VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach mother had to make an unexpected trip to her daughter’s school on Friday because of what the middle-school student was wearing.
The school principal said the issue was not a student discipline matter, simply that the school was concerned about clothing material that may ridden up or down when the student moved around. But Hailey Downey and her mother say that doesn’t describe what she was wearing Friday.
“The teacher stopped me and said, ‘what you are wearing is inappropriate. You need to go to the office’,” Hailey Downey said. “It’s confusing … It’s not the first time I wore the yoga pants … I wore them all last year … and this year, too.”
Independence Middle School Principal Carey Manugo said he can’t confirm that Hailey wore the pants before Friday, but he pointed to the dress code. For the record, yoga pants are not mentioned by name in the code. They come under “leggings/jeggings.”
Manugo said if leggings have an outer garment that covers the thigh area, then the leggings are acceptable. The dress code reads, “Leggings/jeggings outer garment must be appropriate length with no thigh showing.” In a picture given to WAVY.com, it is clear Hailey’s shirt does not cover the thigh area.
Manugo also pointed out another part of the dress code: “Dress standards shall be set by the principal.”
But Hailey remains confused by the dress code that demanded she change from yoga pants, but allowed very tight fitting jeans: “I don’t understand why I had to change because there’s really no difference.”
Her mom said the situation was not an extreme dress issue and she likes the way her daughter looked. She likes the before better than the after, which was skinny jeans.
“I do think the school is being unreasonable,” mother Cyndy Downey said. “I actually do not like the skinny jeans. I think they are more inappropriate.”
Independence Middle School Principal Carey Manugo said due to this incident, when he sends out his spring reminder of the dress code, the communication will mention that yoga pants are specifically treated as leggings/jeggings.