Students are speaking out against the school for backtracking on new dress code policies, restricting girls from entering the homecoming dance, and leaving some feeling as though they were being body shamed.
School dress codes have become less popular in recent years. Many districts have relaxed their attire-related policies to update for modern times. Unfortunately, one school’s updates did not prevent numerous girls from being kicked out of their homecoming dance, including the homecoming queen.
American Leadership Academy recently updated its dress code. For the first time, female students were allowed to wear dresses with spaghetti straps to formal events. This prompted dozens of girls to take advantage of the new options for the homecoming dance, but unfortunately, the administration banned about 60 students from attending based on their clothing choices.
The homecoming queen, Natalia Burton, found herself shocked and frustrated at not being allowed entrance. Her father expressed his opposition to the school’s decision to kick students out of the dance. He noted how students have been eager for more social events after the pandemic and that parents are speaking out.
Mr. Burton has organized with other parents to plan their own homecoming dance, but the girls involved were not just banned from going to the school dance. Another senior claims that she was body shamed –she had brought a picture of the dress she wished to wear in for administrators to approve. They agreed that the dress was suitable before the event, but when the girl arrived, they changed their tune.
Apparently, there were some concerns about the length of the dress being that the student in question is larger than the model who was pictured in the ad she had approved beforehand. Because of her body type, the garment did not reach far enough to meet the school dress code. The student was told that she should not have chosen that dress for the homecoming dance because she didn’t have the body of the model pictured in the ad that was approved.
This expectation that a student should look like a model left her feeling self-conscious, and on top of it, she was then excluded from the dance altogether. Because of these girls’ shared experiences, Natalia attempted to move the dance into the parking lot where everyone would be allowed, but the school staff shut that down. All the while more girls began to admit they were not allowed into the homecoming dance either.
While this incident may not have been violent or illegal, it did single out dozens of girls and force them away from participating in a school event. This homecoming exclusion has led the girls to get organized. They planned a protest for Monday in the hopes that school officials will understand their position.
Whether parents plan to seek legal counsel, or intend to litigate over the incident in question is uncertain. What is known is that numerous teenage girls were scrutinized for their clothing and banned from the homecoming dance even after their dress choices were approved causing mental distress. How the school responds or works to update its dress code policies, will likely depend on the student protests and parents’ efforts opposing this display of exclusion.