Lawmaker proposes dress code for parents at schools across Tennessee

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A Tennessee bill about a code of conduct for school parents is getting some national attention. 

One state lawmaker wants to create a dress code for parents. 

“This is about making sure that our children have an environment that is conducive only to learning,” said Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis)

The West Tennessee lawmaker says there is a simple message in his bill that is beyond telling parents how to dress when they are at their children’s school. 

“What I am doing is simply telling the school districts is to post a minimal acceptable code of conduct for anyone that comes on our school campuses,” Parkinson said. 

He believes a posted code of conduct might deter visitors, like parents or vendors, from inappropriate attire or behavior on school grounds. 

But another state lawmaker, who happens to be a school parent, disagrees. 

“In a day and age when teachers, administrators, and principals are begging for parental involvement, it could be an impediment to that,” said Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville). 

Williams, who has two kids in Cookeville schools, says he hasn’t heard of a visitor conduct problem from his hometown educators, but he plans to ask them. 

Meanwhile, Parkinson says he’s hearing positive responses about his proposal. 

“I would say the feedback has been about 90% positive,” Parkinson said. 

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