Brookhaven Elementary school in Mississippi prioritized students not seeing a 9 year old girl in a “too snug” t-shirt, over that girl’s education. She was removed from her classroom and put into in school suspension her mother then brought another outfit which was also deemed inappropriate. The school has verified that they are standing by their decision.
Let’s start with pictures of the “offensive” outfits:
According to the family, the school’s issue with both outfits was that the shirts were too tight and “Because of my nieces’ body, if she wears a larger shirt it comes past her knees, which is in violation of the dress code.” According to The Daily Leader, the school’s dress code states that:
“…all tops must be size appropriate and should neither be overly baggy nor overly tight” and that “tights or legging/jeggings worn as outerwear, spandex, bike shorts, bathing/swimming wear, sleep wear (including pajamas). are not permitted.”
First of all, the idea that clothes are “size appropriate” is super messed up (as we discussed regarding prom fat shaming here and here) and the fact that they wrote fat shaming right into their dress code should tell us a lot. This takes the issues in which dress codes are used to sexualize girls and prioritize boys having a “distraction free environment” over girls getting an education, and adds fat shaming to that mix. These dress codes also fail to take into account the difficulties of finding (and affording) clothes for fat kids that the kids like and that aren’t “too loose,” aren’t “too tight” etc.
But mostly what I want to say is that this kid is fricking nine years old and she deserves to be able to go to school to learn in pants and a t-shirt without having to worry about being dragged out of class in front of her peers and put into in school suspension because of a ridiculous fat shaming dress code and the sizeist teachers and administrators who choose how and when to enforce it.
Want to learn more about how to deal with sizeism like this? Join us at the Fat Activism Conference:
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This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers talking about everything from “Re-Imagining Fashion from an Inclusive Framework” to “Activism for the Introverted and Anxious” to “Building Fat Patient Power While Accessing Healthcare” and more. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. We also offer a pay what you can afford option to make the conference accessible to everyone. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016
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