When most people hear the words "high school student body president," they likely think of a smart, personable, kind, and respectful person — someone who can handle the job of being a leader for their peers at school. That's exactly how Casey Burgess, student body president of Beaufort High School in South Carolina, sees herself — but it's the way her teachers (and society) see her that seems to be stirring up a lot of feelings on social media.
In a post to Facebook on Oct. 27, Casey shared three photos of herself in a loose three-quarter-sleeved top with a nonformfitting skirt that came a few inches above the knee, alongside a story about how she got suspended for the outfit — a fashion choice that many would deem "modest."
Today, I wore this outfit to Beaufort High School. About 20 minutes into the day, my friend and I were excused from class to venture to the vending machine because our teacher was planning to do nothing all class period, as usual. On our way back, I learned something very important about myself: I am a whore.
As I was walking down the hallway, I heard a voice behind me. "Your skirt is too short. You need to go to in-school suspension and then go home." Thank you, Mrs. Woods. Thank you for teaching me that looking good for school is NOT appropriate. Thank you for letting me know that while I may think that I am dressing up for my Teacher Cadet lesson, I am in fact dressing to go to a night club or the whore house. Thank you for bringing me to tears in front of my friends and classmates because you do not have the decency to pull me aside and explain the problem. Then again, I did not have the decency to put on real clothes today.
So maybe I am in the wrong. Maybe our society isn't yet advanced enough to handle three inches of my thigh. This is a patriarchal society and I am a woman. I have to be kept in my place, or I may do something that is so rarely seen in Beaufort High School — learn.
You saved me, Beaufort High. As Student Body President, junior marshal, and a recipient of the Palmetto Fellows, I was heading down the path of hard drugs (good thing you're testing next year!), strip clubs, and sugar daddies. I don't where I would be without your misogynistic views. How could I go on without a certain math teacher making sexist jokes all class? How could I survive without my science professor letting me know I am an inferior woman? Yes, I am a woman. I am woman with thighs, a butt, and a brain. I am bigger than Beaufort High School. All of us are. Maybe instead of worrying about my skirt, Beaufort High should take notice of its incompetent employees, and sexist leaders.
The post has been shared over 9,000 times, and the next day, Casey formally apologized in a separate post for grouping all of the teachers at Beaufort High together in a negative way, as she's had many "caring, intelligent, and personable teachers."
Do you think Casey should have been suspended for what she was wearing?