LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Romalee Henry knows what it’s like to struggle.
A seamstress at Cookie’s Sewing Creation on Moss Street, Henry now wants to help parents struggling to follow the new Lafayette Parish School System dress code prohibiting jackets, coats and warm winter wear with hoods.
“It’s cold and all the babies need their coats on.”
She said a family member shared how their child had been written up for wearing a hoodie this week as temperatures plunged.
The family member has two boys, ages 6 and 13, and is having a hard time purchasing two coats, more so, because her eldest son is 13 years old, 6’2, and weighs 210.
“He wears men’s clothing and it’s so expensive to buy him a coat with a hood.”
The parent we spoke with talked about the embarrassment her son experienced when he wore a hoodie this week to stay warm.
“I sent him to school with the hoodie on and the teacher was hollering at him in the car rider line saying that he can’t have hoods. At first, they said LPSS said that the dress code was encouraged and that next year it would be mandatory. But again, as a single mom, I don’t have money to keep buying coats that don’t have hoods on them.”
Saying she understands the decision to ban hoodies is in relation to school threats and to keep everyone safe but says frigid weather conditions should be an exception.
“Me as a parent, being a woman of color. I definitely know the importance of them being safe. I’m just asking the school board, the teachers and the administrators to just give us some grace.”
KLFY contacted Lafayette Parish School System Spokesperson Amando Blanco, who gave us the following statement:
“The decision to prohibit hooded sweatshirts in the student handbook last year stems from our commitment to campus security. While we understand this was an unpopular decision, it is necessary to keep our schools safe. To stay warm during the winter months, students are permitted to wear hood-free school color sweatshirts, jackets, pull-overs, and coats inside the building as well as knit caps when outside.”
If you need a hood removed from a hoodie, Henry charges a fee of $10, but says she’s willing to help make adjustments if need be.