This mami-hija duo is fighting back against sexist dress codes at a San Antonio, Texas high school.
Last week, Sophia Abuabara, a student at Tom C. Clark High School, was asked to change her striped, long-sleeved dress, because the length, just above her knees, was deemed inappropriate.
In tears, the teen called her mother, Rosey Abuabara, to tell her what had happened and ask for a change of clothes so that she could stay on campus and complete three major tests that afternoon. Her mother quickly showed up, but not with a new outfit in hand.
Instead, Abuabara met with the school's principal, Dr. Jerry Woods, insisting that the dress, which she had measured earlier in the day, complied with the district dress code, which requires dresses and skirts fall “no more than four inches above the top of the kneecap.”
“He said that it did not matter,” Abuabara told TODAY Style. “He said what mattered was the judgment call from the administrator.”
Wow. My daughter got #dresscoded for this dress. They said it was too short. Yet, boys can dress like this?? She had 3 exams that afternoon, including Physics AP, Latin 3, and APUSH. But her skirt length.... #dresscode #dresscoded #gïrlsonly #archaic #patriarchy #shaming #slutshaming #boysdontgetdresscoded #viceprincipal
According to Abuabara, Woods said he was worried about her daughter becoming a victim of sexual harassment. “He was really concerned about my daughter getting pictures taken of her climbing up stairs,” Abuebara said.
If that were the case, Abuabara wants to know why the administrator isn’t doing anything to stop the boys, the potential perpetrators in his eyes, from harassing teen girls, rather than dictating what female students wear through sexist dress codes.
As if the incident wasn't repulsively sexist already, it gets worse: Woods laughed when he learned the teen cried about being called out for her outfit, saying "it wasn’t anything for her to be crying about,” and even asked the rightfully pissed off Abuabara if she needed to call her husband to deal with the matter.
“I said, ‘No, sir, I do not need my husband here to take care of this,’” she said in a Facebook video. “I am a grown woman and I can take care of this myself.”
Abuabara was asked to leave. When she didn't, she was escorted out by campus police. As for her daughter, she was allowed to stay in school and finish her tests, unchanged. However, the principal did try to pull her out of her Latin exam, but her teacher told him to wait till she was done.
Barry Perez, a spokesman for Northside Independent School District, issued a statement.
“This issue was addressed by campus administrators in a manner consistent with other dress code concerns on their campus,” he said. “The student was not taken out of class during a test. She visited with a campus administrator after her test was completed. No disciplinary action was issued. Campus administrators have met with the student and her parents to discuss the matter and it has been resolved.”
The mother and daughter has not backed down, however. They are calling out sexist dress codes and criticizing the school’s response to the incident.