Cash-strapped mom blasts middle school after son sent home for a worn spot in pants

Facebook screenshot

A financially struggling South Carolina mom is challenging her school district’s dress code, after she says her son was sent home for having a worn spot in his pants that was labeled “an emerging hole.”

Lori Ann Orr of Laurens County said in a Facebook post that Laurens Middle School sent her 11-year-old son home Monday, after deciding a thread-bare spot in his pants leg qualified as a school dress code violation.

The hole was not a matter of style, but a matter of wear and tear, she said in the post.

“These clothes were bought in August for the new school year. Excuse me, but my children play and stuff happens,” she says in the post.

“My husband and I struggle to pay rent to keep a roof over my kids heads, pay electricity to make sure they have air or heat and water to bathe and really struggle to put food on the table. I DO NOT have the money to go buy my kids a whole new wardrobe every month or two because they might get a tiny hole or tear or blemish on their clothing.”

Orr goes to say her son has been cited repeatedly “for holes that are so tiny that no one notices except for the school.” The family does not own a washer or dryer, she says in the post.

Her post prompted more than 250 comments, all supportive and a few accusing the district of unnecessarily “bullying” or embarrassing children.

Fox Carolina quoted district officials Tuesday as saying they are working to address Orr’s concerns, while noting “dress code policies are a standard element of school behavioral expectations.”

Late Thursday, Orr wrote a follow up on Facebook saying she met with school officials and was told they are going to amend “guidelines in reference to emerging holes” and would also stop dress code inspections.

“I am thankful that they listened and understood and decided to act,” she posted on Facebook. “It means a lot.”

The Wake County school system is looking letting students have more freedom in dress, allowing things such as tank tops, bare midriff tops, spaghetti straps and short shorts.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs