Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) – The Blount County School District faces another lawsuit.
Parents of a student who filed a lawsuit last week over the right to wear confederate symbols say he and his girlfriend are now being harassed by school officials.
Wednesday, they filed a lawsuit against the principal of William Blount High School, the assistant principal, and the school board.
The suit alleges the student’s girlfriend Shana Miller was harassed for an alleged violation of the schools dress code by wearing ripped jeans, then humiliated as she was photographed.
"One of the defendants in the earlier case photographed her thighs, forced her to pose for him with no other students or administrators around," says Van Irion, attorney for the students.
Irion says he is seeking a temporary restraining order in the case.
School Superintendent Alvin Hord says he’s unaware of the incident and is unable to comment at this time.
We checked the Blount County Board of Education dress code, it does say that ripped or torn clothing is not allowed.
But we wondered what the policies are at other area schools and whether or not they photograph violators.
Our Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb tells you what he found.
School officials will be the first to tell you that making sure students dress properly is an ongoing concern as they try to teach class without a distraction.
"In a classroom, we want to minimize the distractions we have. Our goal is to educate kids when they come in the building in the morning to when they leave in the afternoon," says Alcoa High School Principal Scott Porter.
And as times change, so too does fashion.
"The biggest problem we have, and the biggest problem everybody has is the fashions in this day in time dictate a lot of bare midriffs, especially from the girls. We’ve had a problem with that. Occasionally shorts get too short," says Maryville High Assistant Principal Lynn Brown.
The female student filing suit against William Blount High School Principal Steve Lafon, the assistant principal, and the school claims she had a pair of regular shorts under her ripped jeans. So what about other school systems. At Maryville, they have a strict policy.
"We’ve always, since holy jeans came out, we permit no holes in the jeans. Period," says Brown.
At Alcoa, as long as it’s not a distraction it’s ok.
"We realize that when they go to the store to buy clothing. That’s what these stores are selling to our kids," says Porter.
But the suit also alleges the girl was closely photographed, a practice not held at other places.
"So, as far as taking pictures to document?" McLamb asks.
"No, we don’t do that," Brown says.
"What about taking pictures?" McLamb asks.
"We don’t take pictures," Porter replies.
Which is what the plaintiff’s attorney says is a problem.
"She says that she was crying and that the person who was taking photos didn’t seem to care," Irion says.
Both Maryville and Alcoa say one of their first methods of dealing with students who do not follow proper dress codes is to call their parents with harsher measures taken for repeat offenders.
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