Hauppauge HS asst. principal criticized for dress code comments

Posted: Updated:

An assistant principal at Hauppauge High School is under fire for remarks made to the 10th-graders about the school’s dress code.

An online petition on Change.org claims Assistant Principal Joy Ferrara blamed victims of sexual harassment by saying, “What am I supposed to say to the boys’ parents if you’re dressed like you’re going to the beach.” The petition also says Ferrara told the students, “I can’t defend you if you’re dressed like that.”

“She said that if someone is wearing something inappropriate and someone gets sexually harassed, that it's basically their fault,” says Giovanna Bugilnne.

”It did come off a little ignorant, when you hear it like that,” says senior Jada Obie.

A statement from the school superintendent says, "It was determined that some of the remarks made by an administrator, which referenced the school's dress code, were inappropriate." In response, the school held another assembly this morning, and students who were there said Ferrara started crying when she apologized.

“I know it was not right at all, but I forgave her,” says Tammantha Merchant.

“I felt really bad for her, because at the assembly today she started crying and they just put her job on the line,” says Amarys John.

The statement from the superintendent says the "district will take all appropriate action" but didn't elaborate.

News 12 Long Island reached out to Ferrara directly but she did not respond. 

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