HAMMOND, Ind. – Classrooms were a little less crowded at Morton High School on the first day of classes: 128 students were sent home for wearing the wrong clothes.
Fed up with inappropriate outfits, the principal suspended the students for one day Wednesday, minutes after doors opened at the school. Those suspended represent more than 10 percent of the 1,200 total students.
The offending attire — including baggy pants, low-cut shirts, tank tops and graphic T-shirts — are banned from classrooms. Students were also cited for cell phone use.
"This was the worst year I've seen in a long time," said Principal Theresa Mayerik. "It's gotten out of control, and we needed to send a message that we're not messing around."
The Hammond school usually has 20 dress code violations a day.
Mayerik said the infraction would be removed from students' records in 12 weeks if they had no other in-school violations.
School board members said they support Mayerik and the mass suspensions. "I'd be supportive if half the school was sent home, because 99 percent will get the message our schools are for education," board president Rebecca Ward said.