Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Obama,

I am so sorry to be canceling our plans at this late date, but it seems that Sasha and Malia will not be able to accompany my daughter's middle school class to see Romeo and Juliet today at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Theatre in Baltimore. I know they were so looking forward to joining us for this highly educational and inspiring Arts Education experience.

And we would have loved to have them join us. But a last-minute note from the school indicates that only one certain style of dress has been deemed to be appropriate. And to be honest, I just don't think your daughters' sense of style would be, well, accepted. The email states that,

Proper Dress Code for this theater experience include: knee-length dresses and skirts, dress pants or khakis, button down shirts with collars, polo-style shirts, and dress shoes.

Yes, I must admit I was taken aback by the knee-length requirement for the girls. Especially since no such requirement was listed on the original permission slip, as I'm sure you remember. My own daughter's dress is about two inches above the knee--a lovely turquoise sleeveless dress that she wore to church on Easter Sunday. She's very concerned that her knees may keep her from getting to experience Shakespeare--live. Theater is her passion. She's really been looking forward to it.

It does seem rather sad that the length of a girl's dress would be more important than her education, doesn't it? Sadder still, I think we have a number of students in our school community whose families cannot afford the type of clothing mandated for this trip. I feel strongly, as do both of you, that arts experiences are vital in lifting up at-risk students and invigorating all students to learn better and more deeply.

So you see, I just couldn't risk having your daughters pulled aside and shamed as we were getting on the bus today. You understand, don't you? That shouldn't happen to the President's children.

It shouldn't happen to anyone's children.


Julia Jackson McCready


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