CRESCENT, Okla. — An Oklahoma mother says her child is being discriminated against at school. It doesn’t involve race or gender, but rather she says the way her child dresses. Jennifer Griffith says her 8th grader has been forced to focus on fashion.
Several times the Crescent Middle School principal has asked her to change, saying she is violating the dress code.
Griffith says, “I really think that she’s being picked on. She’s not showing cleavage. She’s not showing midriff. She’s not showing the full length of her legs.”
The pants that got Kennady Kegin in trouble once are plaid flannel.
Griffith says, “They were Crescent Tiger pants. It’s not like they said ‘kiss me’ across the bottom or anything, I mean, they said ‘Crescent Tigers.'”
Another item of clothing that got her in trouble was a wide-collared shirt that shows off the shoulders.
Kegin wore it with a tank top underneathth.
She was told to change often enough by the principal that Griffith spent several hundred dollars on a new wardrobe even though they just bought new school clothes this summer.
Kegin says, “It’s ridiculous. It bothers me because I can’t really do anything about it because he’s an adult and I’m a kid.”
Griffith started documenting what she calls discrimination by taking photos of other students wearing the same style clothing.
She says those girls were not asked to change.
In her opinion, her daughter’s weight makes her a target.
She says, “I’m trying to get a reason why her clothing is not appropriate but it’s appropriate on the girls who are like sticks. I personally find plaid flannel pants a lot less distracting than some of the shorts and the skirts that the girls have been wearing.”
Other students and parents around the middle school are suspicious of a bias.
Telling KFOR that skinnier girls are allowed to wear clothes the other girls are not.
Superintendent Butch Gee says the principals are allowed to decide what is appropriate and he doesn’t believe there is any discrimination.
Gee says, “I doubt that. Seriously. I think I can assure you that we try to treat all students fairly. There is some flexibility in the dress code because we quite frankly can not keep up with all the changes in fashion. We try to be consistent on it.”
Gee says several different students have been sent home on dress code violations throughout the school year, none of them facing any other discipline.
He also said it’s possible some students simply haven’t been caught.
Griffith says she just wants to make sure there is no discrimination in Crescent saying, “I want my daughter not to be singled out. I want her to be treated like the 5’6″ 110 pound girls.”