The assistant principal of Tussahaw Elementary School in McDonough, GA, called Audrey Hightower in this afternoon and asked her to bring her daughter a change of clothes.
Six-year-old Cherish Marshall was apparently dressed inappropriately, wearing a long sleeved ‘Hello Kitty’ shirt, an almost-knee-length black skirt, and tights.
Hightower’s car had broken down, so she hitched a ride to the elementary school with a friend, though bringing no change of clothes in tote. Upon Hightower’s arrival, her daughter had already been placed in someone else’s jeans.
“One, you didn’t get my permission to put this child in somebody else’s clothes,” a clearly upset Hightower explained to Channel 2 Action News. “Number two, you’re judging her by saying it’s inappropriate what she’s got on. What she had on, I don’t think nothing was wrong with it. That’s why I’m very upset.”
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Hightower mentioned she was confused at the assistant principal’s judgement call, as Marshall had already worn the same article of clothing to school with no issues. “She already wore that little skirt last week with a top that goes with that, you know,” says Hightower. “She already wore that before. So, that’s why I’m saying, why was it okay last week for her to wear it, but this week we’ve got a problem?”
The assistant principal responded, according to WSBTV.com, that “every parent receives a handbook which outlines the dress code..it is best that the student wear something they or their parents know would not raise any concerns and thus cause any disruption to the school day.”
How, though, do we truly determine a level of “appropriateness” when it comes down to a question of personal style, or, in this case, of children’s clothing? If Marshall is only six years old, with no skin showing, is she truly dressed inappropriately?