8th Grader Sent To Principal For Wearing This Sweater
May 13th, 2022
8th Grader’s Family Not Backing Down After She’s Sent To Principal’s Office For Wearing Baggy Sweater
Dress code debates in schools have been going on for so long now. These laws are constantly changing, and sometimes, parents can’t help but think if most of them are even fair in the first place. That’s exactly what the parents of an 8th grader thought when she was sent to the principals’ office for her clothes.
Back in 2019, Samantha Wilson of Westchester County, New York, allegedly spent 30 minutes in the principal’s office for an “inappropriate” baggy sweater.
Samantha wore a long-sleeved, loose-fitting sweater to school. It’s a sweater she’s worn many times before with no problems. She also wore it for her yearbook photo. This time, though, Samantha was reported by a teacher for allegedly breaking the school’s dress code. Her family believes that it is unfair. That’s why they are fighting to change the school’s dress code.
In an interview with the New York Post, Samantha shared, “I was told it was a distraction to the boys, and that my midriff and bra strap was visible. It’s basically just like every other sweater. I’ve worn it to auditions before because I thought it looked nice.”
The sweater occasionally falls off her shoulder and shows her belly button when she raises her hand in class. And that did not sit well with the teacher. Samantha was called into the principal’s office for her “inappropriate” outfit. She says she was lectured there for 30 minutes.
Samantha wore a coat over her sweater for the rest of the day after being reprimanded. In her next class, she was noticeably distraught. She said, “I walked into my next class trying not to cry. But I lost it and I burst into tears.
When the teacher asked why I was crying, my friend said I was dress-coded. The teacher said, ‘She deserves to be. ’ He said that in front of my entire class. ”
Samantha’s parents and 17-year-old sister, Cydney, believe that if what Samantha wore violates the dress code, this rule needs to be changed. Cydney had even once borrowed the perfectly good sweater to wear to a college interview. This was when Cydney started a petition on Change.org.
In the petition, Cydney wrote: “The objectification of our students in the middle school is absolutely horrifying. What are we trying to teach our young students at their most vulnerable time? We NEED to do better than this.”
Cydney launched a Change.org petition, which has approximately 900 signatories. The sister hopes that the district will consider changing its dress code because “nobody’s belly button is inappropriate.” As expected, the petition received mixed reactions. Many people agree with the family, while others disagree and believe that the restrictions exist for a purpose.
On the petition, Samantha’s mom also shared her thoughts. She wrote: “She is an innocent 13-year-old girl who wore an outfit she felt good about. She didn’t think about it slipping from her shoulder at times or her belly button when she raised her hand. But now she does. She was humiliated at school — pulled from science to discuss.” She added: “So disappointed in my school for objectifying young girls.”
In a statement, Irvington Union Free School District Superintendent Kristopher Harrison responded by saying:
“The fact is, we always want to improve our service to our students. If there is concern that the Code, in its present form, is inconsistent with the spirit of our school community, we want to know and we want to help.
Further, we value our students’ voice and thinking especially in decisions that impact them so personally… School dress codes are never easy and we know that fashion sometimes conflicts — still, we want to get it right and we will be working with our students and stakeholders to do just that. ”
Everyone is hoping that the petition will result in concrete changes at the school. This is just one example of how young kids are fighting back against outdated school rules and policies.