Furious parents say Kentucky college shamed girls wearing leggings

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Many parents whose children attend Scott County Middle School in central Kentucky expressed frustration on Friday after they said staff inspected female students wearing leggings and asked girls to change clothes if their shirts did not measure at the waist. minus the length of the fingertips.

Every sixth, seventh and eighth grade girl wearing leggings at the Georgetown school was called out of her first classes on Friday morning so that principal Jennifer Sutton and other staff members took them to a community hall and checked to see if their shirts went to at least their fingertips, the parents told the Courier Journal after posting what happened on Facebook.

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If their tops weren’t long enough, girls had to call their parents to bring different clothes to school and wait in the gymnasium while their guardians drove to school, parents said.

Some of the inspections also took place in the gymnasium, the parents said.

Pupils at the school were allowed to wear leggings as part of a “casual dress up” pilot project every Friday in February. (Scott County schools did not have in-person learning on the first Friday of the month due to “hazardous road conditions” amid the winter storm that battered much of the state.)

Parents of students deemed not to have acceptable clothing or long enough shirts on Friday could come and remove their children from school, which various social media posts show several have done while expressing their annoyance to staff and to administrators.

The Courier Journal contacted Sutton, the college principal, as well as Scott County Schools Superintendent Billy Parker on Friday afternoon for comment.

In a response sent from Sutton’s email account, Renee Holmes, director of community education for the district, said the college’s site-based Decision Making Council “governs the school’s dress code.”

“The Scott County Middle School SBDM has decided to allow students to wear leggings every Friday in February as a pilot as long as other dress code guidelines are followed,” Holmes wrote in the email.

“No students were forced to leave school due to the dress code today, although some chose to do so and were signed in by their parents. We understand this is a subject important for families and better communication of the guidelines would have helped parents better understand this temporary change.”

The district official did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about the number of students wearing leggings being inspected by staff on Friday and whether changes to the pilot related to attire will be considered in the future.

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Several parents told the Courier Journal that at least 100 girls in leggings had a “dress code” on Friday.

“No apologies have been sent or posted,” Manika Musgrove, whose daughter is in seventh grade at Scott Middle School, told the Courier Journal in a post. “…This was handled in an unprofessional manner! The girls walked out of school crying (after) being measured in front of their peers! Middle school is hard enough for our girls!!!!”

Musgrove said her daughter was told she “barely” met the fingertip length requirement for her shirt, echoing what some other parents described as sharing their daughters.

“If the leggings were a distraction for the boys, then lining them up as a cattle call definitely raised their awareness,” Musgrove added in a Facebook post, calling it “entrapment” and “body shaming.”

Brandy Sutton told the Courier Journal she picked up her daughter on Friday after being checked by staff for wearing leggings and a sweatshirt.

Of the three colleges in the Scott County Schools District, Sutton said Scott County College is the “only one” with the “strict dress code.”

“Staff just don’t want leggings,” Sutton said. “They made today fail.”

“The way they treated all those poor girls was sad and humiliating,” another parent, Candi Rexroat, told the Courier Journal.

The Scott County Public School District, north of Lexington, has three middle schools along with one kindergarten, eight elementary schools, and four high schools.

Whitney Smith said her daughter wore a Nike sweatshirt and leggings on Friday and was told by staff that she would “do fine today, but if she wore something like that again she would have troubles”.

“Unless my eyes are failing me, his shirt is most definitely coming his way,” Smith wrote in a Facebook post. “She could wear the tightest skinny jeans we can find and a shirt that comes to her waist and that would be okay, but a baggy hoodie that covers her butt and leggings isn’t. What sense does that does he have ?”

Smith told the Courier Journal in a post that her post, which was shared 175 times on Friday night, had “got a lot more attention than I expected, but I’m glad we’re being heard.”

“Why is what they wear more important than their education? Smith added in her post. “Why do you shame girls for their bodies? Why don’t you teach boys to be respectful?”

Contact Billy Kobin at [email protected]

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