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Prom-mom time: How dare that school tell my 17-year-old she can’t wear that backless dress?

May 13, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Just because I look like Kim Kardashian from the back

Witness the furor, reported in the New York Times, when the headmaster of Shelton High School in Connecticut, announced what seems to me to be a highly reasonable female dress code for this year’s prom:

“On Friday, Beth A. Smith, the headmaster, made an announcement that was intended to remind students of the dress code for prom. Backless dresses, side cutouts and bared midriffs were among the styles that would not be permitted. Ms. Smith urged students to ask a faculty member whether their dress was acceptable.

“Reaction was swift. Students were aghast. Parents who had spent hundreds of dollars on dresses, alterations and coordinating shoes and jewelry cried foul.


“Alexis Gerics, a junior, bought her long, black backless dress in early March. Alexis said that after Ms. Smith’s announcement last week she took her cellphone to the headmaster’s office, showed a photo of her dress and asked if it was acceptable.

“Ms. Smith told her the dress was not appropriate, Alexis said. She would have to wear a camisole underneath the dress if she wanted to attend the prom.

“Alexis’s mother, Tonny Montalvo, said she did not think the prom dress code unreasonable. What exasperated her, she said, was that the guidelines were not explained clearly — and early.

“’They say it’s in the student handbook,’ Ms. Montalvo said. ‘There’s no specifics anywhere.'”

You’d think that a mother might be able to, well, figure out that a backless dress on a junior in high school might not be “appropriate.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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