Prom Dress Policies: Are They Good, Bad, Or Indifferent?

The Asbury Park Press reported that it is the time of year when students are making plans to attend their high school prom. That formal dance in May is what some juniors and seniors have looked forward to all year long. What some female students don’t look forward to is receiving a list of prom dress policies from high school administrators.

Some schools have official prom dress code policies. Others have lengthy PowerPoint presentations on prom dress restrictions. Prom dresses must be approved by school officials in advance in Delaware and Pennsylvania high schools.

Some schools say administrators will be at the door to ensure students are dressed appropriately. In the event that a student is wearing unacceptable attire, some schools in Delaware reportedly keep a sewing machine or a stack of oversized T-shirts by the door to cover up students who are dressed inappropriately.

KRGV News indicates that high schools in the Houston area will no longer require girls to submit a photo of themselves wearing their prom dresses before the night of the dance. Too many parents have become upset in the past when their children were turned away at the door for wearing inappropriate clothes.

NBC News in Philadelphia reported that officials at Delone Catholic School in Adams County outlined their dress code for men and women attending the school prom on May 1. Many students and parents called the prom dress policy inconvenient, unfair, and outdated.

“Students wearing inappropriate attire (as deemed by the Prom Committee and/or Administration) will not be permitted into the prom.”

Under the prom dress code, women are warned not to wear extremely short gowns with a low cut front or back, excessively high cut slits, or revealing midriffs. In addition to the dress code, the school is also requiring female students to bring a picture of their gown for pre-approval.

The dress code for men requires the standard tuxedo or complete suit coat, dress pants, dress shirt, tie, and no shorts.

Critics of prom dress codes say students should have freedom of choice in what they wear to the prom. They also argue that most gowns in stores are what the guidelines say not to wear, so students don’t have much of a selection.

There is an online petition for parents and students to sign for the principal to eliminate the prom dress policies at Delone Catholic School. So far, there are 250 signatures.

Do you think high school officials should have prom dress policies, or should the school leave it up to parents and their children to make the decision about prom attire?

[Image via Getty Images]