When parents send their children to school, they're expected to have them wear appropriate clothing that adheres to its dress code.
Although it's common to expect midriff-bearing shirts and ripped jeans to be banned in schools, one South Carolina mother was left stunned after her son was in trouble for having an "emerging" hole in his jeans.
"He missed an entire day of education for that."
On October 29, 11-year-old Ethan Orr was sent to the principal's office at Laurens Middle School after a dress code inspection found his jeans had an "emerging hole."
When the school alerted Ethan's mother Lori Orr of the fray in the youngster's jeans the staff said she could either bring her son a new pair of pants, or take him home.
They alleged it wasn't suitable for the youngster to wear the bottoms while on the property.
"Basically, he’s sent out of class, he has to go to the office and announce that he’s there because he has a hole in his pants in front of all these other kids," Orr said in an interview with WYFF, adding that her son's embarrassment broke her heart.
Furious, she posted a video on Facebook later that day, and showed off the jeans in question.
Posted by Lori Ann Orr on Monday, October 29, 2018
"He had to come home because of that. He missed an entire day of education for that," Orr claimed, adding she had only purchased them in August.
"It’s not a hole. It is a stretch in the fabric."
In a separate Facebook post, Orr revealed that she and her family live paycheck-to-paycheck, and can't afford to replace her children's clothes for every barely-there blemish.
"Excuse me, but my children play. And stuff happens. My husband and I struggle to pay rent to keep a roof over my kids heads, pay electricity to make sure they have air or heat and water to bathe and really struggle to put food on the table," she wrote.
"I DO NOT have the money to go buy my kids a whole new wardrobe every month or two [because] they might get a tiny hole or tear or blemish on their clothing."
"When it comes to normal wear and tear, we certainly want to work with parents."
After Orr's media posts went viral, the school board made the decision to update its dress code in an effort to "accommodate students whose wardrobe might have 'emerging' holes due to budget constraints."
In an official statement from the school district, the district's superintendent Stephen Peters said, "We consider parents to be our partners in the education of the whole child in Laurens County School District 55, and we are always happy to discuss any questions or concerns a parent may have."
Edward Murray, the director of public relations for Laurens County School District 55, told Yahoo Lifestyle that the school board also wants to work with parents to help find a solution.
"The rule about emerging holes deals with the fashion industry and clothes that come with preexisting holes."
Although several good Samaritans have offered Orr new clothes for Ethan, she has turned them down in fear it would send them the wrong message, but hopes some good can come out of the incident.
"I'm thinking about asking the school if we can start a closet at the school and possibly all schools in the district...so many people want to donate," Orr told Daily Mail.
"But I think it would be more beneficial to have all these wonderful, thoughtful people to donate to the 'closet.'"
"The school would be able to help all sorts of kids in our situation discreetly and no more kids would have to be humiliated."