By Lilit Marcus | Yahoo! News
LEXINGTON, N.C. (Yahoo) - When Amy Redwine's 17-year-old daughter, Violet Burkhart, was sent home from school for wearing a dress that a teacher thought was too short, the Lexington, North Carolina, mom couldn't believe it. Not only was it Violet's last day of classes before graduation, but she had worn the dress to school half a dozen times before without any problems. To cheer up her upset daughter, Redwine joked that she would wear the dress herself to Violet's graduation – and that's exactly what she did. Now, her subtle-but-defiant act has sparked conversations throughout her community about school dress codes.
"Pick on me. I'm an adult. I can take it," Redwine tells Yahoo Shine about her decision to wear the above-the-knee floral frock to Violet's graduation from Central Davidson High School. She believes that Violet was singled out by teachers, and that the dress code rules were applied inconsistently. Otherwise, Redwine says, her daughter was a good student whose only previous fashion infraction was when she wore black lipstick to school and a teacher called it "distracting."
Redwine says she was inspired by the famous Jeannie C. Rily song "Harper Valley PTA," about a single mom who is criticized by the other mothers at her daughter's school for wearing short skirts and retaliates by calling out the other parents at a PTA meeting.
"People were coming up to me saying "thank you" and giving me hugs and complimenting the dress," she says about the graduation ceremony. "Several moms told me they were going to wear the shortest dress they had. Even some teachers told me they were going to wear short dresses. You know it meant something. It meant standing up to the school board, to the bullies, standing up for my daughter."
For Redwine, wearing her Violet's dress started out as a joke, but it quickly turned into an opportunity to teach her daughter a lesson about standing up for yourself when you think you've been unfairly criticized. Violet, who plans to enroll in a community college culinary school program, had a blast on her graduation day posing for photos – with her in a red cap and gown, and Mom in a flowered dress. Both of them also wore big smiles.
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