Gabi Finlayson, a modestly dressed high school student in Utah who just wanted to have fun at her school dance, was told that she had to cover up for violating the dress code. According to local station KUTV, Finlayson, a student at Lone Peak High School, was told that her cream-colored, knee-length dress, purchased in Paris, must be covered up with a coat because her shoulders were showing.
The order “embarrassed” Finlayson, a sweet-looking student with blonde hair. She said that someone from the high school came up to her at the Saturday night dance and ordered her to put on a shawl or a coat to cover her shoulders. The only thing she had on hand was a winter coat, which she had to wear to cover up the demure dress. She spent the rest of the dance in the winter coat.
Finlayson described what the woman from the high school told her in a KUTV interview.
“She said, ‘Would you mind putting on a shawl?’ I didn’t want to make a big scene so I said, yes. I had a coat in the car so I had to go back and get it,” she said.
“Somehow my shoulders are sexualized. Like it’s my responsibility to make sure the boys’ thoughts are not unclean.”
She wasn’t the only one. Three other students out of 1,200 at the dance were also told to cover up, a fact defended by the principal of the high school, Rhonda Bromley.
According to Bromley, formal dresses on girls can’t go below the “bottom of the shoulder blades and have a 2 inch strap on each shoulder.” Cleavage cannot be showing, and, of course, shawls and the like are allowed. Finlayson’s dress had straps that seem to fall within the two inch rule, as seen in a photo taken of her before the dance.
The 15-year-old student said she’d been looking forward to the dance for months and even had the dress adjusted as a precaution for the school’s strict modesty codes.
Gabi said afterward that perhaps the school’s dress code is not the only problem, and that the school should be also focused on teaching the boys at the school that girls are not “sex objects that they can look at.”
Lone Peak High’s principal Bromley defended the school’s treatment of Gabi Finlayson and others girls at the dance in an interview with KUTV, saying that the dress code is based on the “community standard.”
[Image via KUTV]