A Texas teenager was sent home from school to change when she wore leggings and a long top to class, and now her story's sparked outrage on social media.
The photo of 18-year-old Macy Edgerly in black, cropped leggings and a baseball-style shirt has gone viral since her older sister Erica posted it on Facebook last week, furious that school officials thought the outfit was inappropriate.
“I didn’t like the way my sister felt when she was told to go home,” Erica, 21, told TODAY.com. “She thought she looked fine. She was comfortable.”
Her Facebook post has been shared more than 80,000 times, and many commenters called the school’s decision ridiculous.
“People wonder why women feel insecure about their bodies or what they wear,” Erica wrote. “And it’s because you’re told your clothing is inappropriate when you’re completely clothed, even when you’re not showing cleavage or anything.”
Macy, a senior, returned to school later the same day in a different outfit.
The Orangefield Independent School District sent the following statement to TODAY.com:
“While the District cannot disclose or discuss the details of any student's disciplinary or educational matter due to federal and state confidentiality laws, we want to assure our community that Orangefield ISD strives to maintain a positive and successful learning environment for our students free from disruption and distraction, which includes enforcement of our student dress code,” superintendent Stephen Patterson said.
Patterson declined to comment beyond his statement, but did refer TODAY.com to page 23 in the Orangefield High School student handbook, where the dress code is outlined.
It states that leggings are allowed, but only if a garment worn over them meets the “fingertip” rule. The dress, skirt — or shirt, in this case — must be “below fingertips when hands are held straight down at your side.”
Erica admitted that her sister’s shirt was just outside those guidelines. She explained that her issue isn’t with the school, which she also attended, but rather with the idea in general that women should be forced to cover up to minimize distractions among other students.
“Why is it OK for men to run around without a shirt, but a woman in a sports bra is scandalous?” she said. “You’ve seen baseball players’ pants — they’re tight! But it’s not OK for women to wear leggings because women are seen as sexual beings. That’s such an issue. Women are seen as sexual beings and schools are reiterating that with their dress codes.”
Macy and her mother Stephanie declined to comment to TODAY.com.
It’s hardly the first time a school’s dress code has been criticized. Earlier this year, support mounted for a Utah teenager whose dress for a school dance violated rules about shoulder strap width.