I feel like telling you all a story from when I was younger….

I went to two high schools. The first one’s dress code was “as long as it doesn’t create a disturbance in class”.

I verified this with all the administrators I had come across. This was the policy. No matter what, if it didn’t cause a disturbance in the classroom, it was okay.

So one day, I decided to wear a thong on the outside of my pants. You see, the “trend” at the time was for girls to wear low-cut jeans with their thongs sticking out. I personally thought it looked silly, so I figured I’d do something equally silly to comment on it.

All was well, until 7th period. You see, between periods, and during study hall and lunch, I got a few questions, but in the actually classes, no one said anything. So I was still within policy, although only by a bit. And then the teacher told me that it was inappropriate and that I needed to take my thong off.

“But I’m not breaking any rules. It hasn’t caused any disturbances in any classes, and your class hadn’t even started! And anyways, why is my outfit any worse than hers? The only difference between my outfit and her outfit is a few inches of pants and the placement of the thong!” I said, pointing to the girl next to me. (She was actually pretty nice, if I remember correctly. She later told me she didn’t agree with the teacher making me take it off)

She then proceeded to spin some sort of excuse that teachers are allowed discretion over dress code policies and that was why she was allowed to not let students wear hats in her class and so I needed to go and take the thong off NOW or there would be consequences.

I wish I could live that day over again, just so that I could stand my ground against her. Argue with her. Dare her to do something.

But I was only 14, and a very meek 14-year-old at that. So I went to the bathroom and took off the thong.

But, I did not let her win completely. I took her at her word, that it was a her classroom rule, and put on the thong on the way to the next class.

Apparently, one of my classmates didn’t like this, and went back and told her. Not even five minutes into the next class, the teacher from the previous class showed up, and told the other teacher that he needed to tell me to take it off because she had told me to take it off and it was inappropriate.

I was almost worth it to see the teacher say it. He was this quiet, mild-mannered, white-haired old man.

“Momo (except he used the name I went by then), are you wearing something that (mean lady teacher from previous period) told you not to wear?” She was standing there next to him, glaring at me.

I sensed the opportunity here. “YOU MEAN MY THONG?!” I cried, standing up, drawing obvious attention to it. I felt almost bad for the guy, it wasn’t his fault, but if I was asked to take the thong off again, I was going to make sure as hell I at least made it violate dress code before I did it.

He went red, and didn’t really address what I said. “You need to go to the ladies room and remove that….”

“Oh no need for me missing class. I’ll do it right here!” And I started trying to take the thong off.

“No! Nonono! In the ladies room!” he stammered.

I felt as though my point had been made well enough, and so I walked out of the room, staring the mean teacher in the eye as I left. I later apologized to the kindly old teacher, explaining that I had reacted as I had because, up until that point, had no fuss made while in a class due to my outfit, and that I was being unfairly targeted. He said that he understood my point, but he didn’t want to undermine the other teacher’s authority or something like that.

Then, in the next school I went to, I got in trouble for wearing red on the wrong day. But that’s a long story, for another post….

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