Comments about ‘Dress controversy: Girls turned away from homecoming dance’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 1 2012 1:00 p.m. MDT

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willows, ca

The rule was that the dresses were to be to the knees. All of the dresses of the girls in the photos are clearly above the knees. If the monitors missed a few so what - they're human. So what's the problem - the students weren't allowed to break the rule? Sounds like a bunch of pampered children and coddling parents to me. Next year the students will take the rule seriously - or they can wine and stay home.

Provo, UT


I suppose that a strapless cantilever dress with a hem line between the knee and the hip might have been a bit much. Hard to understand, though, what the fuss was about with 3 of the 5 dresses --- or all 5 dresses, if sleeveless is not considered problematical.

What was the dress code at this event? Burkas? Nuns habits??

Interesting to know what sort of dress code the boys have to wear. Could they attend in a short-sleeve shirt?

Provo, UT

@A Voice of Reason -- Yes, I saw your post after I had already posted mine. Sorry about the repeat after you had already responded to a similar post.
Actually modesty is cultural. Modesty standards have changed dramatically in the past 100 years. No, those dresses would not have been modest 100 years ago, but neither would the most modest dress that went to that dance (most likely). Up until a certain point in time, women wore dresses to the floor. A dress to the knees would have been immodest. Showing your elbows would have been immodest. So yes, modesty standards do change depending on the culture of the people. (That's why we don't have our women wear burquas even though in some societies a woman who didn't wear one would be considered quite a tramp. To us it is ridiculous to think that a man would be justified in molesting a woman because she showed her face. To them a woman's face is an unbearable temptation -- similar to the temptation that knees are to our boys apparently.)

Spring, TX

As a mother of 4 daughters and living in Texas, I wish I could have found dresses like these for my girls to wear. This is ridiculous for these kids to be turned away from their homecoming! Really people lighten up! My daughters wore strapless dresses to a couple of dances and they are all fine YW and have strong values! Now I know why I'm thankful to be living out of state!

Go West
Taylorsville, UT

One of the problems with this issue is that the dress code confusingly states that "dresses for formal dances should be at or near knee length." The problem with that is that formal wear is actually supposed to be a long gown. Knee length dresses are not formal, they are informal "cocktail" dresses. So, these girls were led to believe that they had to wear cocktail dresses to the "formal" dance. Would they have worn longer dresses if the writer of the dress code was more knowledgeable of fashion etiquette?

Another problem is that it's hard to find appropriate dresses in the shops. The majority of what's on the rack is skimpy. When I was in school we had great choices. We could find dresses with sleeves (puffed, even), full skirts; modest and flattering.

Three words: Learn to sew.

Phoenix, AZ

If you thing those dresses are bad...come to a High School dance in AZ. I would say they were very nice dresses.

Spanish Fork, UT

jzwillows said it right. The rules were clear, the students just did what they wanted. I think the part that is outrageous is that the principal caved in and even apologized....and now they want to hold another dance (who pays for that?) just so these rule breakers can go. How can people get so worked up about some dresses and girls who won't play by the rules? Why do they get to call the shots now? So wrong, I think.

Bountiful, UT

When I heard about this situation, I thought the girls must have been in very short tight miniskirts. Its amazIng these girls were denied going to their homecoming dance given that they were wearing the dresses being showed in these pictures. Fundamentalism (FLDS, Taliban etc.) is a human trait that many are susceptible to, not just those that are obvious fundamentalists.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: jzwillows willows, ca
"Next year the students will take the rule seriously - or they can wine and stay home."

No, next year these students won't whine and stay home because this "rule" will be scrapped. If this were an LDS seminary social that rule would be acceptable ..... but it wasn't.

Want to place a bet on whether these same girls, wearing these same dresses, will be turned away from the school's apology dance?

Allen, TX

I think it is notable that the Homecoming Queen was not excepted from compliance and put on leggings to be in compliance. She obviously understood the process.

