On Friday, a Missouri teen was kicked out of her class for a dress code violation, but when her mother saw what she was wearing, she was outraged.
Kelsey Anderson, a 17-year-old student at Joplin High School in Springfield was sitting in class when her female teacher noticed her attire, specifically calling her out as too “busty.”
According to KHOU News, however, Anderson was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.
The teacher reportedly told her that “plus-sized women” should buy their clothes at a specifically designated store for plus-sized women, saying:
“Smaller busted women could get away with more than larger busted women.”
After explaining what happened to her mother, Melissa Barber, telling her she was “mortified,” Melissa decided to act. She detailed what happened to her daughter in a Facebook post, even including photos of the Anderson wearing the outfit in question.
It soon went viral.
Her post read, in part:
The teacher said, “Your boobs are bigger than most girls, and you are gonna have to try harder.” She really needs to not speak to my daughter like that. What is wrong with the way this child is dressed?
But she wasn’t even close to being done with the ordeal. In an update post, she revealed that she was called into the school to speak with a male principal and another female teacher about what happened to her daughter, insisting how unfair it was — especially considering her objectively modest outfit:
I began explaining that my daughter was just sexualized by her teacher in front of the whole class. She was embarrassed and horrified. She requested to be removed from the teachers class. He said no. He continued to defend the teacher. I could see we were getting nowhere. I was close to loosing my temper. I took my daughter by the hand and we left. I refuse to put my daughter in a situation where her self esteem is completely destroyed. She is there to learn. This whole time she was missing out on an education while we were all sitting in a room discussing her boobs. How often does this happen to your sons? Seems like another way to keep girls uneducated. #sheisnotadistraction
Since then, she has seemingly retained legal counsel, attorney Elizabeth Turner, and the Joplin School District said in a statement that an investigation into the incident has been launched, according to KHOU News:
The District does not consider comments by staff members about students’ bodies appropriate. Our staff conduct policy requires all staff members to maintain courteous and professional relationships with students.
Barber also noted in an additional post that a male student had recently worn a shirt to school that read “our erections are harder, stronger and last longer,” and he reportedly did not receive any dress code violation.
Since initially taking to Facebook, her posts have garnered more than 167,000 views and thousands of comments. Although many have taken to her support, some are circulating reports that Anderson was actually wearing a crop top at the time:
But Barber maintained what her daughter was wearing was, in fact, appropriate and undeserving of labeling her as “busty” and “plus-sized.”
The school’s investigation is still ongoing and it’s unclear at this time if Barber is planning on pressing any legal charges against it or the teacher, but she reassured those following her story that despite starting “this fight for my daughter,” she plans on finishing it “for yours.”