Proposed bill would enforce dress code for parents at all TN schools

SCS parents waiting outside (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives)
SCS parents waiting outside (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives)(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Jan. 22, 2019 at 5:00 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Tennessee lawmaker is proposing a code of conduct for parents across the state, putting a ban on what parents wear to school.

State Representative Antonio Parkinson (D) said he's already in the process of writing the legislation, and he hopes to file it in the coming weeks.

"This minimum code of conduct would be something that covers every single person that steps foot on the campus,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson said he received several complaints about the way parents dress and behave while on school property.

"There was a parent that came into the school and the parent was in their lingerie and there were body parts exposed and this was an elementary school and that’s a real issue,” Parkinson said.

That's why he's proposing a bill that would crack down on the code of conduct for anyone who enters a school in Tennessee.

"We’ve seen where you have adults fighting on school campuses, we’ve seen where adults and children are fighting each other on school campuses,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson said specific guidelines would be up to each school district.

It would not only be limited to dress code, but also rules against fighting and being present while under the influence.

"We're not trying to criminalize anyone, so in regards to this, more of what we're doing is educating and creating awareness of the fact that our education institution should be held at a higher standard,” Parkinson said.

Some parents we talked to said they think it’s a good idea.

"It's so much happening now,” said grandparent Percy Richmond. “People coming up saying they're the parents and picking up their kids like that. I prefer them to be dressed neatly.”

We did speak to some parents who didn't want to talk on camera but said they don't agree with the bill.

If passed, Parkinson said he wants to have the code of conduct displayed on school campuses where it’s visible to everyone.

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