I'm a little miffed at difficult child's teacher

Stella Johnson

Active Member
difficult child has another new teacher this year in her self contained class. She is great with difficult child and difficult child listens to her well. Not too many problems there.

SO's parents brought difficult child a dress back from Spain last week. difficult child wore it to school. It is pink with black polka dots with fluffy sleeves. difficult child was so proud of it she wanted to wear it to school to tell everyone about it. This dress goes down 3 inches below her knee.

I get a call from the school nurse at 9am telling me difficult child wore a "costume" to school and they wanted to make sure I knew.
I told them it is not a costume, it is her dress from Spain.

Today I got this email from the teacher:

I wanted to make sure that you were aware that Sabrina has been putting on lipstick of some sort and trying to share it with friends.
We have talked that make-up is for high school and 4th and 5th grade are still elementary school. I also said that "although you are growing up, it is still too early for make-up".

If you can reiterate that at home, it would help a lot!

First of all, I didn't know she had snuck her play make up to school.
difficult child is not allowed to wear make up out of the house BUT why is the teacher telling me what to tell my child? What if I did say it was ok for her to wear lipstick? (which I didn't, I just don't like the tone of her email)

Third, a few weeks ago difficult child wore a knit skorts outfit to school. It looks like a skirt but is really shorts. It goes about 3 inches above her knee. There is nothing in the dress code about this. I looked. Only in Jr High and high school and it has to be 2 inches above the knee.
They called me to tell me to bring pants for her because her "skirt" was too short. I have seen kids wear shorts that barely covered there butts. difficult child does not dress like a hoochy. I don't buy hoochy clothes. :nonono: Unfortunately, difficult child has been cursed with my body. She is tall, skinny, and almost all legs.
I have been through this crap my entire life. I'm already sick of it happening to my difficult child.

Am I taking this all wrong?



Active Member
With the lipstick - I remember taking an Avon lip gloss to school once - it was a little girl's one, very dark red but came out clear when you put it on. I had it confiscated when a teacher saw me putting it on in assembly - I went up to her later and explained that it wasn't lipstick, it was a clear lip gloss, and demonstrated it on my hand. She gave it back, but with the remark that it was a good thing it wasn't lipstick because such a colour would look awful on me! (mean cow)
This was back in the late Sixties when people wore weird, pale lipstick colours - I now wear colours very like the one my lip gloss was simulated to look like.
If the make-up your daughter took to school was colourless, I would let the teacher know of this but otherwise make no issue - teachers need to feel they're in charge and if they're caught in a mistake they don't like being told.

About the skorts - did you tell them that it wasn't a skirt? I would make it clear, if only to point out that no intention to flout school dress code was either intended or actual. But if there's a risk some kids thought it was a skirt, and OK to wear one that short, then it's likely the school will ask you to not let her wear the skorts again.

The long, skinny body with long legs - sounds like easy child 2/difficult child 2. When she started high school we had trouble getting school uniform to fit her. The uniform was a plaid school skirt with white shirt and school logo embroidered on the shirt pocket. None of the shirts in the shop fitted her - we had to order some primary school white shirts, and have the embroidery done specially. Even then the shirts were thick and bulky. Which was good - the smallest skirt we could get was too big around the waist, but was held up by bunching the over-large shirt. To make the skirt short enough I simply cut off the very wide hem and re-hemmed it. The wide hem I then turned into several head-bands, by threading elastic through them. But I couldn't make the skirt too short, because then the over-long shirt would show below her hem!
It was really ridiculous. And the school were hard sticklers for school uniform.
In winter, the girls were permitted to wear long black trousers. We took easy child 2/difficult child 2 shopping, much to the delight of owners of boutique stores who loved playing "dress-ups" with this beautiful but flat-chested Barbie doll. Those incredibly long legs and slim hips meant that the usual bargain stores had absolutely nothing for her. Even the boutique stores were striking out, until one store found some stretch lycra pants. They were supposed to be a skin-tight stretch fit, but on easy child 2/difficult child 2 the fabric didn't need to stretch at all. But the length and the tailoring was perfect! The price wasn't, though, but knowing how hard the search had been we paid up anyway.
easy child 2/difficult child 2 wore those pants to school through four high school years. We only had to buy new ones because she was now even taller, and needed a longer pair. Still no need for the pants to actually stretch!
Then the school sent home a note - any student wearing stretch lycra pants would be deemed to be out of uniform, which could earn detention unless parents sent in a note, renewable daily.
At about the same time, the school objected to easy child 2/difficult child 2 wearing a long, black tailored wool coat. This coat had been part of easy child's school uniform, but since she had left school she passed it to her baby sister. Although it had been expensive it was a good investment because due to where we live, travel to school on winter mornings REQUIRED a coat like this. Travelling on the water before sunrise in winter - it's darned cold! The school insisted that only school uniform items could be worn - a thin windcheater over the normal uniform. No beanies, no gloves, no coat. Because they weren't part of the current list of uniform items. The school colours included black, and the coat looked good so it wasn't a matter of her bringing discredit to the school.

So they got an out-of-uniform note from me with both barrels. "She has a small frame and only weighs 30 Kg [66 lb]. She leaves home to catch the 7 am ferry, which is before sunrise. She then catches a train and walks the remaining couple of kilometres to school, where she waits outside in the cold for another hour. In the afternoon she often doesn't get home until the 5 pm ferry, which is after sunset. Being so small, she feels the cold and needs to be kept warm to make sure she doesn't catch pneumonia. She wears the coat, plus beanie, scarf and gloves (all black, in keeping with school colours) for reasons of health and safety. When the staff who wish to enforce this rule also wear school uniform on an identical trip, daily, at the same time as her, instead of arriving at the school at 8.55 am in the comfort of a heated car, THEN you can criticise her choice of clothing. Until then, any attempt by any staff member to punish her for her choice of protective clothing as I have described, will be taken as a personal attack on my child's health and I will take the matter up with more senior education personnel, up to and including the Ministers for Education and Health."
I also made it clear that my note was to be considered effective for the entire cold weather period, from April to October, and would not be renewed each day, week or month since winter itself does not require such a note to continue blasting us with cold temperatures during those months.

