KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Knoxville mom was upset after a teacher found her 10-year-old’s outfit inappropriate. She said her daughter was asked to change after a bully criticized her clothes. Chilhowee Intermediate School said her shorts did not follow dress code.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what she’s wearing,” said mom Stacie Pelfrey.
That was what Pelfrey thought when she sent her fourth grade daughter, Alexys Love, to school wearing these pink shorts. She said she has worn plenty of outfits like that one before and she has never been a problem. However, on Wednesday, Love told her mom a fifth grade boy picked on her for wearing them.
“He just came up to me and said, ‘You’re ugly wearing that stuff,'” Love said.
Love said soon after, a teacher came up to her and told her to go to the office to call her mom. Love said the teacher found her shorts inappropriate and that her mom needed to bring a change of clothes.
“They said they were too tight and that she needed to have a longer shirt on to cover her rear,” Pelfrey said.
Knox County Schools’ dress code said for students in grades three through five, skin-tight outer material without proper coverage is inappropriate attire.
“Any younger child is going to have the little tight shorts. It’s kids. It’s not adults. It’s not teenagers,” said Pelfrey.
Pelfrey felt her daughter’s shorts were not a problem until, she said, a boy bullied her. There was a sign that read “Kindness Matters” hanging near the entrance to the school. Love said she felt anything but.
“I felt embarrassed and stuff like that. If he knew how I felt, he would feel how I feel right now,” said Love.
Pelfrey said she is hoping for an apology from the school. She believed they did not handle this properly.
“Pretty much that the bullying stops. Little boys shouldn’t make comments about little girls outfits and then the girl be the one that gets picked out of it,” Pelfrey said.
Pelfrey has not spoken to the school since Tuesday. She said she plans to share her complaints to the school board soon. Pelfrey said she decided to take Love home from school on Tuesday because she was upset. The Knox County Schools dress code says the administration should strive for consistency. Peltrey felt they did not do that in this case.
A Knox County Schools spokesperson said Chilhowee Intermediate was not made aware of the situation but they will be happy to address Pelfrey’s concerns with her.