Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Newsy: Teen Suspended for Risqué Prom Dress

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An Alabama high school senior was suspended for three days for wearing a prom dress that violated the dress code.
Erica Deramous: “I was so excited. Because it was my senior prom and I’ve never been to a senior prom.”
Reporter: “She says she knew her school had dress code polices, but felt this dress was not in violation. But when she got to the prom Saturday, officials told her it was too short and too revealing up top.” (WBRC) 
An Alabama senior was suspended for three days after wearing a prom dress teachers deemed too revealing. Eighteen students violated the dress code, but the others chose to be paddled instead of suspended. 
We’re looking at perspectives from WBRC, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN and SodaHead.
Oxford High School's dress code said dresses could not be more than 6 inches above the knee or show cleavage below the breastbone. The school's principal tells Birmingham's Fox Affiliate, WBRC, that the rules are for the student’s protection: “That expectation in our community is that it’s there for protection of kids and not for management of kids.”
“They’re young, and sometimes they make young people’s mistakes and we’re very patient when those things are made, including this. But we’re not tolerant of bad behavior or defiance.”
The mother of the suspended student defended her daughter and the purchase of the dress. A writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution agrees and says the school has no business determining what students can wear: “I just think this is a waste of everyone’s time and a losing battle … If the parents approve of the gown, the school should stay out of it unless the dress is made of clear plastic wrap, chain link or explosives.”
The student chose a three-day suspension over being paddled; saying seniors are too old for that kind of punishment. One SodaHead writer was more appalled by the penalties than the actual dress code: “… to suspend or paddle (I can't get over the fact that paddling continues to exist in 2010) kids for wearing things the administration doesn't agree with seems like a real tight-fisted way to go.”
One CNN blog question asked whether students should get paddled for punishment, and at least one commenter agreed with the school's corporal punishment stance: “This coming from Patti, ‘As a former high school English teacher, I wish that more schools would paddle kids. It’s hard for teachers to educate students in an environment with no discipline.’”
So, what do you think? Was the school district too harsh? Or was the punishment for students own good?


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