woman with authority

Principal To High School Girls: No Leggings Unless You’re A Size Zero Or Two”

Body shaming at a new level. No leggings allowed at this school, unless you’re smaller than a size two.

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As parents, teachers, or even as students, the tolerance we show collectively to subjects like shaming or bullying directly affects the learning environment in which children grow up. While most of us may find it rather outlandish, it may surprise you to learn that this kind of behavior still occurs to this day at many levels. 

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In this instance, we’ve discovered that the principal of Stratford High School in South Carolina is very much at home using the method of shaming her students as some kind of draconian deterrent for uniform defaulters. On two separate occasions, the principal in question, Heather Taylor, told girls in the 9th and 10th grades that students should wear not leggings, as they are unattractive “unless you are a size zero or two.” Before you ask, yes, this did take place – and what’s more, there’s an actual audio recording to prove it.[1]

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Principal denies ever saying no leggings allowed

WCBD-TV, a local news channel, got hold of said recording. Principal Taylor can clearly be heard addressing the students, saying;[2]

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I’ve told you this before, I’m going to tell you this now, unless you are a size zero or two and you wear something like that, even though you’re not fat, you look fat,”

no leggings
via WCBD-TV

Lacy Thompson-Harper, a parent of one of the students, used the social media platform, Facebook, to report her dealings with the principal. When she confronted her about the incident when she expressed:[1]

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Body shaming teenage girls is uncalled for, inappropriate, and unprofessional. When I spoke with her, she talked around the issue and made excuse after excuse, effectively calling all of the student’s liars.”

Regardless, both she and her daughter were still enraged by Taylor’s actions. 

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Body shaming is not ok

The post she supplied to the online publication, Scary Mommy, continued,

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“This has upset many, many more students than just those in the 10th grade. My daughter is in the 11th grade and is livid. She has been ridiculed by students for her body and shouldn’t be subjected to it from teachers.” [1]

By the end of the conversation with Mrs. Taylor, she agreed to apologize to the 11th and 12th-grade students during their assemblies. Also, to call back both the 9th and 10th-grade students and apologize. Is this enough? I don’t know. But, I feel that parents need to know what was said by a woman who is an educator. She is supposed to be a role model for these kids. Right now, she’s a very angry parent with a very angry daughter.

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In the hyper-image-conscious age we live in, it isn’t easy to believe this happens. That a high school principal would go to these sorts of lengths to body shame her own students, this is hardly the example that one wants to set for young women. It instills the values that they should be more concerned with how others perceive them. It is easy to slip into negative self-judgment rather than healthy patterns of expressing self-love at this very impressionable age. So, it makes principal Taylor’s actions all the more short-sighted.

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Why no leggings?

Allison Veazey, a student at Stratford High, who frequently wears leggings when she’s not at school, explained to WCDB-TV just how unnerving the principal’s statements were.[2]

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It was very hurtful. I felt like my size made me look disgusting towards someone in the clothes that I wear. I wear leggings outside of school and I wear leggings when I go and hang out with my friends. To think that someone would think that I look like a stuffed sausage — that was kind of hurtful.

Journalists who approached the school district offices were deferred straight to Stratford High instead. It was revealed later by WCDB that principal Taylor did post her contact details on Facebook. Allowing a way for any parents to direct their queries to her personally.

Lacy Thompson-Harper said that only once the high-school principal was found to be lying about the incident did she actually issue a formal apology.

I spoke with the superintendent who was sympathetic with my concerns, and only said she’s continuing to look into the situation.”

Keep Reading: School in Spain Teaches Boys How to Do Household Chores to Stop Gender Inequality

Sources

  1. Principal To High School Girls: No Leggings Unless You’re A Size Zero Or Two.” Scary Mommy. Christina Marfice. August 24, 2017
  2. Local Principal’s comments on dress code cause controversy.” Count on news 2. Quaniqua Epps. August 24, 2017
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years of experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13-year-old boy.
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