A Knoxville, Tennessee, mother was outraged when her daughter was kicked out of class because of her outfit.
Myessa Powell was on her way to class when she was told to go the principal’s office because she didn’t meet the dress code.
“She called me at 8:40 in the morning, 10 minutes after class started and said mom, can you bring me a change of clothes or they're going to kick me out of school,” Symphany Powell, the girl’s mother, told WVLT. Myessa left the house wearing tight jeans and a T-shirt, and was told to change.
When the mother brought her daughter a second change of clothes, she was told to change yet again for violating the dress code.
“Little girls have bodies,” Symphany said. “They like to show them off, and I don't think there was anything wrong inappropriate about her outfit.”
Symphany took to Facebook to share a before and after photo of her daughter’s outfits.
“They actually made her sit in ISS because I refused to allow her to sign a paper that said she knowingly violated school rules,” she said.
WVLT asked the Powell High School principal, Dr. Smith, about the specific dress code violations.
“Just out of respect for her privacy that I choose not to comment on that,” Smith said.
A source told the station that Myessa’s midriff was showing and exposed her belly ring, which was a clear violation of the dress code that states “shirts or tops must cover the waistband of pants, shorts or skirts with no midriff visible.”
“The student is allowed to correct the problem or behavior before it becomes a much bigger issue,” Smith said, adding that the dress code was implemented as a way to teach students how to dress when they leave high school.
“We do want to make sure that our kids are ready the second they walk out of Knox County schools with a diploma in their hands and are ready to go to the workforce,” he said.
In a similar incident that made national headlines, a Pennsylvania student was thrown out of prom because she showed up wearing a tuxedo instead of a dress.
“I’ve just always been like this, ever since I was little,” Aniya Wolf told WHTM. “I was always more masculine. You wouldn’t catch me playing with any Barbie dolls, I’ll tell you that right now.”