A principal in Utah apologized to students on Monday for the school’s unclear dress code policy after dozens of girls were barred from their homecoming dance because their dresses were too short, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“It was upsetting,” Callie Orcutt, who was turned away at the door Saturday night, told The Salt Lake Tribune. The 16-year-old Stansbury High student said she wore a black dress that hung about 2 inches above her knees, and she covered her shoulders with a small, orange jacket. “I wanted to dance.”
Now deemed the, “Stansbury High Homecoming Spirit Massacre,” angry students and parents took to Facebook to express their disappointment after half of the students did not go to the dance after their friends and dates were stopped at the door, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Apologizing, principal Kendall Topham said there should have been better clarification on dress length and pledged to hold another free dance to make up for homecoming.
“I apologized that we had those who came thinking they were meeting the standard and doing what they were supposed to who still got turned away, and it being a very disheartening, sorrowful night of sadness and frustration,” Topham told The Salt Lake Tribune.
The school’s handbook states dresses for formal events should be “at or near knee length,” leaving room for interpretation. Topham said the school will work in coming weeks with student leaders, staff and the school community council to make the policy more specific so everyone has the same expectations for the next dance.
Like other parents, Natalee Stewart, whose daughter was stopped and son decided not to go in after his date was turned away, called the school’s reaction to the teens’ dresses extreme.
“I understand rules; I think there should be rules, but they need to be realistic.”