Principal Bans Strapless Dresses at 8th Grade Dance Because They’re “Distracting”
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Principal Bans Strapless Dresses at 8th Grade Dance Because They’re “Distracting”

Picking an outfit for a middle school dance is a rite of passage for all young women, but what happens when the school administration tells you what you can and can’t wear?

That’s exactly what’s going on in New Jersey at Readington Middle School. As ABC News reports, the school board has taken away female students’ right to bare arms, er, shoulders by enforcing an anti-strapless dresses policy, but some parents and kids are up in arms over it.

Readington Middle School Principal Sharon Moffat sent out a letter that bans dresses without straps at the eighth grade formal, which will take place on June 14. The letter stated, “Young gentleman are encouraged to wear collared shirts and trousers. Young ladies should wear a skirt, dress with straps, or a dressy pants outfit.” According to reports, Moffat feels that strapless dresses are distracting to the boys.

Some parents think that the school is sending a sexist message to all of the students. Parent Melissa May, 37, said, “It’s more of a personal opinion rather than what’s in the best interest of these kids. It’s categorizing all these children unfairly. She’s [Principal Moffat] saying the boys don’t know how to handle themselves. This whole issue is sending the kids a bad message: What you wear dictates who you are.”

However, despite hearing from a number of angry parents, the school district is siding with Principal Moffat and released a statement saying, “The Readington Township School District has a policy regarding dress code, which is being universally applied to the school day and school events. We regret that a small number of families are upset by this, and we welcome their input and communication.”

For now, strapless dresses are still banned from the dance, however some parents are hopeful that the school will allow them to make the decision as to what’s appropriate or inappropriate for their own kids. “We need to put the power in the hands of the parents in what we find appropriate and what we don’t find appropriate for them to wear,” said May.

In the meantime, one parent has started a petition for those against the ban and there will be a parent/student meeting next week to discuss the issue with the school board further.

Wonder if they’re going to give these parents the cold shoulder?

Tell us what you think about the ban: Should it be up to parents to decide what their kids can and cannot wear, or do you side with the school?

Source: ABC News

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04.25.2013 / 12:12 AM EDT by Jo Aaron
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