TOPIC: Prom, Prom, Shake Your Pom, Pom
Photos: Higgins High School Student Life website
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."
The Sope-Bocks: I applaud Ms. Gardner and Mr. Nowakowski for sticking by the rules. My wife is a high school teacher. Each year, the staff at her school has to turn away young girls who are showing way too much skin from underneath skimpy dresses. The fact is that the students know their attire is not within the dress code for the school. Their parents know it, too. Each and every student is given a school rule book -- and the parents sign that they have read that rulebook. Yet, the girls continue to try and break the rules in order to show as much "booty" as possible.
Let's face it -- in many high schools across the nation, the prom is little more than a dress-up musical prelude to drunken sex free-for-alls over the weekend. My question is -- WHERE were the fathers of these young ladies? WHY didn't they look at their daughters and put their foot down BEFORE she ever left the house? HOW could a mother send her daughter to a darkly-lit place where hormonal boys and girls would be gyrating their loins against each other -- dressed like high-dollar call girls (or as JayZ and Imus would call them, ho's)?!?
Ms. Gardner and Mr. Nowakowski would be faced with ridicule and outrage had they allowed the girls to enter -- and one of them ended up being gang-raped by horny boys. Instead, they did the right thing. They stuck by the rules and offered the girls a way to "fix" the problem -- specifically cover their breasts. Those that didn't and are now complaining have only themselves (and their parents) to blame.
BTW, it's not like the girls weren't given some leeway. Check out the included photos, straight from the Higgins High School website. I see several examples of young ladies showing too much skin -- from the Halloween party and Winter Formal.