JOPLIN, Missouri- The mother of a Joplin High School student has complained after her 17 year-old daughter was disciplined for a dress code violation last week. Melissa Barber claims the teacher who took issue with the student’s attire said, “your boobs are bigger than most girls, and you are gonna have to try harder”.
Barber believes that the teacher thought her daughter was “too busty” for what she is wearing.
“She was sent to the office by her Child Develoment teacher Mrs. Morris. When my daughter asked why she was being sent to the office, this teacher told her “bustier women need to wear clothing that cover their cleavage.” Then followed it up by saying “Plus size women need to dress accordingly”. My daughter has just been called “Busty” and “Plus Size” in front of the entire class,” Barber said.”I was called to come to the school for a meeting with a counselor (female) and a principal (male). This principal continued to defend the teacher by saying “Well, we have never had a problem with her before.” I began explaining that my daughter was just sexualized by her teacher in front of the whole class. She was embarrassed and horrified. She requested to be removed from the teachers class.
The parent believed the meeting was unproductive.
” I took my daughter by the hand and we left. I refuse to put my daughter in a situation where her self esteem is completely destroyed. She is there to learn. This whole time she was missing out on an education while we were all sitting in a room discussing her boobs. How often does this happen to your sons? Seems like another way to keep girls uneducated,” she explained.
The Joplin student handbook explains the student should always be well groomed and dressed appropriately for the activity in which the students are engaged. Dress and appearance must not present health or safety hazards, be indecent, disruptive, distracting, or inappropriate for the classroom.
Barber says she is has gotten an attorney and is appreciative the the support she has gotten since posting to Facebook about the incident:
“I just wanted to say thank you for all the positive support and feedback we have gotten. When I originally posted, I assumed it would get 3 or 4 comments from my family. The video alone has been viewed over 60,000 times. It was never my intent to go viral. I never even considered it a possibility. But it has and here we are. I can’t comment on anything further at this time, per the advice of our attorney. I will give you updates when I am able to. Thank you so much for standing with her! I started this fight for my daughter. I will finish it for yours.”
the student handbook can be found here: