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Straight-A Student’s College Scholarship In Jeopardy After A Dress Code Violation

There’s a big difference between following the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. One North Carolina high school may have put the educational future of a straight-A student in jeopardy after a questionable call on a dress code violation. Summer, a senior at Hickory Ridge High School, was asked to cover up for wearing the shirt pictured below. According to school policy it fails to “adequately cover the upper body, including the shoulders.”


Although the shirt in question does not expose Summer’s shoulders, the principal asked her to cover up, so she borrowed a friend’s jacket. But this wasn’t enough, and the principal then asked Summer to go to her office to change. Summer has had previous problems with the principal, so she asked to have her mother on the phone. While she waited for her mother to return her call, the principal summoned a security guard.

“The security guard was within five feet of me,” Summer told WCNC. “He had his hand on his gun. 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.’” Summer refused and was suspended for “insubordination” and told she cannot walk at graduation.

Summer has a 4.4 GPA and multiple scholarship offers which the disciplinary action has now put in danger. “A full ride means so much and that is on the line right now,” she told WCNC. “It’s just sad because I worked so hard for four years to walk across that stage. … We have drug dealers walking across that stage, and we have sex offenders walking across that stage, and then the 4.4 student who showed her shoulders can’t.” Summer’s mother plans to appeal the suspension.

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