When Tony Alarcon found out that his daughter had been expelled from school over her outfit, he was in disbelief.
He decided that enough was enough. He wasn’t going to let the school administration treat his child this way. They would soon regret messing with his family.
When he saw how upset his daughter Demetra was, Tony vowed he would get revenge on the school administration. In his eyes, his daughter didn’t break the dress code.
Unlike other schools in the area, Demetra’s school didn’t insist on a uniform. So, what was the problem?
Demetra’s school was located in Los Gatos, California. On this particular morning, the temperature was 90 degrees.
When the teen picked out a cute little dress to wear that day, she never expected her outfit would get her expelled.
The principal gave her father two options: either he could come and take his daughter home immediately or bring her a change of clothes.
Tony didn’t think his daughter’s outfit was revealing, but he complied with the school’s request. When he arrived at Raymond J. Fisher Middle School, he found Demetra waiting at the gate in tears.
After his daughter had changed out of the offending dress into a pair of denim shorts and a tank top, the principal once again said that her outfit was inappropriate.
Tony then asked him exactly what the problem was. He felt like the school administration was singling his daughter out.
The school administrator explained that the dress code violation had everything to do with the length.
She said that the shorts and tanktop Tony had picked out didn’t pass the ”fingertip test” either. But Tony knew that wasn’t the real reason. Other girls in his daughter’s class were wearing similar outfits.
Then, the administrator said that the only way Demetra would be allowed to come back to school was if she wore some leggings to cover herself up with. Tony was furious.
He wasn’t going to force his daughter wear leggings in the 90-degree heat! Demetra felt like she was being singled out, and Tony agreed with her. He was about to get revenge on the school administrator.
Tony pointed out to the school administrator that he had seen many students around the school who were not following the dress code.
How could this be fair? Why was his daughter the only one being punished? Then, he made another important point.
How could they force girls to wear long leggings on a hot day like this? Tony argued that the school’s dress code didn’t allow for hot weather.
He said that wearing lighter and shorter clothing is a simple issue of being comfortable in hot weather. Seeing that the school wasn’t going to change its opinion, Tony decided to take it to the media to express his dissatisfaction with the administrator’s attitude.
Tony made an appearance on TODAY and a few other local news reports. He used his influence as a well-known public figure to voice his concerns.
He claimed that his daughter only wants to feel comfortable, nothing else. But would the angry dad win the fight?
“I asked Demetra to bend over and touch her toes, right in front of the administrator,” Tony told TODAY.
“And I said, ‘Nothing is hanging out. There’s Nothing inappropriate. I don’t understand this dress code rule.”
“But the administrator just said the clothes were not appropriate,” he continued. “She said the clothes were distracting to boys.”
Tony told TODAY that his daughter was ”both embarrassed and upset.” “You get pulled out of class in front of everyone… She’s just a kid. She’s just 13. She’s not a sex symbol. She just wants to be comfortable and attend class, and we’re not affording her that opportunity.”
Tony believes that the decision should lie solely on the child’s parents, not the teachers. They should be the ones to decide what their child wears to school.
He then proposed reasonable amendments to the school’s dress code, stating that there should be “no shirts with spaghetti straps” and that ”underwear and midriffs could not be visible.”
TODAY contacted Raymond J. Fisher Middle School, which referred all requests for comment to Los Gatos Union School District Superintendent Diana G. Abbati.
“The Los Gatos Union School District believes that appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment,” Abbati told TODAY. “Students are expected to wear clothes that reflect the collective core values of our learning community.”
No changes to the dress code have been announced yet. But Tony said he won’t back down and will continue to fight the system until a compromise is reached.
What would you have done in Tony’s position?