back to top

A Student Body President Was Sent Home From School For Wearing This Outfit

Carey Burgess is going viral on Facebook after she posted a status to fight what she called a "sexist" dress code.

Posted on

This is Carey Burgess, a 17-year-old student at Beaufort High School in South Carolina.

instagram.com
Advertisement

According to Carey, she was stopped by a teacher in the hallway and told, "Your skirt is too short. You need to go to in-school suspension and then go home."

instagram.com

According to the school's dress code, skirts must be "modest and of sufficient length" and no more than three inches above the knee.

The school's website states that first-time dress code offenders must be informed they violated the dress code and change. If they don't, they can receive an in-school suspension.

Carey said she has broken the dress code before, usually for wearing a sweater in a color not allowed by the rules. But, she said she never thought her skirt would be a problem.

"I have worn the same skirt at least dozen times and have never had any trouble with it," she told BuzzFeed News.

The teen said after she was threatened with in-school suspension, she was told that she could go home to change. "So, I went to the front office and [rather embarrassingly] cried and called my mom to be sent home..." she said.

Carey said the incident made her feel humiliated.

Carey Burgess

"Thank you for bringing me to tears in front of my friends and classmates because you do not have the decency to pull me aside and explain the problem," she wrote in a message to the teacher she posted online. "Then again, I did not have the decency to put on real clothes today."

The teen was so angry about the way she had been treated, she decided to post about the incident on social media. She wrote that the school should be more focused on her education than on her "distracting" clothing:

So maybe I am in the wrong. Maybe our society isn't yet advanced enough to handle 3 inches of my thigh. This is a patriarchal society and I am a woman. I have to be kept in my place, or I may do something that is so rarely seen in Beaufort High School- learn.

You saved me, Beaufort High. As Student Body President, junior marshal, and a recipient of the Palmetto Fellows, I was heading down the path of hard drugs [good thing you're testing next year!], strip clubs, and sugar daddies. I don't where I would be without your misogynistic views. How could I go on without a certain math teacher making sexist jokes all class? How could I survive without my science professor letting me know I am an inferior woman? Yes, I am a woman. I am woman with thighs, a butt, and a brain. I am bigger than Beaufort High School. All of us are. Maybe instead of worrying about my skirt, Beaufort High should take notice of its incompetent employees, and sexist leaders.

The high school didn't return a request for comment from BuzzFeed News, but Principal Corey Murphy defended the decision to the Beaufort Gazette.

instagram.com

Murphy said that after talking to the administrator who disciplined Carey, he found that she acted "just like I would have expected her to and the same way we would have handled any other kid in the same situation."

However, Murphy told the newspaper that Carey's outfit seemed to him to be in the dress code.

He added that he thinks that Carey's post went viral because she's a talented writer, rather than due to a real problem within the school.

"That's what it was, you can feel the emotion in her words," he told the Beaufort Gazette. "Something like that, that's impressive."

Carey said she has spoken with her principal and they have "shared their concerns" with each other.

instagram.com

"I am very pleased with the principal’s response to the situation; he treated me as an adult and not a rebellious teenager," she said, adding she has also received support from her teachers.

But, she said her message was more about the sexism she has experienced at her school rather than the dress code. She said in one class, a teacher has referred to the girls as "inferior females."

"Other remarks like, 'it’s because you’re a girl,' or 'we need a boy to be partners with this girl so she’s not lost,' are fairly frequent in the classroom," she said. "Usually I laugh it off or roll my eyes, but one person can only bear so much for so long."

She said that the fact that so many other current and former students are standing behind her shows that her message was necessary.

"I am proud to have given a platform for so many girls to speak against the system," she said.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss