It’s time to go back to school. You know what that means? Unfair dress codes!
The principal of Stratford High School in South Carolina was caught telling girls that they shouldn’t wear leggings if they didn’t wear a size 0 or 2. Since then the principal has held a school assembly to insist that she didn’t mean to offend anyone.
Parents later confirmed to WCBD-TV that it was Principal Heather Taylor who spoke about the appropriate dress code for students. WCBD-TV’s website also provided a recording of her comments.
“(Leggings are) meant to wear underneath a long shirt that covers your heiny, or a long sweater of some type, or a dress. It is not meant to be your actual pants, and if you have a shirt that comes to here, then you are showing everything. Yes, everything. The sad thing is with that, ladies – if someone has not told you this before, I’m going to tell you this now – unless you are a size zero or a two, and you wear something like that, even though you are not fat, you look fat.”
Let me digest this. You are an educator, a Principal no less, and you openly called girls “fat” during a 10th grade school assembly. Saying “you are not fat, you look fat” does not justify the end result. You are body shaming your students.
Principal Taylor received a heavy wave of backlash following her commentary. Stratford High’s Facebook page was also swarmed with comments from parents and other students.
“I’m not a size zero and I kind of felt targeted because of my size,” Allison Veazey, a sophomore at Stratford High, told WCBD-TV.
The school’s dress code states that leggings, tights, yoga pants, and spandex can be worn under clothing that covers the body to mid-thigh. It’s true that leggings are banned from acting as suitable pants. However, the dress code did not explicitly say anything about size.
According to ABC News 4, the principal later released a statement to follow-up her original comments to students.
“Yesterday and this morning, I met with each class of the Stratford High School student body. I addressed a comment made during a 10th grade assembly and shared from my heart that my intention was not to hurt or offend any of my students in any way. I assured them all that I am one of their biggest fans and invested in their success. After speaking with our students and receiving their support, I am confident that, together, we are ready to move forward and have a wonderful year. Stratford High is a very caring community, and I want to thank all of our parents and students who have offered their support to me and provided me with an opportunity to directly address their concern. I am very proud to be a Stratford Knight.”
Perhaps you should have your speeches double checked. As the Principal of an educational institute, you have an obligation to your students. Regardless of gender, color, or size, you have to treat all students equally. Don’t call someone out for wearing anything unless it’s specifically against the school policy.
You’re not speaking from an educator’s standpoint anymore. That’s just pure pettiness and it has no place in a school.