Readington Middle School in New Jersey has banned girls from wearing strapless dresses to their eighth grade dance, saying they are distracting to boys.
Earlier this month, Principal Sharon Moffat sent parents a letter stating that “young gentlemen are encouraged to wear collared shirts and trousers; many boys wear ties or jackets. Young ladies should wear a skirt, dress with straps, or dressy pants outfit. Jeans or sneakers are not appropriate for this event.”
Believe it or not, it’s not the teens that are rebelling, it’s the parents. The New Jersey parents are saying it violates their daughters’ constitutional rights.
Parent Charlotte Nijenhuis said, “The dress code shreds the 14th Amendment right to equal protection since girls for the past six years have been wearing sleeveless fashions to the dance at Readington Middle School in Readington Township, New Jersey.”
Parents petitioned the school board on Tuesday to overturn the policy before the June 12th dance.
The principal also allegedly told Nijenhuis any student who showed up in a strapless dress would be turned away from the dance.
USA Today spoke with Melissa May from Readington Township and she disagreed with the tone of the principal’s letter. “I would not allow my daughter to wear something that I felt was inappropriate to a function like that,” May said. “As parents, we should have the ability to say what our children wear.”
The Readington Township School District said in a statement on Tuesday that it “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. The Board of Education regularly reviews and revises policy through its Policy Committee.”
Other schools across the country have started to put more restrictions on dress code. Jacksonville, NC; Boston, MA; Sparks, NV all ban strapless dresses from dances. Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, California reasoning behind the strict dress code is because, “Quite often strapless dresses fall while students are dancing, becoming inappropriate,” their website states.
The annual spring dinner dance is scheduled for June 14. It’s being held at a private venue and is paid for by parents. Some parents have already bought dresses for their daughters.