If the arms of the student are longer than the length of the trousers, they cannot be worn in school. The hands of Demetra went past their pants. Tony was livid; he wasn’t going to stand for it.
The school principal acknowledged, after a few minutes of debating back and forth that the real reason Demetra was picked out instead of treating everyone fairly was because of those boys in her class. Tony thought for a second he was misheard, so he asked him to repeat it. What the principal just said, he couldn’t believe!
When the principal saw Tony’s reaction, he realized he had made a wrong turn and said something he wasn’t supposed to do. Tony would not let this go and the principal regretted saying it at all. It was because she was a distraction to the boys in class that Demetra did not wear what she wanted and what she felt comfortable in.
He simply couldn’t believe what he was thinking right now as he was seated across from the principal, face to face from him. If boys get distracted, it is not his daughter’s fault, and she shouldn’t be punished for wearing clothes in which she is happy. She was singled out by both the principal and the teacher, and Tony was prepared to fight back.
Tony realized he couldn’t let this circumstance go, especially after seeing the look on Demetra’s face and seeing her struggling to hold back tears. Many red lines were crossed by the comments the principal was doing about Demetra, and Tony was not going to let anything go without battling for what was right.
Once again the principal was offering Tony two choices to pick from. He said either Demetra was willing to wear sweatpants to cover her legs or she was not permitted to go back to school. Tony understood this was a totally unjust ultimatum, especially after realizing that the rationale behind this was because boys were getting distracted. He had determined how he needed this war to be waged.
In this case, Demetra then began communicating for the first time. She called out the reality that girls in school were only too narrowly followed by the dress code. There was no hat policy for boys, but many of them always wear hats all the time and were not reprimanded for it. The only people to get in trouble were the children, which is highly racist.
Tony managed to hold his composure, but the more he learned of the case, the tougher it was to do it for him. He clarified that this morning he noticed a number of girls sporting dresses such as this one in the parking lot, but he couldn’t find out why his daughter was the only one to be called out.
At the least, asking girls to wear long pants on a day when it’s too hot outside was not realistic for the school, only because boys get confused staring at them. When they head outdoors, wearing lighter or shorter clothes leaves them more relaxed in class and not overheating. If boys are confused, that’s not the fault of the kids.
Tony thought that he should question any of Demetra’s peers what they were thinking at their school regarding this dress code policy. Any of her friends decided that the dress code rules were unjust and that girls did not have to sit uncomfortably in the sun in class only because boys can’t concentrate in class. It was ridiculous in that case.
Involving The Media
Contacting media sources was the next move Tony wanted to take. For several causes, he was furious because he needed to know why the awful dress code of this school caused his daughter weep and made her and her friends sad. On Today and other local news outlets, Tony agreed to go to talk.
He had a rather direct and concise explanation to offer them when the media began contacting Tony to get his feedback about what the school’s dress code could be for which any parent will possibly resonate. He said that what kids wear to school should not be up to the school; if parents feel relaxed bringing their children to school in anything, then it should be appropriate. It should not be at the mercy of the administration. That’s fair, we think!
With a major idea, Tony returned to the school; he needed improvements to the dress code of the school to be made. Some of the modifications included that there should not be noticeable panties, no midriffs revealing, and no spaghetti strap tops. This was only the beginning of the dilemma for him though.
Most parents were completely supportive of Tony at school, but not everyone felt that way. It was no longer a veiled secret that girls were objectified at school for what they wanted to wear, but people were concerned that if adolescents were allowed absolute reigns of what they should wear to school, that confusion might ensue.
As Tony took his proposals to the school, they said that the dress code was supposed to create student rules, and that their overall aim was to provide ‘fair decorum’ for the students at school. They seem to have dealt with this dilemma before; although this might not be the first case, we hope it’s the last one.
Demetra isn’t the only young girl who has had an issue with the dress code regulations of her school. When she was picked out among a large community of people for what she was wearing and how the school felt the dress was presented, Clare, a 17-year-old teen, was heading to her school prom.