They left her alone after that. But by the time she was in her final year, the school had brought in, as part of the uniform options, an identical heavy black wool coat, a black beanie, black scarf and gloves for winter wear. Of course, then they brought in a rule saying "the only pants permitted are the plain cotton ones from XX Shop", but I dealt with that by pointing out that not only did XX Shop NOT have ANY pants in her size, but they weren't selling any pants until the winter months, so she couldn't even get fitted until after Easter. The shop offered to have pants specially made for her, but she would have only got three months' wear out of them, at most, so I told the school that the pants she already owned would have to do. Once again, they backed down and never hassled her.

Sometimes schools/teachers need to feel in control. Sometimes they just want to throw their weight around. It's a matter of judging which it is, and whether it's worth fighting about. I knew that in easy child 2/difficult child 2's case, we were dealing with bullies who were also cowards. In your case - there may be other issues and your daughter HAS been getting on well with the teacher up til now. I'd clear up misunderstandings, not make too many waves, and sit tight.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

I'd have been miffed at both the lipstick and the skorts.

Our schools have the too short rule too, and believe it or not a too long rule for pants. Now with easy child in high school she wore short skirts. They were in style. But they weren't allowed to reach above where there arm would be fully extended. So I taught easy child how to rotate her shoulder to make her arm shorter. lol (it wasn't really all that short) But we did get into it with the school over the pants of all things.

My girls are short like me. This means under 5 feet. Now at this height even most petite pants are too long, many even with a heeled shoe. And petite pants are hard to find around here unless you're willing to pay high prices.

School call me and I go off. I tell them my girls aren't changing their pants. And if they didn't approve, they could foot the bill in buying their new wardrobe. They stopped harrassing me about it.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

The makeup thing can be distracting in a classroom of difficult children. kt has snuck her makeup & nail polish to day treatment/school & it was confiscated until the end of the day.

The dress code is very confusing to many parents & far too subjective. One teacher will look at a skirt or a pair of shorts & find them okay, another will have issues. Even with the defined x amount of inches above the knee rule it tends to be hit or miss.

For us, it's kt's jeans. Low riding pants aren't allowed for either boys or girls. kt's pants just won't stay up - belt or not. The girl has no :censored2:. I'm always getting calls about kt's jeans.

I'd be more "offended" (not sure if it's that strong an emotion) over the tone of the email. If you have a good working relationship with the teacher I'd express your concern over the tone of her email.


Well-Known Member
I don't know Steph, the email doesn't really offend me. If this teacher, with a room of difficult children, tells the kids that we don't wear makeup in elem school and you are still growing, and then asks for you, as a parent, to back her up, I don't see the problem.

I would be pleased that this teacher is observant and works to keep the kids - kids. I'm not sure about the "tone" that another poster spoke about. It seems very straight forward, to the point, and unoffensive to me.

In regards to the skort, I believe I would have asked, at the time, about the dress code. Most of the schools around here have the fingertip rule. Just because other kids get away with it, doesn't mean I would want my child to. I use that argument way too much with my kids (just because so and so does it, uses it, can't do it, etc.) to be swayed by it as a parent. Addressing the skort issue at that time would have cleared up any dress code issues for the future. Perhaps their dress code is a little obscure and needs to be clarified.

Hope difficult child still loves her dress and feels beautiful in it!

Errrrr! Steph!! This strikes a nerve with me! Aly likes to where spagetti strap tops OVER "wife beaters" or tank tops. She loves the layered look and it looks appropriate and cute on her. Her jeans are so hard to fit her with her little AA bootie going on and she is ALL legs! I make sure her shirts are long enough not to get the plumber's look. I get calls regularly that what Aly is wearing is not appropriate even though she is totally covered up. When she wears skorts, I get calls, they are too short! Well I shop in the junior dept for her now since she is 5'1" and 110 lbs at 9 almost 10 yrs old. So, the skorts show "more leg than is appropriate" but I have measured and they are no shorter than the 3 inches above knee that is in the school manual, just looks like it since her legs go on forever. I have a feeling this will only get worse as pediatrician thinks she will get to be 5'10" like bio mom!

Aly has snuck lip gloss to school on several occasions and only got caught when sharing with other girls. I do not allow her to wear makeup outside of the house either, but find it rather "normal" that they are trying to sneak it outside of home. Strangly relieving that they are doing anything within the norm realm, to me!

I think I would not make too big a deal with the teacher. Just stick to your own way of parenting, YOU are doing an amazing job with difficult child. I hate it though when there are varying opinions/rules per teacher as to what is allowed and what is not. Maybe just a quick email stating that you do not allow makeup outside of the home, will provide difficult child with chapstick instead and please let you know what length the skorts are supposed to be!

Anyways, good luck. Not really a battle I would want to take on.



Active Member
This might not be about your daughter. The teacher might have restrictions in her class that the school doesn't have because of the other students. It would be hard to tell you without breaking confidentally rules. For example, in my class any animal referances would excalate a certain student. So, we had a rule of no animals. The other students knew this and got in trouble for breaking it. Wouldn't that be lovely e-mail to receive. Dear Mrs. so and so, difficult child got in trouble for talking about the family cat.

This might be completely off the mark for your situation.