10-year old girl shamed by teacher for tank top, made to wear a jacket on a 90-degree day
Shaming and embarrassing a child is wrong on a so many levels, but unfortunately a teacher in South Carolina didn’t get that lesson. A 10-year old girl was apparently made to sweat it out in a jacket on a hot summer day with temperatures climbing past 95 degrees.
Fifth grader Jordynn Rogers wore a tank top to school last week like she regularly does. This one was turquoise and with criss-crossed straps in the back.
Jordynn’s mom, Alicia Rogers of Fort Mill, South Carolina told Scary Mommy that her daughter has softball practice after school. Her daughter suggested a while back, “How about I wear my sports clothes to school so you don’t have to wash extra clothes?” Cue angels singing. How precious and thoughtful is that? Having a kid who is concerned about the amount of laundry in the house is like having a unicorn for a child. But apparently, it was those exercise clothes that presented a problem at school.
Jordynn told her mom that right before class the teacher pulled her aside and said, “You know what I’m about to tell you, right?” Jordynn thought the teacher was going to give her a fun, special task like she often does. Nope. Not even close. Jordynn told her mom that the teacher said, “Your shirt is very inappropriate and you need to cover up.” Um, er, say what? Holy hell, the child is 10 years old for God sakes. Why is a teacher objectifying a friggin’ 10-year-old? She needs to cover up? It’s inappropriate? She’s a child.
Jordynn was instructed to go to the office and see the nurse. The nurse presented her with two options. One was a long sleeve shirt that Jordynn told her mom looked boyish. The other option was a zip-up jacket that looked more neutral.
“I think in the moment, she wasn’t thinking what would be most weather appropriate. She was just so embarrassed and caught off guard by the whole situation, that she was trying to go with what looked least embarrassing to her,” Alicia explained. Of course, what kid wouldn’t be flustered?
Many kids commented on the jacket and asked her why she was wearing it and if she was trouble. It was understandably mortifying for this little girl. And the kicker? Mom says right before recess the teacher tracked down her daughter and said, “Make sure you don’t take that jacket off during recess.” Nope. Hell no.
Once in her mother’s car that afternoon she was in tears explaining how she “got in trouble.” Alicia immediately called Jordynn’s teacher who she says never apologized or admitted that the situation could’ve been handled better. Not feeling satisfied, she took her concerns to the principal and requested a meeting, where she says she was made to feel like she was blowing the situation out of proportion. The principal and teacher asked why didn’t Jordynn seem upset at school? How come she was only upset after she talked to you about it?
Alicia told Scary Mommy Jordynn got in the car that afternoon and said “Mommy I was so proud of myself because I wanted to cry, I was so embarrassed, but I didn’t cry.” She was proud of herself for not crying. How heartbreaking is that?
Alicia says she’s still very underwhelmed by the school’s response, but they’re working together towards making some changes to the dress code policy and the protocol for when a child is in supposed violation. For example, Alicia thinks parents should be called if a child gets in trouble for dress code violation. And they should be given the option to request a change of clothes from their parents. Alicia also thinks a guidance counselor, if available, should be involved when approaching and dealing with a child about dress code. She just doesn’t want this to happen to another kid ever again.
“The biggest thing for our family was taking a situation like this where our little girl felt completely powerless and shamed, and turn into a situation where she feels empowered to stand up for herself.”