The Perfect Dress
For a long time now, Clare and her boyfriend have been looking forward to prom night; they were so happy about it that they even made sure they bought their tickets well in advance. Clare found the right prom dress after an extensive search. As she pictured, it was silver and sparkly, and she felt that nothing could spoil their night.
The Dreaded Fingertip Test
She knew she had to buy it when she saw a dress which caught her attention and realized it was in her price range. The dress also had to undergo the notorious fingertip examination, sadly. She attempted it, set her arms down on her sides, and she needed the best.
Prom Dress Code
The dress code for clothes has to be fingertip-length or longer was quite specifically written on the prom invitation. Clare’s dress was only long enough to pass the test, and she was so fond of it. If she had some clue what kind of issues it might bring her, however, she might not have purchased it.
It Was Time
Finally, for Clare, it was prom night. She was barely able to control her enthusiasm, and to get dressed, she placed her dress on as the final contact. She had a challenge this time; her dress was too short and the finger-tip exam failed. She was all dressed and ready for the prom, but she didn’t know what to do for her costume.
She put on her shoes before she left the house to see how the dress all felt like. The dress stopped right at the tip of her finger, and she was afraid that the dress would be too high and then too low to wear as she began performing.
When Clare arrived to the Methodist church where the prom was held, someone quickly spoke to her and told her about her offensive outfit. While she tested her dress many times, someone always pushed her away until she got into the door. But she only wanted somebody to repeat the law to her.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
Ann Duncan, the coordinator who spoke to Clare, advised her that she had to obey the guidelines established and comply with the fingertip code. Clare wanted to reassure her that the dress really follows the law, but her legs were long, so the dress seemed far shorter than anyone else does.
Still, Ann protested that Clare’s dress was far too short to wear, but when Clare convinced her that it was practically appropriate, Ann had no choice but to let her go into the dance. That night, though, was not the end of Clare’s experiences.
When Clare was joining the dance area, she found that several other girls wore skirts as briefly, if not shorter than her! She could just chuckle at the scenario and think of how absurd it is. She wanted her prom to rejoice, but she saw something going on above her.
Clare and her peers were powerless to intervene but found that the space had far more chaperons than it did in previous years. In comparison, several chaperones were fathers of several students and were all looking at the girls coming in the room from the balcony. The girls also began to feel uncomfortable about what was happening.
It is also understandable why these girls all had too many parents in the room feeling a little awkward to look at them all night long. You understood that you were there, too. They all were there to continue to apply the dress code; they all were in the space to watch the skirts of girls because they might not be too short.
Getting Called Again
Shortly after Clare went into the dance, Ann found her way to her again. She took Clare’s arm and picked her up from the dance floor, where she told her she is too preventive for fathers. They were afraid that her dance would make their children think unclean thoughts.
Asking a girl about how her dress and dance motions induced boys to think impurely is the same as telling someone about something evil. After all her acts cannot actually be taken as a justification for these fathers and their sons to believe these things.
Enough Is Enough
Clare began battling Ms Duncan by claiming that she could not even dance, and her peers all embraced her. She went on to show Ann, again that her dress really matched the specifications of the dress code. Ann somehow didn’t have it. That is why the boyfriend of Clare went in to support.
A United Front
Clare’s boyfriend wasn’t able to put up with what Ann was asking them, but he decided that if she was going to throw Clare out of the prom, everyone in her community of friends was going to go too, because they were going to press for their tickets to be reimbursed.
Clare was much too angry and ashamed to believe that it would make up for this miserable night just to have her ticket expense refunded to her; she did nothing wrong, after all. James, a guest of Clare’s, demanded to talk to the individual overseeing the prom. This order made Ms. Duncan furious and wanted to contact another chaperone for backup.
For as long as she could recall, Clare was looking forward to prom night, and all of her hopes of how wonderful the night might be were dashed in only a few minutes. As if they had performed anything wrong, she and all of her mates were escorted out of the dance. Clare had simply been thrown out of the dance because she stuck out and worn something about which she looked relaxed and secure.