As It Happens

Winnipeg girl, 3, forbidden from wearing 'inappropriate' sundress to preschool

Three-year-old Lola Stonehouse isn't allowed to wear her favourite dress to preschool because the spaghetti straps are not wide enough, her parents have been told.

Preschool claims it's just enforcing the school district dress code, but no such code exists

Three-year-old Lola Stonehouse adores her strappy sundress, her family says, but her preschool doesn't allow her to wear it. (Sadie-Avalon Stonehouse/Facebook )

UPDATE: After this story was published, Little Years Nursery School issued a statement promising to review its dress code. Read more.

A Winnipeg three-year-old has been forbidden from wearing her favourite sundress to school because it's considered "inappropriate" by the nursery school, her parents say.

Three-year-old Lola Stonehouse wore an ankle-length pink and orange dress to school on Wednesday, when the temperature reached 30 C in Winnipeg.

"It was just a straightforward simple sundress that had crisscrossed straps on her shoulders, and apparently they were too thin," Lola's father, Jamie Stonehouse, told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"That's all we were told. We weren't given any specific details or anything, other than her straps on her dress weren't two inches wide, therefore it was deemed inappropriate."

Little Years Nursery School didn't respond to a request for comment from As It Happens.

The director told CTV News the preschool was merely following a dress code laid out by the Pembina Trails School Division, which runs the elementary school within which the nursery is housed.

But when contacted by As It Happens, the school division said it has no dress code, and that the nursery school is an entirely independent tenant.

Stonehouse said his daughter didn't fully understand why she would no longer be allowed to wear the dress to school.

"At three years old, telling a little girl she can't wear something is absolutely ridiculous," he said.

"I even remember myself, being a little boy and picking out what I wanted to wear and going to school looking goofy half the time. That's the joy of being a kid is you can wear what you want to wear."

Stonehouse also noted that in order for Lola comply with the apparent policy that dress straps must be two inches wide, it "would pretty much be like her wearing a T-shirt" on her small frame.

For now, Stonehouse said he and Lola's mother have agreed to comply with the apparent dress code — but that hasn't stopped Lola from wearing sundresses around the house.

She wears them "all the time," Stonehouse said. "She's actually got two of them on right now."

Read Story Transcript

Written by Julian Uzielli and Chloe Shantz-Hilkes. Interview produced by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes.