One Ohio mother was outraged when a middle school vice principal allegedly called her daughter’s arms “sex objects.”
Ari Waters, a 7th grader at Mt. Orab Middle School, was excited to attend a Valentine’s Day dance at her school after picking out a yellow dress from her sister’s closet.
“It fit me perfectly,” Ari said. “It wasn’t inappropriate.”
Once Ari entered the gym, however, a male teacher approached her and asked her to put a coat on over her sleeveless dress. A friend who wore a dress with spaghetti straps was also asked to cover her shoulders. Ari was so embarrassed by the request that she asked her mother to pick her up from the dance.
“I said what’s wrong with her bare arms?” Gina Waters said. “And [the vice principal] said ‘they are sexual objects’ and I said woah, wait a minute.”
Waters added that the comment tore her daughter down and implied that boys couldn’t control themselves around girls with bare arms. Ari noted that she felt dirty following the comment, even though her friends had admired her “beautiful” dress all night.
Sabrina Armstrong, principal of Mt. Orab Middle School, has since denied that an official called Ari’s bare arms “sex objects.” In a statement, Armstrong noted that administrative staff members are required to enforce the school’s dress code. Armstrong also wrote that the district had looked into the allegations and deemed them unfounded.
Waters argued that kids between the ages of 10 and 13 are not sexual beings and that the word should never be associated with limbs.
Since Friday, Waters reported that other parents have shared their own stories about the dress code, but have been nervous to speak up.