Several female high school students in Noble, Okla. say their superintendent engaged in highly inappropriate behavior during a dress code check late last week.
Superintendent Ronda Bass, known to herself as “Momma Bear Bass,” forced at least one girl to bend over last Friday after claiming the length of her shorts violated the school’s dress code.
“She told us to go out into the hallway and I actually watched her ask one of my classmates to bend over so she could see how short her shorts are,” student Sophie Stephens told KOCO 5 News, saying Bass “didn’t want to see her Lady Bears dressed as skanks.”
Stephens, who posted a picture of her “violation’ outfit to social media shortly after being singled out, says the incident actually began the day prior when Bass pulled the school’s female students aside for a discussion on acceptable school attire.
Student Katelynn Hill, who was present during the meeting, says that is when Bass’ comments became increasingly inappropriate.
“She’s like, ‘Have any of you guys seen anybody around here dressed like a skank?’” Katelynn said. “[Bass said] ‘If you can feel your skin on the bleachers then you’re showing your ass. And I don’t want to see anybody’s ass hanging out of their shorts.’”
Speaking with News Channel 4, student Stephanie Stewart recalled a nearly identical statement from Bass as well.
“The first sentence was, ‘Have y’all ever seen any ‘skanks’ around this school’” Stewart said. “‘I don’t want to see anyone’s ass hanging out of their shorts.’”
Bass denied using such language when confronted by several news groups, instead sharing a much more toned-down version of events.
“The question that I asked the girls at the beginning of the meeting was ‘How many of you here in the audience today believe that we have young ladies on the campus today that are not following dress code?’” Bass said. “I knew that students from other towns were calling our girls really negative names. The message I wanted to send to them was I don’t want them to be called those names. I want us to be known as the classy lady Bears.”
Bass defended her position as “mother bear,” arguing that students should have no issue with bending over for her.
“If you’re not comfortable with bending over, we might have a problem” Bass said.
Students have since started a petition to force Bass to step down from her position. Bass says she stands by her decision, alleging she did the right thing.
“A lot of girls actually felt humiliated,” says Stewart. “You could see it in their faces that they were.”
Bass claims she has since received an outpouring of support from parents who applaud her actions.