A principal of a South Carolina high school has apologized after she was recorded saying female students “looked fat” in leggings unless they were a size zero or two.
Stratford High School principal Heather Taylor apologized Thursday stating that her “intention was not to hurt or offend any of my students in any way,” according to People.
Taylor was recorded Wednesday telling female students that leggings “show everything” and should only be worn by thinner women.
“(Leggings are) meant to wear underneath a long shirt that covers your heinie, or a long sweater of some type, or a dress. It is not meant to be your actual pants, and if you have a shirt that comes to here, then you are showing everything. Yes, everything,” Taylor said.
“The sad thing is with that, ladies — if someone has not told you this before, I'm going to tell you this now — unless you are a size zero or a two, and you wear something like that, even though you are not fat, you look fat,” Taylor said.
Taylor told People that she spoke to students about the incident to explain her comments.
“Yesterday and this morning, I met with each class of the Stratford High School student body. I addressed a comment made during a 10th grade assembly and shared from my heart that my intention was not to hurt or offend any of my students in any way. I assured them all that I am one of their biggest fans and invested in their success,” Taylor said.
Allison Veazy, a student at the school, told WCBD that the principal’s comments were “hurtful.”
“It was really hurtful, cause I felt like my size made me look disgusting towards someone in the clothes that I wear,” Veazy said. “I wear leggings outside of school and I wear leggings when I go and hang out with my friends, and to think that someone would think that I look like a stuffed sausage — that was kind of hurtful.”
On Friday, some members of the school’s senior class penned a letter of support for Taylor and posted a video of their statement on Facebook.
“On behalf of some students at Stratford High, we would like to extend our support and appreciation to your administration and Berkeley County for the past 24 years. We understand that you, like us, are human and make mistakes,” a student said in the video. “We completely realize that your intentions were not to harm us or the students at the assembly.”
Taylor said she was confident that the school can move forward following the controversial comments.
“After speaking with our students and receiving their support, I am confident that, together, we are ready to move forward and have a wonderful year,” Taylor said.
“Stratford High is a very caring community, and I want to thank all of our parents and students who have offered their support to me and provided me with an opportunity to directly address their concern. I am very proud to be a Stratford Knight.”