- A senior at Lamar High School in South Carolina was barred from her graduation ceremony because she didn’t wear a skirt, as mandated by the dress code.
- Dynasia Clark, 17, wore a button-down shirt, pants, and bowtie to the event, held in a football field.
- An administrator told Clark that, unless she changed, she would not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.
- Clark’s name was also not announced when the graduation rolls were read. “That was the part that made me more mad than anything, because I was there,” she told WPDE.
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A student in South Carolina was barred from walking in her graduation ceremony on Tuesday because she refused to follow the ceremony’s dress code and wear a dress.
Dynasia Clark, a 17-year-old senior at Lamar High School in Darlington County, was told by administrators she would not be permitted to walk with her class because she prefers to wear pants.
The school is one of only a few holding a physical graduation ceremony during the pandemic lockdowns.
Clark showed up to the event, which was held in the school’s football field, wearing a button-down shirt, pants, and a bowtie,WPDE reported. As she prepared to take her seat, an administrator took her aside and told her that, unless she changed her clothes, she would not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.
Frustrated, Clark found her mother and grandmother in the bleachers and let them know what happened. She then walked off the field in protest but remained just outside to support her classmates.
The gay teen said wearing pants shouldn’t have stopped her from participating in something she’s worked toward for 12 years. “I went to school,” Clark said. “Everybody be happy for their graduation day and I couldn’t even experience that.”
Her name was also omitted from the graduation roster when it was read aloud.
“That was the part that made me more mad than anything, because I was there. You could have least called my name,” Clark told WPDE. “It seems crazy to me. It seems stupid, like petty, because it was just an outfit to me.”
A Darlington County school district representative told the Raleigh News-Observer that the dress code had been in place for 20 years. “We welcome students or parents who have concerns with any policy or procedure to meet with administration and discuss those concerns,” the rep said. “In the past, when a student raised concern with the administration about the dress code prior to graduation day, the issue was addressed.” The district said that in the wake of the incident at Lamar High, it is reviewing the dress code.
This week, Kienjanae Hooper, a senior at Gladewater High School in Gladewater, Texas, was told she couldn’t attend her graduation ceremony unless she covered or removed her dreadlocks.
According to the school district handbook, students must keep their hair “clean, trimmed from the eyes, and well-groomed.
“You’re basing a graduation and diploma on hair,” Hooper’s mother told NBC News. “Which is totally ridiculous with what’s going on in this world.”