The parent of a South Carolina middle school student wants a policy changed after her son was told he couldn’t wear a pair of torn jeans.
According to WYFF, Lori Orr says Laurens Middle School called her Monday and asked her to bring her 11-year-old son, Ethan, another pair of pants.
“I asked them, is this really a reason for him to have to be sent to the office and disrupt his entire day; is this a good reason,” Orr said. “And she says, ‘We realize it’s not a hole. It’s what we call an emerging hole.'”
Orr said the policy sends the wrong message to students who can’t afford nicer clothing.
The Laurens County District 55 dress code prohibits clothing with “holes or emerging holes.”
For Orr, providing clothing is a struggle.
“My mother and father live pay check to pay check and so do I,” Orr said.
Orr also said she feels that the district’s policy promotes bullying and could be subtler when school officials are dealing with dress code violations.
“Basically, he’s sent out of class, he has to go to the office and announce that he’s there because he has a hole in his pants in front of all these other kids,” Orr told WYFF. “As a mother, that broke my heart.”
The school district sent a statement to WYFF, which read:
“Dress code policies are a standard element of school behavioral expectations. If a teacher has a dress code concern, it is not unusual for a student to be sent to the office to help resolve the issue. This is typically done quietly and discreetly. Both Principal Anna Brink and Superintendent Dr. Stephen G. Peters have spoken with the parent in this situation and we are working with the parent to ensure any concerns are addressed.”
Orr said the school has reached out to her and even gave her son new clothes, but she said while she is grateful for the help, she still thinks the policy needs changed.
“I don’t think they have to nitpick like they do,” she said.