MT. PLEASANT, South Carolina– A mom’s Facebook post has opened up a discussion about gender equality after her daughter was called out for what she wore at school.
Suzie Webster said her 6th grade daughter, Reese, was stopped by a teacher at her Mt. Pleasant middle school.
“I found out that Reese was called out in the hallway surrounded by other kids and told to go to the office because her skirt was too short and needed to be replaced. Also, the teacher told her she looked like she should “be clubbing”. What? I don’t know too many women who wear a boxy t-shirt and an a-line preppy denim skirt to go clubbing. Perhaps it was her scandalous ankle boots.. .We spent weeks looking for shorts and skirts long enough to be appropriate and this skirt is the exact same length as the “uniform” skorts I bought at Old Navy. Yet suddenly she was made to feel trashy because according to her teacher and authority figure, she looked like she belonged in a club!”
Webster said her daughter has worn the same skirt several times before and there were never any issues with it until now.
When she showed up at the school with jeans for her daughter to change into, she and the principal measured the skirt and it met the school’s dress code of 5″ above the knee.
Webster said a bigger issue surfaced when her daughter left the room to go change. She said the principal “started to explain to me that it was necessary to closely monitor the girls attire because boys at this age get very distracted by the girls and their appearance. So in order to control this, they needed to make sure the skirts were long enough etc. WTH?! This is the exact problem with society today. SO MY DAUGHTER WAS EMBARRASSED, HUMILIATED IN FRONT OF HER PEERS AND MADE TO FEEL LIKE A BAD GIRL BECAUSE BOYS CAN’T CONTROL THEIR DIRTY THOUGHTS!”
Webster said in her Facebook post that this kind of thinking has to stop.
“…shouldn’t the emphasis be on teaching our sons to be gentlemen and focus on their school work, not how much skin our daughters are showing? It really is hard enough to raise girls to have positive self esteem and a good body image without worrying that they are being shamed by their teachers and administrators.”
“In no way do we want any student to feel it’s their fault in how someone views them when it comes to what they wear. However, in this situation, we do not feel Principal Cumback intentionally set out to embarrass the student. He never told her, nor her parent, she could not wear the skirt. He did ask the student to be cognizant of the skirt going above the five-inch line when walking and sitting.
Mr. Cumback explained to the parent that dress code violations are distracting to both male and female students and everyone is treated equally.
Principal Cumback’s conversation with the parent and student occurred in his office; just the three of them. He believed the conversation with the two of them was productive and positive.
The teacher who made the comment in the hallway was addressed and corrected by Principal Cumback.”