Watch CBS News

Teen With Autism 'Devastated' He Was Turned Away From Dance Due To Dress Code

PELHAM, NH (CBS) - Max Bedard has a form of autism that makes wearing some kinds of clothes unbearable against his skin. His mother Michelle told WBZ-TV he wears sweatpants and sweatshirts every day.

So when the junior high student went to a semi-formal dance at his Pelham, NH school last Friday night, he was decked out in brand new sweats. But he never made it in the door.

"Things that may feel soft or comfortable on our skin, for children like that can sometimes be physically painful to him," said Michelle Bedard, Max's mother.

Max Bedard
Max Bedard (WBZ-TV)

According to Max's family, the principal said he would not be allowed in with the clothes he had. Max's mom says the teen was "devastated" and asked to come home.

"I felt really embarrassed. It really hurt my feelings," Max said.

The school department says they offered Max and other students who violated the dress code the chance to return with collared shirts.

But Michelle Bedard says her son was never offered that option until he was already home and by that time he was too humiliated and upset to think about returning.

"If he had said 'Mom can you bring me a button down shirt?' I would have brought him a shirt," said Michelle Bedard. "I wouldn't have let him suffer that humiliation."

Max It Monday
Pelham, NH student wears shirt that says #MaxItMonday (WBZ-TV)

Word of Max's plight spread quickly on social media and on Monday many students, in a sign of solidarity with Max, wore blue sweatshirts that read #MaxItMonday

The superintendent insists Max was never sent home and says "miscommunication" led to the "unfortunate situation."

Superintendent of Schools Amanda Lecaroz issued a statement on the incident.

The young man was never sent home by Ms. Meghakian from the dance on Friday night, but rather sent to her office by other staff members to make a phone call along with several other students to better meet the dress code of the event.

The support from his classmates has helped Max feel better about the situation.

"I think it's absolutely great that people are supporting me because of this," Max said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.