A National Honor Society student has been stripped of her newly-won historian title for baring her arms and shoulders in what her high school is calling a “suggestive” dress.
Junior Cameron Boland, who goes to Fort Myers High School in Florida, had recently won the election to be the honor society’s historian — a title that applies to the entire county. But, as Yahoo! Parenting reports, she was stripped of the title only an hour later, and all for wearing a spaghetti-strap sundress.
Cameron’s mother, Caroline Boland, told the site that her daughter had worn a jacket with the dress but had taken it off shortly before her speech due to Florida’s sweltering temperatures.
“She usually wears jeans and T-shirts, but she wore the dress because it was an election, and she wanted to look presentable. It wasn’t an act of defiance or to be alluring, she wanted to look nice for the people voting,” she told Yahoo! Parenting.
Because she was giving her acceptance speech at nearby Ida Baker High School, Cameron told WINK News that she didn’t think their dress code applied to her, and no one stopped her ahead of her speech to tell her that her dress was inappropriate.
“Also, being an extracurricular activity an event, I didn’t feel a need to comply with the dress code,” Cameron told the station.
But apparently, it bothered some of the students there, who complained to NHS advisors about Cameron’s outfit, who then made the decision to strip her of her title.
There’s nothing explicitly stated in the Lee County school district dress code about spaghetti straps being banned or that bare shoulders aren’t allowed, but clothes should all be “appropriate for school” and “outfits that provide minimum coverage or are of a suggestive nature are prohibited.”
Among the offenders of the dress code: halters, backless dresses, sheer tops, tube tops and tank tops, muscle shirts, as well as a very subjective line about any clothes that “may be distracting” being prohibited. The fact that most of these rules are aimed at female students is another matter entirely, but the handbook also states that students who violate the dress code will be given a verbal warning and the school will contact their parents, and Cameron’s mother said she never got a call.
Lee County officials said in a statement to Yahoo! Parenting that students in extracurricular groups are held to a high standard and that it’s uncertain whether or not Cameron will be reinstated to her NHS position.
It’s a tricky argument — on one hand, Cameron’s dress wasn’t revealing and it is southern Florida, so hot weather is a given. It makes sense that she should be comfortable when making a speech, and there’s nothing in the county handbook that strictly forbids sundresses. But on the other, the county handbook bans tank tops and muscle shirts, both of which are pretty similar to what Cameron wore.
The Florida honor student isn’t alone in her sartorial plight. Even first ladies get hassled for their right to bare arms. In 2009, Michelle Obama, who has arguably the most fantastic biceps in the history of biceps, caused an uproar when she posed for her first official portrait in a sleeveless top.
In the meantime, Cameron and her mother will keep fighting to get the honor student back to her position.
“If we’re not supporting our kids — our best and brightest — who are we supporting?” Caroline told Yahoo! Parenting. “I couldn’t be prouder of Cam.”
(Image via here.)