Thursday, August 25, 2011

"It's Nerd Day, Not Cross-dress Day"

One 17 year old in Douglas, Georgia, may not be able to graduate from high school on time due to an arrest and suspension for disrupting the learning environment. What disruption was so severe that he got carted off from school to a jail cell? Wearing a skirt.

Coffee High School told Eric Bivens that he could not wear his skirt during Spirit Week-- even being told it was "Nerd Day, not Cross-dress Day"-- but Bivens stood up for his right to wear whatever the hell he wants and now may face serious consequences for his continued education.

"He was all like come with me sir and I am like what did I do wrong, I am in dress code, I checked and he is all like we need to make sure you can wear this because it is nerd day not cross dress day," says Bivens.
Bivens did change his clothes and went to the principal to explain why he felt his rights as a student were being violated. Female students, he argued, dress like boys all the time. When he didn't receive what he felt was a satisfactory answer from administration, he changed back into his skirt and was arrested.

But Bivens put the skirt back on later in the day, and that got him in trouble.
Principal Greg Tanner says Bivens was being defiant and that's why he was suspended.
"From freshman year to senior year they pulled all my referrals and apparently I had 24," says Bivens.
Due to Bivens's discipline history and being insubordinate to administrators and faculty, he was arrested and charged.
"Cost me my education, my future," says Bivens.
Bivens says he just wants to get back in school so he can graduate on time and if he could do it over again he would stick to wearing pants.
Regardless of whatever disciplinary problems Bivens has had in the past at Coffee High, I find it sad that the principal of that school was able to do what he set out to do: Stifle one student's chosen mode of expression.

Thanks to reader Gini B. for the tip.

1 comment:

  1. This is incredibly stupid. My husband wore a skirt to high school once, in North Carolina of all places! (Just cuz he could, apparently.) None of the students even batted an eye! I'm betting this student's clothing wouldn't have been disruptive in the least if the faculty hadn't gone out of their way to make it so.