Summer, a senior at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, North Carolina, was suspended from school and banned from her own graduation because she wore a shirt that showed her collarbones and part of her back.
Summer, who is an honor roll student with a 4.4 GPA, said that the principal saw her shirt and told her to put on a jacket. She told NBC Charlotte that even though she thought the shirt was “fine” to wear, she complied with the principal’s request.
However, the principal didn’t seem to be satisfied and insisted that she had to change her shirt entirely or face discipline.
“I completely understand why a dress code is put into place but I feel like after I put on that jacket it should have been subdued,” Summer said.
Because Summer had experienced “a number of issues” with her principal before, she asked that the principal call her mother rather than force her to come to the office to change her shirt. Since they could not reach her mother, Summer went on to class.
But then during an assembly, the principal came in with a security guard and told everyone to leave but Summer.
“[The security guard] was within five feet of me, he had his hand on his gun,” Summer said. “[The principal] said ‘I’m gonna give you an ultimatum. We have tried to call your mother. You either come with me to the control room to change your shirt or we will arrest you.”
Thankfully, Summer’s mother called just before Summer would have been handcuffed. Although she was not arrested, she was suspended for ten days and barred from school activities, including graduation.
“It’s just sad because I worked so hard for four years to walk across that stage,” she said. “We have drug dealers walking across that stage, we have sex offenders walking across that stage and then the 4.4 student who showed her shoulders can’t.”