What was supposed to be an exciting time of fun and learning has turned into shame and embarrassment for a South Carolina 6th grader who was asked to change her skirt because its length was “inappropriate for school.”
Reese Webster, a student at Moultrie Middle School in the town of Mount Pleasant encountered a mortifying experience on September 21st when a teacher spotted her outside talking with a group of friends. The teacher then allegedly approached the pre-teen and told her that the skirt looked like it was for “clubbing,” not school.
Reese’s mother, Suzie, was asked to come to the school and bring the girl a change of clothing, but she was not happy about this. According to the Suzie, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the length of her daughter’s skirt.
She’s in the sixth grade — I take her shopping. I bought that skirt. It’s hot here in South Carolina. They don’t want to wear jeans when it’s 98 degrees outside. I worked really hard to find skirts that were long enough.
The upset mother decided to post about her daughter’s experience on her social media accounts, and the story spread like wildfire. The mother and daughter were almost unanimously met with supportive comments.
Suzie Webster says that her daughter being reprimanded is part of a larger societal problem that women everywhere face. She says, “It’s perpetrating this whole problem of body-shaming and body image for young girls who already have to deal with so much.”
Not the First Skirt
Unfortunately, young Reese Webster is not the first girl to have dealt with such a humiliating experience— there are thousands of similar stories all over the internet.
Another one that made headlines happened just last week to 14-year-old Hunter Grace Niswender of Opelika, Alabama. Social media was abuzz when this teen was sent home for wearing a dress to her homecoming dance that did not reach her knees. In fact, there were several other of her classmates who were sent home for the same reason. What was more perplexing for Hunter was that she had worn the same dress to school several times before with absolutely no incident.
Though the reactions coming from schools and teachers have varied, it seems that many young women are slowly winning the fight to express themselves through their dress at school. The Opelika event, in particular, has forced school officials to adhere to looser district standards.