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Controversial New Jersey School Dinner Dance Dress Code Upsets Parents

A New Jersey school is coming under fire after principals banned a certain kind of dress at the end-of-the-year dance.

According to the Courier-News, Readington Middle School eighth-graders are banned from wearing strapless dresses to the upcoming dance.


The school principal says strapless dresses ‘distract boys.’

A few parents are upset about it because they feel like it’s their own responsibility to decide what their children can and cannot wear.

Perhaps we should stop focusing on what girls wear, and focus on teaching our boys to control themselves.

While I don’t think 14-year-olds need to be parading around in super-short dresses, or ones with overtly sexy cutouts and thigh-high leg slits a la Angelina Jolie, is a strapless dress really so offensive…or distracting? Did I miss something? Are collarbones the new cleavage?

strapless dress
Is this dress really ‘distracting’? (PromGirl)

I’m actually fine with the ban, because it’s a school event, and most schools don’t allow strapless shirts (like tube tops) as part of their standard dress code.

What I do have a problem with is the principal’s insinuation that if a girl dresses a certain way, she should expect a certain reaction from a man.

Um, rape culture, much?

Granted I’m 28, but the idea still applies. When I wear something strapless, be it a tube top or a dress, it’s not to get a man’s attention. Sometimes it’s because it’s frickin’ hot out and I don’t want to wear sleeves. Aside from the fact that most strapless shirts wind up covering more vital bits than cleavage-baring v-neck shirts and dresses.

Yes, a 14-year-old girl should have enough respect for herself to cover up and dress for her age (though how a spaghetti strap is any less distracting, or covers more, than no strap is beyond me.)

She should also feel free to wear a tasteful shoulder-baring dress without fear that the hormone-riddled boys in her class won’t be able to contain themselves.

How are these poor boys able to focus at all when they see a girl in a bathing suit on the beach?? Do they suddenly turn into drooling messes? I doubt it.

Like I said, it’s not the ban I have an issue with…it’s the reasoning behind it.

What do you think about this? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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