Lakewood High Won't Let Injured Student Wear Sweatpants



Oh no. No sweatpants in here, missy.
  • "Oh no. No sweatpants in here, missy."

What ensues when you take one student with a back injury whose doctors say she needs to wear sweatpants and pit her against a hard-nosed administrator married to the dress code? Hilarity. Pure, sweet hilarity.

Meet (via Lakewood Patch) Stephanie Milligan, a 16-year-old Lakewood High student. On Thanksgiving Day, Stephanie took a tumble down a flight of stairs and injured her back. Doctors issued a note saying she needed to wear loose fitting clothing that wouldn’t put pressure on the area in question. Later, they signed off on another note saying Milligan should rock yoga pants or sweatpants to school.

But woah there. Sweatpants? Fuck no, says Lakewood High Principle William Wagner.

The school has a dress code, you see, that prohibits “Oversized, saggy, baggy or tight fitting clothing.” (Notice no mention of cotton-based garments with elastic waists).

This would all have been some fine-print silliness, but Wilbo Waggins has the brass to question the “severity of Stephanie’s injury and her need to wear sweatpants.” His logic is pretty shoddy, especially for someone who’s supposed to be an academic:

"I don't write prescriptions for them and they should not write prescriptions to circumvent our dress code," said Wagner.  "They don't understand what the dress code is all about or how it is imposed."

Yup, the old “I-don’t-tell-them-how-to-do-their-job” defense. Spoken like a true educator. So, the intricacies of medicinal healing are as complex and mysterious to the layman as the execution of a dress code? A doctor’s advice is on par with whether or not your underwear is showing? When it comes to an injured girl’s dress, only the school knows best? Bit of a swing-and-miss, so says us.

Wagner also drops this: "We have kids who are heavy, kids in wheelchairs and kids with a number of issues and they are in compliance with the dress code.”

Well damn, if the fat kids and and ones in wheelchairs don’t need sweatpants, why would anyone else?

We thought the point of a dress code was to keep the sexy out of the school room, no thongs and spanx, that kind of jazz. But sweatpants? How are kids supposed to hide their guns and drugs if they can’t use the ample folds of their favorite sweaties?

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.