When 5-year-old Harmony got suspended for wearing a summer dress to class, her mother was furious with the school administration.
The teacher told her to get out when she saw what she was wearing to class, leaving the little girl in tears.
Harmony’s mother, Emily Stewart, couldn’t believe her ears when she received a call from the school telling her to pick her daughter up immediately.
According to the principal, the dress that Harmony’s grandmother had bought for her was too revealing.
In a Facebook Post, Emily described the dress that her daughter wore that day, “I knew the weather would be nice today. I sent her to school with a light sweater over her dress and jeans underneath it.”
“It’s a new dress that her grandma got her, and she really wanted to wear it.” But what was so revealing about her daughter’s dress?
Emily went on to say, “We live in Minnesota, and having 65-degree weather in April a week after a snowstorm is everything to us in the Midwest.”
“So, I thought, ‘yeah, it will be nice out you can wear a dress.’ And that was the end of my thinking.” When Emily picked Harmony up that day, she noticed that she was wearing a different outfit right away.
When she asked Harmony what happened to her dress, she explained that she had been pulled out of class and was sent to the nurse’s office because her dress was inappropriate.
The nurse told her to “cover her body and go home.” She was then given a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that covered her whole body. Emily couldn’t believe what she was hearing, but this was only the beginning.
The nurse also forced her to remove her floral dress and throw it away. Furious, Emily turned to Facebook to voice her opinion on the matter.
“It didn’t occur to me that an adult would look at my 5-year-old child and think that wearing a dress was inappropriate.”
She went on to say, “The picture on the left is showing what my daughter was wearing to school this morning. The picture on the right is what I picked her up in. She is in kindergarten, and she is five.”
“I am not making this post to bash the school or say anything bad. I’m making this post to raise some discussion.” What did others think of her daughter’s dress?
When Emily asked her daughter why she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, Harmony said the nurse told her she “needed privacy.”
“She said to me, ‘I don’t know why they told me I couldn’t wear my dress. It was super embarrassing,” Emily explained in her post.
“How do I teach a little girl that what she wears and her appearance is not nearly as important as her education and self-development when things like this happen,” she continued in her Facebook post.
Emily’s post quickly went viral, with people voicing their opinions, some in favor of the school’s dress code, while others were in support of her argument.
One Facebook user commented on Emily’s post, “How ridiculous! I don’t know where our world is going with all of this.”
“Follow the rules or take her out of school and home school her. Problem solved. Let her wear her bare-shouldered dress at home if it’s that big of a deal to you,” another person wrote.
Another Facebook user commented, “If she were a teenager, ok, it could be inappropriate.”
Emily was furious after reading some of the comments under her post. “What exactly is private about 5-year-olds shoulders? Why is it ok to put my daughter’s bare shoulders before her education?”
“Why was her dress looked at as an inappropriate outfit, to begin with? She is five. Why is she being criticized?”
In an interview with Fox9, Emily said, “My immediate reaction was to be kind of upset.”
“I think that when we’re talking about the body of a little girl and determining what’s appropriate and what’s not, you need to talk to the parent because that’s a violation of her privacy and her body without consulting anybody,” she continued.
Emily also wanted to know why the school made her daughter change her outfit without asking her parents first.
“We simply asked the question, ‘Why is this rule in here?’ And the principal did not have an answer for us,” she explained.
The school later explained that they had strict rules in place that prohibited students from wearing clothes with “spaghetti straps.” However, Emily disagreed with this policy and demanded that the school change this rule.
“I do think that just because there are rules in place, it doesn’t mean it’s okay,” she said.
A few days later, Emily received an email from the principal of Hugo Elementary to inform her that the school’s dress code had been changed. The new dress code removed, “Tank tops should have straps that are at least one inch wide (no spaghetti straps, please).” As well as, “Tops/pants should not show stomach.”