Carey Burgess, a 17-year old student body president at Beaufort High School in South Carolina, has become a viral sensation on Facebook after being suspended due to a “sexist dress code.” Her offense? Having worn the khaki skirt to school that you can see in her Instagram post below, an article of clothing Burgess says she’d worn several times before without an issue. But eventually, the skirt caught the eye of a teacher who thought it did not fit the standards of “modest and of sufficient length” and was “no more than three inches above the knee.” After being threatened with in-school suspension, she was told that she could go home to change. Carey said she cried and called her mom, feeling completely “humiliated” by the experience. That’s why she decided to share her story on social media, slamming her school for being more focused on her “distracting clothing” than her education, and calling out some of the sexism she has experienced in school, writing in part:
“I don’t know 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 a 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.”
As her post blew up on Facebook, she received an outpouring of support and other students and some alumni shared their experiences as well. Speaking to The Beaufort Gazette, the school principal defended the decision, saying the administrator who disciplined Carey handled the incident correctly. While, he conceded that her outfit seemed to fit the dress code, he said the success of her post had more to do with her being an “impressive” writer, than an actual problem with the school. Carey told Buzzfeed she has spoken with her principal, and was happy that he treated her “as an adult and not a rebellious teenager.” Nevertheless, she stands behind her words and says she is glad she called out sexism in her school, saying she is “proud to have given a platform for so many girls to speak against the system.”
Read the full story at Buzzfeed.