June 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM ET
A North Carolina mom protested one school’s dress code by wearing the very outfit that got her daughter into trouble on the last day of school.
Amy Redwine, 43, proudly wore an above-the-knee sundress to the graduation ceremony of her 17-year-old daughter, Violet Burkhart, who tried to wear the belted floral frock just a week earlier on her last day of classes.
Redwine said Violet had worn the dress to school a handful of times before without incident but was sent home by teachers who said that it was a half-inch too short and in violation of the school's dress code. She told TODAY that her daughter returned to school wearing jeans but was then threatened with detention, so she left the campus for good.
That's when Redwine decided to stage a protest on behalf of her daughter by trying on the dress.
"I put it on and I’m like, ‘wow, it fits’… I sent the photo to my daughter on Facebook and then it just went crazy (viral!)," she told TODAY. She said a lot of people complimented her dress at Violet's graduation ceremony.
Officials at Central Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina told TODAY they won't discuss student records but sent a copy of its rules on student appearance, which state that skirts and dresses cannot fall above mid-thigh length.
TODAY anchors agreed that teenagers often find it difficult to strike a balance between fashion and school standards. However, they found nothing wrong with Violet’s dress.
“If anything, I thought they might say something about the top, but that’s not the issue,” Tamron Hall said. “It seems like a normal length skirt.”
Natalie Morales agreed.
“Looking at it, it seems fine. What do they do, take a ruler and measure?” she said. “There are so many other things to worry about.”
Tamron suggested that recent news stories about similar objections over clothing worn by students seems to indicate that many schools are applying dress code standards with a gender bias.
“I think a lot of these schools obsess over girls’ attire a lot more than boys,” she said.