Schools take their rules very seriously — as they should. Their end goal is to create safe learning environments, so enforcing them is supposed to be for the students’ gain. That’s the intent, of course, but it doesn’t take much to go off the rails — and in this case, create a situation that borders on the absurd.

Winslow Township Elementary School No. 4 has its dress code in place: shirts and blouses can only be white, navy, or dark green. But the New Jersey school took issue when an eight-year-old girl showed up for class in a lighter-green shirt; to punish her for the violation, she was sent home on a one-day suspension. It’s an action in line with their mantra — the belief that clothing affects the classroom and its pupils — as well as historical precedents; the school has suspended others for wearing the wrong colors before.

That still doesn’t make the decision any less baffling — or infuriating — to parents. The girl’s mother called the punishment ridiculous, even if it came specifically from the school’s principal. Despite protests, the suspension wasn’t overturned. Rules may be rules, but in light of past and present complaints, one can’t help but wonder if it’s worth causing trouble over a simple color.