A grieving mother who lost her daughter Lexi in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this year denounced the school for recently dress-coding her other daughter who is a student there.
According to a screenshot of the voicemail transcript provided by Kimberly Mata-Rubio, a staff member from the school informed her that her 11-year-old daughter was sent to the principal's office for wearing ripped jeans that were deemed inappropriate due to them having cuts that went “a little too high up."
The staff member suggested the mother drop whatever she was doing to bring another pair of pants or leggings to the school for her daughter to wear under the torn jeans.
But Mata-Rubio was not willing to comply.
Instead, the grieving mother argued that the school should focus on other matters like security—something which could have prevented the shooting on May 24 in which nineteen students, including her late daughter Lexi, and two teachers were fatally shot, and left seventeen others wounded.
“One thing we’re not going to do is dress code my 11-year-old for some ripped jeans," she said in a tweet with a screenshot of the transcript.
"UCISD, focus on school security. Maybe, if you had, my daughter, her little sister would still be alive.”
The controversial policy of dress codes is usually prevalent in high schools.
It has often been labeled as "sexist" since it is typically aimed at female students who are required to cover up to avoid distracting male students in the classroom.
The fact that this particular instance of dress-coding at an elementary school—involving a traumatized mother and daughter—is particularly unsettling, and it polarized users in the thread.
Some agreed that schools need to prioritize education instead of instituting measures that sexualize children.
Others, however, argued that children need to understand discipline and know that there are consequences for not obeying set rules.
Some remained compassionate while making their case.
Here is Mata-Rubio and her husband remembering their late daughter in an interview.
'I left my baby at that school': Texas shooting victim’s mom feels guiltyoutu.be
As if their grief wasn't enough, the school imposing a strict dress code on their daughter seems a bit out of touch given the circumstances.
Obeying rules is definitely an important lesson to teach in school, yes.
But there could be a more effective way to place emphasis on education rather than punishing a traumatized girl based on what she is wearing—torn fabric notwithstanding.