Dozens of Girls Booted from Prom in Louisiana for Revealing Dresses

Dozens of girls were turned away from a prom at Higgins High School because a teacher thought their dresses were too revealing.

Families of the girls said the teacher cited alleged violations of the Jefferson Parish schools dress code, most of them related to excessive display of cleavage.

"I was embarrassed," said Miranda Melerine, 17, a senior at the Marrero high school, who was among those barred by teacher Judy Gardner, an adviser to senior activities. "We can't go back to prom night. Prom's over. Our prom has been stolen from us."

Melerine said she is larger-busted than many of the girls who passed inspection at the door. She said it is harder for her to get the right fit in a prom dress and that Gardner gave her blessing to a picture of the dress long before the dance.

Earlis Fayette, 18, said his girlfriend also was sent away by Gardner at the door.

"I find it's wrong, because you can't help what the girl has. You're born with that," he said. "I think it was discrimination toward a woman who has features."

Gardner refused to talk with parents who rushed to the dance hall Friday night after frantic calls from daughters. She also declined comment Saturday to The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, saying she is not allowed to talk to the press. The Associated Press could not locate her Sunday.

But Jefferson Parish schools spokesman Jeff Nowakowski said Gardner did nothing wrong and that the ones in error were girls who showed up with dresses that didn't comply with a district code that says: "A student will not wear clothing that exposes the student's back, chest or midriff."

The policy, which also strictly restricts any use of fishnet or see-through clothing, has been in effect for years and is included in a handbook that parents sign, Nowakowski said.

He said that students who didn't gain admittance Friday night were given a chance to leave and alter their dresses to bring them into compliance, and that some did that.

Twenty to 25 girls "didn't meet the code and so they were turned away because they didn't want to fix the dress in order to come inside," Nowakowski said. "It should have covered the breast, and that's not what happened last night."
"I find it's wrong, because you can't help what the girl has. You're born with that," he said. "I think it was discrimination toward a woman who has features."

Now, there it is in a nutshell. How are teachers in an increasingly twisted PC environment supposed to deal with a culture that insists on exemptions at every bump and nuance?
Surely there is a difference between dress codes for class time and a prom...Without seeing the dresses I can't really say anything, but I would more than likely disagree with the decision.
It sounds like the girls knew the rules but didn't comply. I have a hard time getting too worked up about this.
I'm on the fence.

Considering that they had girls asking for preapproval of dresses, they obviously were aware of the codes. But to preapprove a dress, and then kick the girl out anyway seems cruel.

For any of the men curious, some of these dresses, especially in the US, are more expensive than my wedding dress was. They can be upwards of $500. To pay that money, and look smashing by society standards, yet be barred from your own prom because of it, would be confusing and upsetting to say the least. Half these girls probably thought much like Tonington, that it wouldn't actually apply so rigidly at prom.

The only time I've ever seen a dress code rigidly apply was to the lengths of skirts at school dances. But, we weren't into showing the cleavage yet the way girls are now. My neice went to her prom in a dress that, frankly, made ME blush. With a DD chest, pushed up into the boustier of a strapless gown, she really looked like she'd fall out if she walked with too much bounce in her step. I can see where schools would find it distressing.

Hmm. I like this fence I guess.
There were gals at my school wearing dresses well over $1000.
The problem persists that kids love to test the line and if the line gives they'll test it again. That's why so many lines are blurred right across the country. It must be tough being a teacher and even tougher being a principal. They're forced to be one of the few bulwarks left between a society eager to limit its inhibitions and a society wanting none at all.

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