The last week of school is exciting for teens and parents alike. For parents, you're celebrating the end of extra end-of-year activities, class projects, and that after school activity dash. For students -- hello, they're FINALLY free from homework and a set schedule. Chris Martin, an eighth grader at Meadowlawn Middle School in Florida, wanted to celebrate his last day by getting a little fancy. Martin showed up to school wearing eye shadow, black eyeliner, and lipstick, and to the surprise of his two mothers and the local community alike -- Chris was pulled out of class for violating the dress code.
Martin argued that the makeup he was wearing was the same as the girls in his classes, but the school district backed the principal's decision. When his mother Jamie Himes, who strongly believes her son was bullied, asked the principal what was wrong with Chris's makeup, the principal gave her a look that made her "blood boil."
And then she started a petition.
At the time this post went live, the anti-bullying petition on MoveOn.org has gained 821 of the 1,000 necessary signatures. Katelynn Martin writes that her son's "endured vicious bullying for the last several years" at his middle school, and that he's not alone. The petition's goal? To require tolerance training for all administrators and faculty, encourage gay-straight alliance clubs in secondary schools, and sponsor an inclusive curriculum that includes positive images of the LGBTQ community.
... it's admirable. For her son, it's got to be really, really great to have two supportive moms at home, both who accept him for who he is and stand behind his decisions. It can't be easy watching your son being made an example just because he's expressing himself. In my eyes, if girls are allowed to wear makeup, then he should be allowed to as well. Fair is fair. If it was excessive, boy or girl, that's another story. From the sound of it, though, Chris's wasn't anything ridiculous.
If you agree, then I encourage you all to sign Martin's petition. Join her in her efforts to make her school district more accepting. Every single voice helps in the fight for tolerance.
Do you think Chris was treated unfairly?
Image via melloveschallah/Flickr