Student wears baby doll dress with leggings, teacher says it violates dress code

Gabrielle Garcia, 13, was put in in-school suspension for wearing a baby doll dress with leggings because administration said the outfit didn’t quite reach her knees.

Gabrielle’s mom, Misty Garcia, said she dropped off her eighth-grader at Lavilla School of the Arts, and within minutes, she got a phone call from her daughter saying she had been flagged by staff for violating dress code.

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Garcia told us she pulled her daughter out of school on Thursday for fear of harsher punishment.

“It was a lose-lose situation for us. I just had to go pick her up, and I looked at her outfit and I really didn’t think it was inappropriate,” said Garcia.

Garcia was under the impression that her daughter had two tardies and if she got a third, she’d have a referral. This mom said she didn’t have enough time to bring a new outfit to Gabrielle before the first bell, which would have caused her to serve in-school suspension.

“Honestly, if I would send her to church in something like this, I feel like she can wear it to school,” said Garcia.

Garcia took her concerns to Facebook and posted a message asking parents to weigh in on whether or not her daughter was dressed appropriately. WJAX sent emails and called Duval County Public Schools over this issue. Garcia said the principal called to apologize about the misunderstanding.

Garcia said the principal agreed that the dress should have passed school policy and said the administration will be addressing the teacher who wrote Gabrielle up.  

The school board also sent us a statement that reads, “Duval County Public Schools has evaluated the situation and determined there was miscommunication between the office, parent, and student. School principal and parent have since resolved the misunderstanding.”

Garcia said her daughter is now making up all the work she missed for being absent because of her outfit. The Garcia family reassured Action News Jax that it isn’t easy finding clothes that follow all school guidelines, but they’re diligent when shopping.

“We take our time school shopping and we make sure that everything we buy her is within dress code,” said Garcia. 

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