An Ohio 7th grader was told to cover up at a junior high school dance because, according to the girl and her mother, a vice principal called her bare arms “sex objects.”
Ari Waters looked carefully for something that would both look nice and not violate her school’s dress code, and settled on one belonging to her sister, according to Local12News.com.
“The yellow dress was just right for me,” she told the station. “It fit me perfectly. It wasn’t inappropriate.”
But when she arrived at the school gym, she was told to cover her bare arms with her coat. Looking around, she noticed other students were forced to wear coats also, yet some — wearing more revealing dresses — got a pass.
Ari felt embarrassed and called her mother, Gina Waters, to come pick her up. When Mom arrived she sought out a vice principal and demanded to know what the problem was.
“I said what’s wrong with her bare arms?” she recalled to the station. “And she said ‘they are sexual objects’ and I said ‘whoa, wait a minute.'”
The comment really hurt Ari.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” she said. “I felt dirty and just really down and upset that she said that because through the whole night my friends were telling me, oh, your dress looks beautiful, you look so gorgeous today.”
Principal Sabrina Armstrong denies that her vice principal described Ari’s arms as “sexual objects,” and issued the following statement to media:
Mt. Orab Middle School has an adopted dress code that we require all students to abide by for school functions. Administration is required to make sure students follow the dress code.
Several weeks before a school dance at Mt. Orab Middle School, the students were explicitly told that the dress code should be adhered to. There were three to six students that evening at the dance who were asked to put on a sweater to cover their sleeveless attire. The student in question was among one of the three to six students who were asked and she put on her coat and stayed at the dance.
As for the other allegations, the district has looked into the situation and deemed them to be unfounded.
Gina Waters chalks it up to politics as usual.
“But for the school to back her, I understand why they’re backing her. She’s administrative staff and I understand that. But it did happen,” she said. “These middle schoolers are 10 years of age up to 13. They’re kids. They’re not sexual objects. They’re not sexual beings. That word should never have been used and it should never have been associated with an arm, with a limb.”
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