LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A school controversy over a student’s outfit in Lee’s Summit in Missouri has people talking. KCTV reports that the student’s mother says her son was asked to tone down his outfit and it’s now prompted a big debate over the dress code and self-expression.
Lee’s Summit North High School students are on spring break right now, but some students are spending it on social media spreading the message that #clothinghasnogender. One person posted a video after student Morgan Ball was allegedly told to change after he wore a corset, shawl, necklace, jewelry and a glove, with nails painted and makeup on to school on Friday.
“Morgan Ball is one of my really good friend,” said Lizzy, a friend of Morgan’s, on a YouTube video.
Lizzy says Morgan was asked to change because his clothing was distracting.
“Said it was a distraction to the learning environment for the children,” she said in the video. “Morgan was really upset. I’ve never seen him so hurt before, he was crying.”
Morgan’s mom went to Facebook to show support for her son and explain what happened at school.
“Apparently, some students and staff members complained his outfit was “distracting” and instead of taking the opportunity to educate those individuals about Morgan’s right to self-expression, she asked him to remove his beaded shrug, lace gloves and fashion belt. My son initially complied, but decided to put the items back on because he was not violating the dress code.”
She goes on to post that they are meeting with the district to discuss why her son was asked to change and thanked everyone for the outpouring of support.
Morgan’s story on social media also caught the attention of the founder and director of Transgender Institute in Kansas City.
“If we were in LA or New York City, that fact that this young man came to school in a feminine way or somewhat feminine clothing would mean nothing, but the fact that because we’re here in Kansas City, the administration of Lee’s Summit took it upon themselves to ask him to take these clothes off. He was expressing his right to present in the way he chooses,” Caroline Gibbs said.
Friends and families rallied Tuesday night. They made T-shirts supporting Morgan for students to wear to school after spring break.
The Lee’s Summit School District says no students were disciplined about their clothing on Friday. But the principal did reach out to Morgan’s family after seeing social media posts.