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Johnston County Student Suspended For Violating Schoolwide Dress Code

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JOHNSTON COUNTY — A Johnston County student says a two-day suspension is too tough for a first time offense of the school system's new dress code.

Eighth-grader Aly Sherrod was suspended from Cleveland Middle School on the second day of classes for wearing shorts that her principal says are too short.

"I've always worn shorts like that, and I've never seen anything wrong with them," Sherrod says. "And all of the sudden, out of the blue, a suspension?"

Alicia Angst, Aly's mother, is not happy about the suspension either, since this is the first year of a countywide dress code at Johnston County schools.

"I think they were just overly harsh, considering her performance in school has always been exemplary," she says.

Johnston County's dress code states a student can either get a warning or suspension if there is a violation. However, principal Shelly Marsh says his middle school had its own dress code last year. He says that he told the students on the first day of school this year that there would be no more warnings.

Sherrod admits he heard what the principal was saying.

"I heard him, but what I'm saying is that I saw nothing wrong with them," Sherrod says. "When I sat down, I suppose they rode up a little bit."

A second violation of the dress code carries a mandatory suspension of up to 10 days. Angst admits her daughter's shorts probably did break the rules.

"I think that they were possibly an inch short," she says.

Cleveland Middle School suspended 15 students last year for violating the policy. This year, there have been three violations. Wake County is also considering a dress code policy.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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