Controversy sparks over length of 6-year-old Henry girl's skirt

by: Tom Regan Updated:

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HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - The mother of a kindergarten student in Henry County says she is upset that the assistant principal of her daughter's school called to report the outfit she wore to her elementary school Tuesday was inappropriate and a distraction to other students.

"She had tights under her skort, so she wasn't showing any skin. And if anything was showing under her shirt, she could have pulled it down because there were three ruffles on her skirt. It didn't make any sense," said Audrey Hightower.

Hightower told Channel 2's Tom Regan that she was informed that she would have to bring a change of clothes to the Tussahaw Elementary School in McDonough. Because her car was broken down, she called a friend to take her to the school, but did not bring a change of clothing.

"I would have taken her one out there, but I knew how she was dressed this morning. There was no reason to take clothing. I knew she was dressed real nice," said Hightower.

When the mother arrived at the school, she observed that her daughter Cherish was wearing someone else's blue jeans. She immediately changed her daughter back into her original outfit. She told school she didn't agree with their decision.

"You didn't get my permission to put this child in somebody's clothes. Number two, judging her by saying it inappropriate what she got on, what she had on, I don't think nothing was wrong with it. That's why I'm very upset," said Hightower.

A school spokesman reached by Channel 2 Action News emailed a statement about the matter. It read in part, "The clothing in question drew the attention of the assistant principal who then followed proper protocol after she deemed the clothing to be inappropriate based on the way it was being worn. If a clothing item is not worn properly or malfunctions causing it then to be inappropriate, measures are taken to either correct the problem or a change of clothes is required. In this instance, a solution was agreed upon by the assistant principal and the parent and the child returned to class."

Hightower said she was confused because her daughter had earlier worn the same outfit to school.

"She already wore that skort last week with a top that goes with it. She already wore it before so why was it OK last week, but this week, we have a problem?" said Hightower.

The school official noted that every parent receives a handbook which outlines the dress code. He said it is best that the student wear something they or their parents know would not raise any concerns and thus cause any disruption to the school day.