Florida family angry after daughter sent home from school in underwear

School district investigating incident at Belle Terre Elementary School

By Loren Korn - Reporter

PALM COAST, Fla. - A Palm Coast family is outraged after they claimed their 6-year-old daughter was forced to ride the bus home in just a shirt and underwear.

"She's been through enough in her life already, and she's only 6," said Raymond McCurdy.

McCurdy said his daughter was humiliated and crying after she got off the bus Tuesday afternoon.

"I kind of lifted her shirt once we got in the car and noticed she was in panties and a T-shirt only, her soiled clothes in a bag," said McCurdy.

The father said the incident happened during class at Belle Terre Elementary School. His daughter raised her hand to use the restroom, but the teacher ignored her until it was too late.

"She has medical issues, and when she has to go, she has to go," he said.

McCurdy said he's not only angry about what happened but concerned about his daughter's safety.

"What would have happened if my kid would have gotten touched by somebody?"

The daughter was sent home with school-issued underwear. McCurdy said his daughter has had accidents in the past but always came home fully clothed until now. He immediately went to the school and spoke with the assistant principal.

"We asked her why my daughter was sent home in just panties and a T-shirt, and she begins to tell me, 'We thought she had a long enough shirt to be able to put her on the school bus and send her home.'"

McCurdy said that answer wasn't good enough and wants the school to be held accountable before this happens to another child.

"They make me send her to school in clothes to their expectations," he said. "Why couldn't you send my kid home in clothes to your expectations?"

Some parents at the elementary school shared their opinions Thursday.

"I think it was kind of shocking that they would send home a child without having be fully clothed on a bus," said Stephanie Smith.

"She was picked on, bullied, she was laughed at," said Jennifer McCurdy.

The girl's family measured the length of the shirt to see if it fits school dress code.

"That is more than 4 (inches)," McCurdy said. "That's 4 1/2 (inches) right there, and it's still shorter than that."

In Belle Terre Elementary School's handbook policy, it reads that "shorts, skirts, skorts or jumpers are acceptable if they are within 4 inches above the knee."

The girl's mom said the school never called to tell them about the incident or to bring extra clothing.

"There are four contacts on our daughter's emergency card. Pick up the phone and call us. We will come get our child," she said.

The family said the school knew about their daughter's medical condition and that she needs to use the restroom often. McCurdy said it's never been an issue until moving to Florida last month.

"Now that we come here, we have all these issues. There's obviously something more going on than what we're seeing," she said.

The family told News 6 that they didn't provide clothing because they didn't think their child would have another accident and the school provides extra clothing.

News 6 asked Belle Terre Elementary School about the dress code policy and it released the following statement:

"There are procedures and protocols when incidents such as this happens. We've reviewed those during an investigation at Belle Terre Elementary School. We've invited the parents to sit down and discuss our findings, but they have declined."

The family said they've hired a lawyer, because they want justice for their daughter and to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

News 6 also called Flagler County School District and was told the administrative team is investigating the father's claims.

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