Recently, school dress code controversies have been pitting people against each other, questioning whether the rules are discriminating against girls.

In one of the latest stories, Khalesei Holt, a mother of a 12-year-old, recorded a TikTok of herself arguing with a Washington middle school principal over her daughter’s clothes. The conflict immediately reignited online discussions over the role the education system should play in regulating students’ appearance.

The video has garnered 9.3 million views since going up just before the weekend. It captures the conversation that the mother of three girls (according to her TikTok bio) had with the principal of Ford Middle School in Tacoma, and the on-screen caption declares that the girl was sent home for a dress code violation “at 12 years old.”

A 12-year-old from Washington got kicked out of class for violating the dress code

But her mom refused to accept it

@khalesei_holt♬ original sound – Khalesei holt

At the beginning of the video, the TikToker can be heard saying, “So I am done with it” and asserting that she is recording for her own protection. However, the principal says that the mother doesn’t have her permission to film and mentions attorneys.

The 12-year-old, wearing a T-shirt and what appeared to be yoga pants, briefly enters the screen as the TikToker is saying, “But she’s still going to go to class.” At this point, it is still unclear if the outfit the student is wearing in the video is the one that got her in trouble in the first place.


“Not right now,” the principal replies.

“So you’re taking her education away over her dress code?” the TikToker says but doesn’t receive another response as the principal leaves the room.

“So, the principal’s walking away at Ford Middle School yet again over the dress code,” the mother adds.

She went to the principal

But the lady wouldn’t listen

@khalesei_holt♬ original sound – Khalesei holt

The student handbook provides a detailed dress code:

  • Shorts and skirts are acceptable if their length is to the fingertips or longer when hands are at the student’s sides and the shorts or skirt sits at the student’s natural waist. Sweaters, cardigans, or long shirts are considered tops, not covers for the lower body. Rips, tears, or holes should not expose excessive skin or underwear above the fingertip;
  • Sleeveless shirts should not expose armholes or chest area. Spaghetti straps are not allowed;
  • Shirts need to cover a student’s midriff. No crop tops will be permitted;
  • Undergarments should not be exposed or seen. Students should not wear see-through, sheer, mesh or lace garments, clothing beneath it must comply with the dress code;
  • Pants are to be worn on the hips and not below. Sagging of pants is not permitted;
  • For safety reasons, slippers are not appropriate attire for school and are therefore not permitted;
  • Students are not permitted to wear anything that is profane, lewd, or could cause disruption or interference with school operation;
  • Clothing may not contain words or images that degrade on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation or pose a threat of imminent violence or disruption of school;
  • Students may not wear attire that has gang affiliation such as: bandanas or bandana print clothes, handmade rosaries, colored shoelaces, cloth belts that hang down, or color blocking (one color head to toe). Gang affiliated attire is constantly changing and expectations around this will be evaluated by administration as needed;
  • Writing on clothing and bodies will not be permitted;
  • Students are not permitted to wear articles of clothing or jewelry that advertise alcohol, tobacco products, illegal drugs or promote violence. (Franklin Pierce Schools Policy No. 3224 and Procedure 3224P);
  • Spikes, chains, grilles (for teeth) and studs are also not permitted on campus;
  • Students are not allowed to wear hats with bills on campus. Hoods or knit hats are allowed outside on school grounds only in cold, wet weather;
  • Students may not have hoods up inside of a building 11;
  • Religious or cultural head coverings are permitted;
  • In accordance to CDC guidelines and state suggestions, there could be a requirement to wear a mask. The mask should be appropriate and not have any inappropriate images or wording on it. If the student arrives with an inappropriate mask, a temporary mask will be provided.

The student handbook says that Ford Middle School “is a place of work and learning”


The school says it applies “progressive discipline” for dress code violations:

  • Student changes/covers clothes and calls home;
  • Student changes/covers clothes, calls home, and takes home policy for parent signature;
  • Student changes clothes, conference call with parent /students;
  • Student changes clothes, parent conference with admin;
  • After school learning.

Another follow-up video shows police on the scene but there is not much context

@khalesei_holt♬ original sound – Khalesei holt

Some people think the mom overreacted


But she said she even brought her daughter another shirt

And has many supporters, too

Mom Confronts Principal For Sending Her 12-Year-Old Daughter Home Due To Dress Code Violation, Video Goes Viral Shares stats