USS Enterprise, UT

Most everybody here on both sides of the issue are losing sight of the sad commentary on society that we are seeing here.

For those that were in Highschool 15 years ago or more, think back to your school rules. People understood what the proper clothing was for a formal dance. Rules stating what styles were and were not acceptable were not needed.

You should be asking yourselves, how did we get to a point where schools have to create and enforce rules governing what is and is not acceptable dress for a formal dance?


Why is a public school this far infiltrated with LDS standards that it's imposing it on the students like this? Public schools .. repeat PUBLIC schools .. don't cater to any one religion's standards or beliefs. This is outrageous.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Good bye Mitt. Wait until the MEDIA gets a hold of this. One more reason to NOT let a Mormon near the white house. Do people in Tooole even know how much damage they do to the image of Mormonism and the state of Utah by these idiotic attempts to make people behave the way they think they should. Just about every poster had a better idea for handling the dance then the school administration.


This article reminds me of the rule that my mother had for me when I was growing up. The rule was, the skirt had to "meet, greet, and say Hello to your knees." When it was back to school time, and I would try on skirts that I thought were okay, she would say something to the effect, "The skirt is waving from a distance!", or "your knees and that skirt aren't saying hello!"...Good memories. Miss you, Mom.

Sugar City, ID

Two year old kids know where their knees are. What's the matter with high school kids that don't know where their own knees are? Just to be safe, wear it a little below the knee and then there is no problem. The trouble is that people keep pushing the limits until there is no limit. Then, some kids just won't go to dances because so many of the girls are dressed seductively. In some places, the decent kids are having their own alternative dances with stricter dress standards. The school is in a no win situation. If they enforce a dress code, they get complaints; if they don't have a dress code, they get complaints. Solution, don't have a homecoming dance or let someone else sponsor it.


@Sneaky Jimmy

"Good bye Mitt. Wait until the MEDIA gets a hold of this. One more reason to NOT let a Mormon near the white house. Do people in Tooole even know how much damage they do to the image of Mormonism and the state of Utah by these idiotic attempts to make people behave the way they think they should."

Although not a definitive reason for not being on Romney's side, I do worry about a LDS follower running the country. As this school situation shows, and many public policies in Utah such as weird liquor laws and so on .... LDS in official positions don't do well separating their beliefs with their policies. They tend to impose them on everyone else ... and if you can't separate church and state for the people at large .... you shouldn't be making rules or running the country.

Salt Lake City, Utah

"One more reason to NOT let a Mormon near the white house."

This isn't about Mormons. They don't even agree with the way this homecoming dance was batched. This story is about the mindless zero tolerance mentality of public school officials nationwide who act horrified if a 2nd grader comes to school with a PICTURE of a gun.

And no, nothing in this story suggests that Mitt Romney or the Mormons were behind it or agree with it.

Forgotten pilot
Taylorsville, UT

Reminds me of the time when we enrolled our son into BYU.
The subject of dress standards came up.
It all sounded pretty clear, but then the statement of the speaker made us laugh for quite a while.
He said: *The problem lies, into the fact that girls do not know where there knees are*.

On the other hand, not knowing the exact wording of the dress code in question, at this school, I must say that, what I read in the news article, may be not that clear. One could say, it is very unclear !

For instance, "Dresses should be at or near knee length...."
Near the knee, from which direction ??

"Strapless dresses are prohibited unless a jacket or shawl is worn.... "
What does strapless really mean, when there IS a strap, but that strap is about 1/4 inch wide ???

"'Plunging' necklines are prohibited."
Uhmmm ... , how far down can the *plunge* go ??

What is really sad, is that this dress code was *created* by *educators* ??

I learned a long time ago, from an LDS Leader:
"Make sure that nobody misunderstands".

Gram Cracker
Price, UT

mk, NO they could NOT wear those dresses to ALL churches.



You quoted me for something I didn't say. That was another poster.

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