A Maryland middle school is facing criticism this week after allegedly forcing a female student to cover her exposed skin with duct tape. The duct tape was reportedly used to address the seventh grader's ripped jeans for teen girls, which violated the school's dress code policy.

  According to Yahoo Style, several weeks ago a teacher placed duct tape on the female student's bare legs, to cover the skin showing beneath her ripped jeans. The student's mother, Nicole Williams, is now speaking out on her daughter's behalf and challenging the way the school handled the situation. Williams was reportedly only alerted of the duct-tape incident after her daughter texted her about it the day it happened. “The idea that they came up with — to believe it was a good idea to put, actually, duct tape on a child when they can clearly see bare skin? I believe they should have called me first, and given her a chance to be able to change her clothes,” said Williams in an interview with Fox 5 DC.

  The middle school has since released a statement about the matter and further clarified their dress code policy. “The expectation at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School is that students do not come to school in pants with holes above the knee,” explained interim principal Marvin Jones in the statement. “If a student does not meet that expectation, we first ask students if they have a way to cover the holes, and if they do, they go back to class. If they do not, we call the parent and provide the student duct tape to self-apply to the holes above the knee.” Although there is not a section of the dress code policy that explicitly states that students cannot wear pants with holes in them, the school stands behind its enforcement of that rule.

  Principal Jones, however, did admit that the school did not follow proper protocol when it came to Williams' daughter. The school's policy is reportedly to contact students' parents to inform them of the dress code violation before anything is done to address the problem. Williams was not contacted by the school. For this oversight, Jones issued an apology. “Our practice is to communicate with the parent before a student covers the holes with tape; however, that protocol was not followed today, and I apologize for that,” Jones’s statement reads. Furthermore, he acknowledged the student's poor physical reaction to the tape, which included itching and burning. “The amount of tape applied by the student was excessive, and unfortunately, she had a reaction to it.”

  This latest dress code enforcement incident is one of many pressuring schools to reevaluate their dress code policies, especially policies that could be deemed sexist or tougher on female students. Critics of dress code policies have been adamant about ensuring that these strict policies do not interfere with students' ability to learn, and that every student feels like they are in a safe environment.


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