jQuery Validation plugin not validating textarea field

I’m using the jQuery validation plugin I can’t get it to validate the text area field:

Here is my html

<div class="form-group">
        <label for="description" class="control-label">Description of Your Request</label>
        <textarea class="form-control" rows="3" id="description" name="description" class="required"></textarea> 
</div>

Here is the Jquery:

$("#contactForm").validate({
    rules: {
        "description": {
            required:true,
            minlength:8
        }
    },
    submitHandler: function() {
            
           …

    }// end submitHandler
});// end validation/form processing

here is a demo:
http://aaronhaas.com/waterford/contact.html

any idea?

If the issue is just that the textarea doesn’t turn red then that would seem to be because you don’t have any css to make it happen.

e.g.

textarea.error{ border: 1px solid #FF0000 !important;}

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