A North Carolina middle school is under fire for sending students home from school on a cold day without their winter coats.

The students apparently ran afoul of a strict uniform dress code policy at the Ranson IB Middle School in Charlotte that includes outerwear.

Chanda Spates told WBTV in Charlotte that three of her children came home Tuesday without their coats and said the teacher took them because they did not match the school uniform. Spates said at least 20 other students were sent home coatless that day for violating the dress code.

“When the children came home from school…they came home with no coats on,” Spates told the station Friday. “So I said, ‘Where are your jackets?’ Where are your coats?’ They said, ‘The school took them. They took all the students’ jackets during lunch at the cafeteria.’”

She said the students were told if they wanted their coats back to have their parents come up to the school.

Spates said her children were told that their coats were taken away because they were not the right color, hunter green. She said last year Ranson sold coats that matched the uniform. This year the coats were not available in the right color.

Charlotte’s temps Tuesday afternoon were in the high 30s.

“I’m upset that you would send children home in that degree weather without a jacket. Unacceptable. Period,” she told the station. “Because that shows you’re not looking (out) for the welfare of the children. You’re not having any regard for the children.”

The school issued a statement the following day, admitting that it goofed.

“Outer coats are a part of the uniform at Ranson,” the school said. “Until today the policy has not come into question. Coats that did not meet the color requirement for the uniform dress code were taken by an employee (Tuesday).  The employee’s intent was to return the coasts to students before they went home. This action did not take place.”

In the statement, school administrators apologized to parents and said staff had “worked diligently” to return the coats to students the next day.

“Corrective action has been taken with the employee who did not return coats back to the students,” the statement added.