A Daughter Embarrassed
When Melissa McKinlay’s daughter was sent home and reprimanded for her ripped jeans, Melissa didn’t think it unreasonable. However, once she heard the full story and what her daughter had to endure things changed.
When she discovered the reason her daughter got in trouble, Melissa was livid.
A Normal School Morning
It seemed like a typical September morning when Melissa’s daughter went to school. It was a hot day in Palm Beach County, Florida when her daughter looked at her wardrobe and picked out her outfit for the day.
However, what she didn’t know was that her outfit was about to cause a whole world of trouble.
An Unexpected Suspension
She went about her day as usual until she reached her history class. That’s when she was approached by one of the school administrators. They pulled her out of class and handed her a note stating that she was suspended for the rest of the day.
According to the note, the ripped knee on her jeans violated the school’s dress code.
A Knee-Jerk Reaction
It might seem like an overreaction considering that ripped jeans are in fashion at the moment. Besides, was it severe enough to warrant making a child miss an entire day of school? Melissa was furious.
She took to Facebook to share her fury.
Don’t Mess with Mom
In an open letter to the Florida Palm Beach County school district, Melissa raised her concerns and anger. “My daughter wore a pair of jeans today to school. They had a hole in the knee. In the middle of a quiz in her History class, a male administrator came into the classroom.”
However, there was more to the story than ripped jeans.
Social Media Rant
In the post, Melissa stated that the administrator said that “she needed to consider the guys in her class and their hormones when choosing her wardrobe.” The girl was then pulled from the class.
“Not only did she miss an entire day of core classes,” McKinlay wrote. “But she couldn’t finish her quiz,” Melissa wrote.
Melissa also posted a photo of the jeans that caused such a stir. Melissa also claimed that it was a blatant case of male “sexism.” According to Melissa, she felt that the administrator deserved to be suspended for “victim-blaming” and embarrassing her daughter.
However, Melissa wasn’t just an ordinary PTA mom.
A Mom with Power
Melissa happened to be in a position of power, a position way higher than the school officials as a matter of fact. The school would soon discover just how powerful Melissa was and they would regret their actions soon.
In particular, claiming that she was a trigger for the “out-of-control” hormones of male students.
Don’t Mess with the Mayor
It just so happened that Melissa was the mayor of Palm Beach County. She had been re-elected in July of that year and was also a member of the District Six council. Clearly, Melissa was a truly powerful and influential figure.
She was, however, not someone to toy with.
A Woman with Goals
As mayor, McKinlay spearheaded many initiatives, including taking on the drug companies and holding them accountable for the opioid crisis. She wasn’t afraid of big corporations, and when it came to a high school, she had no qualms with calling them out.
McKinlay believed the administrator needed to be held accountable for his sexist actions.
A Violation of the Rules
Her daughter wearing ripped jeans was not the issue. McKinlay completely understood it was against the school rules. The principal had been very clear that any torn clothing was against dress code. Even the location of the tear of the jeans didn’t matter.
What mattered was the explanation for WHY she shouldn’t wear them.
No Place for Judgement
According to McKinlay, the school administrator’s job was not to be the “tear police.” Girls and boys had the same dress code in terms of ripped clothing. Therefore, saying her daughter was a temptation to the boys had absolutely no merit whatsoever.
What’s the Problem?
Many people chimed in on McKinlay’s post wondering what the problem really was. Her daughter’s clothing choice was against the school policy and rules were rules. Anyone else would have been punished for the same offense, her being the mayor’s daughter was of no consequence.
The Problem in the Discipline
For McKinlay, it all came down to respect and how the administration handled the issue. She was fine with her daughter being punished for breaking the dress code, but she was not fine with her daughter being the reason that the boys in the school couldn’t keep it in their pants.
She was not responsible for male hormones.
Who Is Really Responsible?
In her Facebook rant, McKinlay wrote: “I’m sorry, but, EXCUSE ME? Perhaps my daughter should have worn a different pair of jeans. But why should she have to worry about dressing a certain way to curtail a boy’s potential behavior? So, like, it’s her fault if the boy touches her because of what she was wearing?”