UPDATE: Principal Heather Taylor has apologized to students at Stratford High School for her body shaming comments, reported ABC11.
In a statement, Taylor said that she had met with students and assured them that she did not intend to "hurt or offend" anyone when she allegedly said girls over a size two "look fat" in leggings.
"Yesterday and this morning, I met with each class of the Stratford High School student body. I addressed a comment made during a 10th-grade assembly and shared from my heart that my intention was not to hurt or offend any of my students in any way," wrote Taylor in a statement published by ABC 4 News. "I assured them all that I am one of their biggest fans and invested in their success. After speaking with our students and receiving their support, I am confident that, together, we are ready to move forward and have a wonderful year. Stratford High is a very caring community, and I want to thank all of our parents and students who have offered their support to me and provided me with an opportunity to directly address their concern. I am very proud to be a Stratford Knight."
It remains odd that Taylor felt compelled, and also found it appropriate, to make her opinion on leggings known in a school assembly. Nevertheless, a sincere apology goes a long way, and if the principal has learned something from this incident, that goes even further.
Heather Taylor, the principal of Stratford High School in South Carolina, is getting rightfully slammed for her problematic comments concerning the school dress code. She specifically targeted students who wear leggings, a fashion choice she apparently has strong opinions about.
"I’m going to tell you now, unless you are a size zero or two and you wear something like that, you look fat," Taylor said during a school assembly, reported News 2 of WCBD-TV.
According to a Facebook post by the mother of one of the students, the principal told girls that they could only "get away" with wearing leggings in middle school. Now that their bodies were developing, stretchy, form-fitting pants were no longer acceptable.
"Body shaming teenage girls is uncalled for, inappropriate and unprofessional," wrote Lacy Thompson-Harper in the post. "When I spoke with her, she talked around the issue, and made excuse after excuse, effectively calling all of the students liars."
In Facebook responses to comments on her post, Thompson-Harper said that she'd heard from other upset parents who had come home to frustrated children. One mother texted her that Taylor tried to pass off her words as a mere "joke" and that she "didn't mean to offend anyone."
News 2 reports that Taylor has reached out to parents asking them to be forward with her about their concerns regarding her comments. She also apparently told Thompson-Harper that she would apologize to her students.
These are steps in the right direction, but as one angry responder to Thompson-Harper's post wrote: "She should have just stated school policy and left her editorial about it out of it."
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