Riverview, Florida - The school dress code sets a standard. So when a male student at Riverview High School decided to wear heels to school on Friday, an assistant principal asked him to take off his shoes.
"It really wasn't a dress code violation, but a matter of his own well-being, and if the attire causes disruption," explains Riverview principal Bob Heilmann.
"It also says you're not supposed to be discriminated against by race, sexuality or religion. If girls can wear heels, why can't boys wear heels?" 11th grader Morgan Rodgers says about the dress code policy.
Rodgers says the student has a right to express his sexuality.
But Heilmann says this case comes down to safety. "Part of bullying is to try to prevent it, whether people make fun of what you are wearing, or your hair. If I can prevent that, I will prevent that."
Rodgers says school administrators should have left the student alone."By pulling him out of class, I feel it caused more of a distraction than him actually wearing the heels."
To show their support, some students made tags for classmates to wear. One tag says "support diversity" and they didn't stop there.
"We have a very accepting population at our school," says Rodgers, adding, "I feel it might have been more a representation of teacher opinion of those students by wearing them, rather than a safety issue."
Rodgers and her friends set up a theme week. On Monday everyone would wear heels, Tuesday cross dress and on Wednesday girls wear blue and boys pink.
The principal is wearing his pink tie. Heilmann says, "I think the message to the school to all of us is, respect everybody whoever they may be."
On Tuesday another male student wore his girlfriend's dress to school. The principal and the student's father asked him to change his clothes.
The student who wore the heels to class did not want to be identified.
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