Tennessee state Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D) is gaining national headlines after he proposed a measure to enforce a dress code on all parents in the state when visiting public schools.
The Tennessee Democrat told TODAY in an interview published on Friday that he realized it was time for parents to adhere to a set of rules after hearing a number of “horror stories” from educators and constituents about how parents dress and behaved when visiting the state’s public schools.
"People wearing next to nothing. People wearing shirts or tattoos with expletives. People coming onto a school campus and cursing the principal or the teacher out. These things happen regularly," Parkinson said.
“A principal I talked to told me a lady came into the office with her sleepwear on with some of her body parts hanging out. You got children coming down the hall in a line and they can possibly see this,” he added.
Parkinson told the news publication that in addition to the dress code aspect of the bill, the measure he is pushing would also ask public school districts across Tennessee to create their own "codes of conduct" for adults when visiting public schools.
"Whether you’re there to work, whether you’re a teacher, a parent, a vendor, a visitor, a speaker — anyone who steps on a school campus should be held to a basic minimum expectation of conduct and behavior,” he told the outlet. “That includes how one dresses.”
Though Parkinson said he has received criticism over the measure, he told the publication he has also received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for the proposal as well.
"This is a good conversation we are having," he told TODAY. "We’ve opened up a dialogue that may have hit some tender spots for some people, but it also may begin to help."