Here’s a free tip for teachers: If you’re going to dress down a student for her attire, don’t do it in front of the class.
Patricia Jo Farrell, of Hallie, Wis., posted this photo of her granddaughter, Lily, 11, who goes to Discovery Middle School in Alexandria, Minn., after being home schooled up to now.
For three days in a row, her granddaughter was told her attire was not suitable, she wrote on Facebook.
Her mother tells the Alexandria Echo Press the teacher made comments in front of the class the first two times.
“She said, ‘This is the third time I’ve told you, I’m sick and tired of telling you this, you need to go change into your gym clothes,'” Lily told the paper. “I didn’t want to change because when I go to gym I sweat like crazy and I’d already worn them.”
Her mother says neither the teacher nor school officials have said what aspect of the school’s dress code is at issue.
Principal Matt Aker did not return an email regarding a comment on the dress code, but according to a statement from the school district, “Middle school staff review district and school policies with students at the beginning of the school year. These policies, including information on dress code, are included in the student agenda book. Each student receives a copy of the student agenda book.”
Lily, who started the school year two weeks late due to previously planning to be homeschooled, says she was never told this.
“I didn’t know it (the dress code) was even in there,” she said. “No one told me.”
The dress code is not included on the school’s website.
Lily says she didn’t go to school Friday because she was worried she’d be singled out a fourth time.
Other students did what too many kids do: They took the teacher’s hint and let Lily have it.
“She (another student) called me fat and said, ‘You’re big,'” Lily said. “I just kind of feel ugly inside and outside and I don’t like that.”
Seeing her daughter feel that way is also affecting Lacey, who says she has worked Lily’s whole life to teach her she is beautiful inside and out.
“How long is she going to have this anxiety and feeling like this?” Lacey said. “You can’t reverse this. You can’t delete this. This is going to be something that’s going to be an ongoing struggle for a while.”
Her mother is now looking for another school for her daughter.