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Catholic School Controls Students’ Prom Attire

Prom season is known as a time when couples hook up, a last hurrah for friends, and an overall event of glitz and glamour. High school students dress up in their best outfits, whether it be in a tuxedo or a dress fit a princess.

To students, it’s a night of being able to dress how they please, especially in schools that enforce strict dress codes. But now, schools are even cracking down on dress codes during prom night. Students at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia are now being forced to send in pictures of their prom attire to an email account run by the school administration for pre-approval.

So far, the school has approved 150 dresses, approved 11 upon agreements of modification, and rejected eight. According to Kenneth Gavin, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the emails have to include pictures of the attire, both front and back, and the email account they are sent to is monitored by two female administrators, as well as one male administrator.  

Neither students nor parents are pleased with the idea of having to send the emails. “These are good kids. They’ve had a dress code for 12 years,” said alumna Lisa Wisniewski. “This is the one night they have to wear something they choose and feel special,”

“[My daughter’s dress] has a slit in the side and it went right above the knee,” said a parent, who wished not to be identified. “According to them, when she moved it would show too much. If I think something’s acceptable for my daughter, why do I need someone else telling me yes it is or no it’s not?”

Clearly, the Archdiocese is taking the correct steps to making sure that they create the safest environment for its students. After all, their statement reads, “As our high schools are Catholic, they seek to engender holistic Christian formation of young men and women spiritually, academically, and socially.”

While it is true that Catholic schools are somewhat known for their stringent policies on clothing, this extension of control goes above and beyond what any school administration (religion notwithstanding) should have the right to do. Whether the Archdiocese recognizes that is anyone’s guess; most likely, they’re just trying to figure out how they can keep their boys from becoming distracted by the girl’s bodies at the dance.

Loosen up on the requirements for prom? Never. Teach boys not to sexualize girls from an early age? Not even a solution.

Prom isn’t even on school grounds most of the time. What gives?

Featured Image by Predi on Flickr

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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