A student at Boca Raton High School in Boca Raton, Florida, was given in-school suspension last week for refusing to take off a “Hillary for Prison” t-shirt.
18-year-old Maxine Yeakle was asked to remove her shirt after school administrators decided that it was causing a distraction in the classroom. After she refused to take the shirt off, administrators sentenced her to an in-school suspension.
The controversy over the shirt began after it sparked a conversation about the presidential election between several young girls in one of Yeakle’s morning classes. Tensions rose quickly after several of the students began chatting loudly about their shared belief that Donald Trump supporters are racist.
Shortly after the incident, Yeakle was summoned to the assistant principal’s office where she was told she could either take off the shirt or face a one-day in-school suspension. In order to avoid the suspension, Yeakle’s father pulled her out of school for the rest of the day.
According to The Sun Sentinel, Yeakle claims that administrators told her that her shirt itself didn’t violate the dress code, but that administrators can ask students to remove any clothing that causes a disruption in the classroom.
Although district spokesperson Kathy Burstein declined to comment on the incident, she noted a districtwide dress-code policy that prohibits attire that “substantially or potentially disrupts the educational environment.” A principal or other designee has the final say on what constitutes a dress-code violation, according to the district’s handbook.
Yeakle said administrators told her she didn’t violate the dress code, but they still decided it was a classroom distraction.
“My consequence was I either had to wear a shirt that’s kind of, you know, humiliating because I have never gotten a dress code violation before,” or possibly face in-school suspension if she didn’t comply, she said.
Yeakle, who returned to school this week, said she thinks the incident was unfair.