WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Southwood High School implements dress code guidelines for its female students.
- Principal Kim Pendleton requires girls to submit a photo of the dress students are thinking of wearing for the dance, pending her approval.
- The policy draws mixed reactions from parents and Facebook users.
Southwood High School in Shreveport, LA implements strict guidelines for the dress their female students can wear to prom, KTAL-TV reported. The school sent out the announcement via text message, informing female students that the dress they are thinking of wearing for the dance must first be approved by Principal Kim Pendleton.
This requires girls to send a picture of the dress which could neither be “sheer or revealing in any manner” or showing any “excess cleavage or skin.”
The message reads, “Once I approve the outfit, you may purchase it. The approved outfit is the only one you will be allowed to wear to prom,”
The implemented guidelines are only for girls, whether they are students or prom dates who will be attending the school dance. Pendleton claims that this was implemented in response to previous concerns from parents, and there were only concerns about the dress code for girls, hence the nature of the restriction, says NBC News.
There were opposing opinions from parents about the ruling, with parents saying that the rule overstepped a line and putting the sole responsibility on girls is unfair.
“This is crazy,” one user wrote on Facebook. “Now just [saying] to not be so revealing is understandable but … having to send a pic for approval is just ridiculous.”
“Why ruin an important experience by telling these girls how to dress at a dance?” another said.
Jakarius Simpson, whose sister is a junior at Southwood, told the news station that, “It should be the parents’ say-so instead of the principal, so I think that’s just totally wrong.”
This was not the reaction drawn from everybody. There were many people who were supportive of the policy put in place, saying that it is the school’s prerogative to restrict the dress code.
“Unfortunately, many come looking like they are going to a pole dance instead of a prom dance,” one Facebook user laments. “Parents need to advise girls about what is appropriate for a school dance and still be beautiful. Plenty of choices are available. The school shouldn’t have to monitor the dresses but someone needs to.”
“What an amazing administrator!” another says.
The Caddo Parish Schools school district backs the policy implemented in Southwood High School and has released a statement on March 3 in support of Pendleton.
“In April, Southwood will host their annual prom and school administration has taken a proactive approach of asking parents for photos ahead of their upcoming event.” The statement ends with, “It is a school-level decision for all formal dress to be approved prior to the event.”
The school district moves to conduct an assembly where parents could express their concerns.