Dress code controversy at Clayton High School

CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A mother said her daughter was in tears when she was sent home from Clayton High School for wearing an outfit deemed inappropriate.

Veronica Ferry's mother said her daughter has worn the outfit to school and church and she's never had a problem.

"I just felt like the teachers were disappointed and that I didn't have any self respect," said Veronica, "and they just talked to me in like a mean and degrading way."

Veronica said she was berated by administrators at Clayton High School Monday morning for wearing the sundress and jacket with denim shorts underneath.

"They just made me feel really bad," said Veronica.

The criticism came from an administrator at the school's absence control center where the 16-year-old was handing in a doctor's note for being out sick last week.

"She just gave me mean looks and how you shouldn't wear inappropriate clothes to school," said Veronica.

When a second administrator in the school resource officer area made Veronica call her mother, the tears started flowing.

"When I got there she was physically upset, emotionally upset, and she just asked if she could come home," said Veronica's mother, Tammy Ferry.

The Johnston County Schools' student dress code says appropriate shorts are no higher than four inches above the top of the knee and skirts and dresses should be three inches above the same point. Inappropriate would be anything that clearly disrupts class or learning activities.

Tammy Ferry said the problem is inconsistency. Her daughter has worn the same outfit many times since March, and even took her spring picture with same dress without any problems. Many more students at the school, she said, wear revealing clothes without any consequences.

"Explain to me why it's inappropriate, and explain to me why you're not enforcing the dress code for everybody," said Tammy.

Tammy is going to take her daughter to school wearing the same outfit Tuesday to see what the big fuss is all about.

Meantime, officials with Johnston County Schools are looking into the incident. They said parents sign a form acknowledging the dress code and that every effort is made to keep students in class.

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