When a high school sophomore wore a tee shirt with a message on it in response to her school’s dress code the incident resulted in criminal charges and her arrest.
15-year-old Isabella Messer is a student at Hopkinsville High School in Kentucky, and studies Tae Kwon Do in her spare time. Her mother has reported that Isabella has never gotten into any kind of trouble.
Isabella showed up at school while wearing a long sleeve shirt with peek-a-boo shoulders, which is against the new dress code implemented by the school district, and she was suspended for her attire going against the policy.
The student’s mom, Theresa Ruckus, said that the parents of students were not properly notified of the new dress code before the start of the school year and she did not agree with the way they handled the incident with her daughter.
Ruckus responded by issuing her daughter an oversized tee shirt ensuring the most body coverage possible and displaying the words, “Do my shoulders turn you on?” on the front, and “If so, return to the 1920’s.” on the back side to wear to school upon her return to campus.
When Isabella’s suspension ended she wore the shirt to school and she was reprimanded by the principal for sporting the message, which was deemed as inappropriate and offensive. Isabella allegedly became noisy and she did not comply with the school resource officer.
After being cuffed and taken to in-school suspension Isabella reportedly tried to use her cell phone to call her mother. Cell phones are listed as being prohibited from in-school suspension and the resource officer interrupted Isabella’s attempt to place the call. When he attempted to confiscate her phone Isabella allegedly kicked the officer in the shin, which her mother contributed to being a trained response resulting from her daughter’s practice of martial arts.
Isabella was taken into custody and she was ordered to spend six days in the McCracken Regional Juvenile Detention Center. She is facing charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and third-degree assault of a law enforcement officer and was released into the custody of her mother, but with the condition that she remain on house arrest.
A court date has been scheduled on September 25 regarding the charges, and Isabella’s parents are also considering filing a lawsuit against Hopkinsville High School based on the way the situation was handled on their end.
If you or someone you love is suspected of assault, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.