Shirt causes trouble for student on school picture day

Student, family say dress code way too strict

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A St. Petersburg honor student and her family are speaking out against a school dress code policy they think is way too strict.

It was picture day this week at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg. Hannah Helms, an 11th grade student, wanted to wear something colorful and cute for the occasion. Her stepmother, Christine Helms, helped her pick out a bright orange button-down.

"It's long-sleeved, cute little collar, not really wild and crazy," Christine described.

But school staff disagreed.

Hannah said her sixth-period teacher sent her to the office for violating school dress code.

"The person at the front desk said that the shirt was inappropriate because you could see through it and you could see skin," Hannah said. "I was very surprised."

According to the Helms family, Hannah was handed a detention, missed her school picture, and was forced to wear a sweatshirt the rest of the day.

School dress code policy states that see through clothing may only be worn over clothes that meet school requirements. Since the shirt she had on underneath showed her shoulders, Hannah was considered not in compliance.

"I thought it was a joke," Christine said. "This is ridiculous."

Hannah's father reached out to the school principal and the school superintendent. Since the 16-year-old had never been in trouble before, her detention ended up getting dropped down to a warning.

The school district said she will be able to retake her picture next month.

The Pinellas County School District does require parents and students to sign off that they agree with the school's dress code policy at the beginning of the school year.
 

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