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Chuckey-Doak High School principal apologizes after dress code presentation concern

AFTON, Tenn. (WJHL) - A Greene County principal is apologizing to her students after a presentation to young women at Chuckey-Doak High School.

That Monday presentation was about things like hygiene, self-confidence, as well as dress code.

A photo has been circulating on social media of that photo shown in the presentation.

It shows a cartoon image of a young woman dressed professionally for school.

The image to the right shows dress code violations of a midriff shirt, shorter than allowed skirt and thinner than allowed straps on a tanktop.

The words below read quote "gets respect" with the word "not" leading up to the second image.

Principal Shelly Smith called another meeting Tuesday for young women at Chuckey-Doak High School to apologize to the group about the photo.

This is after a student came to her with concerns that the image was offensive.

Monday's assembly at Chuckey-Doak High School was called by school administrators after concerns from students about cleanliness in girl's bathrooms.

The presentation was also a time to talk mental health and mentoring.

It was then time for Associate Principal Sharon Necessary to address dress code.

"Greene County School board has a policy that we follow and it's our job to enforce it," Principal Smith said.

Smith was part of the group who put the presentation together.

"I put the slides together. The nurse sent me her slides. We all reviewed the slides. None of us thought anything negative about anything we'd reviewed in that presentation," Principal Smith said.

The concern over the cartoon wasn't over the image, it was over the words on it.

"It did say "get respect" but that was not the intention, to say this doesn't get respect." Smith went on to say, "even though my intent was not to offend or harm, it did," she said.

Chuckey-Doak High School Senior Delaney Holt voiced those concerns right to Principal Smith.

"The image felt very demeaning. I think it made a lot of people feel disrespected that were sitting in the audience," Holt went on to say," Your clothing is not what should give you respect. I mean women should be respected irregardless of what they're wearing. Their bodies and them should be respected," Holt said.

Principal Smith apologized to Holt then vowed to apologize to all of the young women.

"I told them that I took full responsibility. That was not my intention to offend or judge," Principal Smith said.

Smith went on to say that in retrospect,"I would not choose any picture that had any comments on it about well respected," she said.

Holt's father told us he's proud of his daughter 

"When she comes to school she ought to be able to be just as comfortable as boys are here. They're here to learn, not here to be gawked at,"Shawn Holt said.

Holt said she loves her school in this tightknit community and does not think administrators meant any harm.

"I was stunned by the choice of image but I think that's not what they meant at all," Delaney Holt said.

Principal Smith now has a message to families: "We care deeply about their students. Our job here is to serve them, to support them," she said.

Principal Smith tells us that photo was deleted Tuesday morning from the presentation and will not be used in the future.

Chuckey-Doak High School young men had a similar presentation Tuesday - also addressing dress code on campus.

 


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