it is written in a way that gives wide latitude to principals.

Even if a child is abiding by the code, an administrator may decide that a girl’s dress or shorts are still too short, Ms. Tray said. Often, female students wear sweatpants or long pants in Florida’s hot weather rather than risk being pulled out of class and disciplined, she said.

Ms. Tray said her son, who is in the eighth grade, never had to worry about the way he dressed.

“When he started middle school, he rolled out of bed, pulled on some clothes and tossed them on,” she said. “I’ve been fighting this daily to give my daughter that same opportunity.”

Ms. Tray said she worries about what the policy could do to her daughter’s self-esteem.

She said her son recalled one sixth-grade girl had worn a sundress on her first day of school only to have a teacher scold her in front of other students.

“We’ve worked really hard over the last 10 years to raise a strong, confident, sassy girl,” Ms. Tray said. “If her middle school tries to take that away from her, my husband and I are going to have a huge problem with it.”

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