Honors Student Barred From Graduation After Breaking Dress Code

A high school senior’s graduation is in jeopardy, and all because she gave the cold shoulder. Literally.

Summer, a senior at Hickory Ridge High School in North Carolina, was wearing a loose army green blouse that was slightly off-the-shoulder and exposed her collarbone when her principal demanded she cover up during lunch. According to a local news station, the principal asked her to put on a jacket. When Summer said she thought her shirt was “fine,” the principal retorted that her lower back was “also completely exposed,” going against the school’s dress code. Summer said again that she thought it was fine.

Summer tried to comply, though. She didn’t have a jacket, but her friend gave her one. “I pulled it up, put the jacket over it, zipped up the jacket,” Summer told WCNC. Apparently, the principal didn’t let her off the hook though, telling her she would have to “go to the control room to change her clothes.” The student said, “I completely understand why a dress code is put into place but I feel like after I put on that jacket it should have been subdued.”

She thinks the problem lies in the fact that there’s been tension between her and the principal for years. So much so that her mother now has to be informed of any disciplinary action taken against her child before it happens. So when the principal demanded Summer go to the control room, she didn’t budge. “They can’t take me anywhere unless my mother is called,” she said. “So I said ‘I apologize, I can’t go anywhere with you unless my mom is called.”

At an assembly later, unable to reach Summer’s mother, the principal, with a security guard, separated Summer from the rest of the students. “[The security guard] was within five feet of me, he had his hand on his gun. [The principal] said, ‘I’m gonna give you an ultimatum. We have tried to call your mother. You either come with me to the control room to change your shirt or we will arrest you,” Summer recalled. “I stayed in my seat just like a lot of role models that I have looked up to stayed in their seats,” she says. “I mean, you have to stand up for what you believe in.’” Luckily, Summer’s mom called back before they could cuff her. Because, apparently, her outfit needed bracelets.

While Summer claimed on Twitter that the police attempted to arrest her and charge her with trespassing, she received a 10-day suspension instead, which will prevent her from attending any senior activities, including graduation.

“It’s just sad because I worked so hard for four years to walk across that stage,” she said. “We have drug dealers walking across that stage, we have sex offenders walking across that stage and then the 4.4 student who showed her shoulders can’t.”

Summer also has a full ride to a “major university,” according to WCNC. Her principal still wants to expel her, but her mother plans to appeal. The school’s dress code does prohibit students from showing their shoulders or back, although Summer’s back and shoulders weren’t completely exposed.

Fellow students expressed their frustration with the situation on social media:

Clearly, their dress code is a little tight, considering this isn’t the first fashion related fallout the school has experienced. Earlier this school year, 45 students at Hickory Ridge High were sent to the principal’s office for wearing leggings with shirts that were considered “too short,” according to WCNC.

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