On a cold Michigan morning, Madyson Fields threw on a chunky infinity scarf, a flowy gray knit sweater, and cropped black pants.
The outfit, which might seem fashionable yet understated to some, is causing a major controversy after the eighth-grade student was told it that it was inappropriate to wear around male students.
"My daughter was told by a teacher at Marshall Public Schools that she was a distraction to the boys today," wrote Madyson's mom, Brooke Fields, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. "My straight A student was called out in front of the class and told the boys were staring at her. If I wouldn't have been home, she would have had to sit in ISS (in school suspension) all day. This is wrong."
However, Marshall Middle School Principal David Turner said in an email that Fields's Facebook post was inaccurate and that the student would have been allowed to return to class after the discussion about her outfit. He says that Madyson was talked to in private at the teacher's desk and then sent to the school office to "have administration check that the clothing did not violate the dress code policy."
While her black bottoms could be mistaken as leggings from afar, Fields said that her daughter was wearing pants. Turner wrote that the staff recently talked to all students about the dress code and explained that "tights can be worn, but clothing must cover mid thigh, that she had been talked to before about dress code items, and that her clothing could be distracting to boys."
Fields took to Facebook a second time to defend her decision to share her daughter's story and stresses that she is not a helicopter parent. "I hold my daughter accountable for her actions, just as I expect others to be accountable for theirs. My intent was never to bring shame to Marshall, as I am a proud parent of a Marshall RedHawk," wrote Fields. "I saw a huge injustice done to my daughter and it wasn't the first time a comment of that sort had been made. I have taught her to work through adversity and follow the rules. If she breaks them, she deserves the punishment. I have also taught her to stand up for herself and others when there is a wrong."
Breaking the rules is one thing, but when are we going to stop blaming girls for boys' attention spans?