Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that show more and more women around the country are challenging what it means for clothing to be “inappropriate” and fighting back against “conservative” dress codes.
In Kentucky, a 15-year-old high school student was arrested and detained in a juvenile center for 6 days after she wore a T-shirt protesting the school’s dress code.
According to the Lexington Herald Leader, Isabella Messer became involved in an altercation with a Hopkinsville High School resource officer. This occurred after the school identified two dress code violations.
The first dress code violation was noted after the principle stopped her for the shirt she was wearing. Her shoulders were exposed, which was prohibited.
Isabella walked into school in an oversized turquoise T-shirt that had "Do my shoulders turn you on?" emblazoned across the front, "If so, return to the 1920's," written across the back.
Theresa Rucks, Isabella’s mother, told INSIDER that her daughter was given two reasons by two different school officials to explain how her T-shirt violated the dress code. This was despite the T-shirt covering up to her neck, and her upper arms.
The assistant principal told Isabella that the T-shire was conveyed as “harassment” for the punishment he gave her after violating the dress code the first time around. She was wearing an off-shoulder shirt at the time.
The principal then told her that the T-shirt violated the school’s dress code because it had “sexual content.”
The police report filed regarding the incident states that Isabella was uncooperative and loudly argued with the principal when she was questioned about the shirt. She resisted being arrested by a school resource officer, but was finally handcuffed after she pulled away.
The report also stated that she kicked the officer on the right shin when he attempted to confiscate her phone.
Rucks, defending her daughter, told INSIDER, "She's trained in self-defense," and that her “instinct” is to raise her leg when someone advances towards her. She added that Isabella knows Taekwondo.
Rucks stated, "After they already had her in handcuffs, and she was sitting in a chair in the officer's office in the school, they had realized she still had her phone, behind her back with the cuffs on. That's when they came after her again. The first time they left red marks on her neck, her chest, her arms, everything. When they came at her a second time, she put her foot up to kind of stop him from coming after her again, and that's where she got the assault on an officer [charge]."
Isabella was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and third-degree assault. She was then taken to the McCracken Regional Juvenile Detention Center, where she spent six days until she was released on house arrest.
"I feel like the school has gone overboard. She's such a good kid," Rucks stated.