The popular “Throwback Thursday” is not just a hit on social media, but the theme is also popular at one Northern Virginia high school. One mom has no problem with the spirit day, but believes one student went too far by wearing a slave costume.
A student at Loudoun County’s Heritage High School wore the slave costume, complete with gruesome stains, to class.
A mother of another student says she couldn’t believe what she was hearing when her daughter came home and told her about the costume, so she demanded to see a picture.
“He had this white shirt on with red stains on it as if he’d been whipped. That was bloοd and on the back it said ‘Property of Heritage High School’ and he had a 200-count bag of cotton balls that he was scattering as he walked the halls,” the mother told NBC Washington. “I was livid. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing in 2015. Are you kidding me?”
The mom, who did not want to be identified, said she was also surprised that the student was African-American.
School officials were aware of the costume and met the student at the door with a warning.
“They said, ‘Look you are really pushing the boundaries here. This is a tasteless costume. It’s not disrupting the boundaries per se. Now if anybody come to us during the day with strong objections and says [it’s] disruptive, then the costume comes off'” said Wayde Byard, Loudoun County Schools spokesman.
Although the costume did not violate the dress code, the student was banned from participating in the costume contest.
“There is a very fine line here between free speech and good taste. As we know, free speech is not always tasteful speech,” explained Byard. “The student was making a statement. There was no disruption. Students rolled their eyes as you might expect, but nobody said, ‘That’s horribly offensive and this is disrupting my day.'”
Byard continued: “Had it been a white student instead of an African American student, obviously that might have incited some racial tension. That might have been a different story.”
The mother feels that the school dress code should be amended.
“What if someone comes dressed as the Holocaust [sic] or the Klan? Is that then considered inappropriate? Where is the line? You are dealing with teenagers. You have to establish some boundaries,” she said.