Middle school principal bans strapless dresses at dances; what do you think?

spiced spiced
A middle school principal in New Jersey has angered a number of parents by banning strapless dresses from school dances.

She (the principal) says strapless dresses are too distracting for boys. Parents are angry because they feel they (parents) should be the ones deciding what's appropriate for their kids to wear — and it seems many parents had already bought strapless dresses for this year's Spring dance.

What do you think?

(btw - I can't edit poll options. The first option should read "She did the right thing...")
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
He did the right thing to ban strapless dresses
9  (21%)
It should be up to the parents
25  (60%)
Other?
8  (19%)
Total votes: 42
Poll is closed
04/23/2013
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Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
I personally don't see much difference between a strapless dress and one with spaghetti straps. You see just as much skin.

It should definitely be the parent's decision
04/24/2013
LaSchwartz LaSchwartz
It's the parents call I mean in my school you had to have some kind of strap in class and I understand that, but it's a dance what will the boys be distracted from? dancing lol
04/24/2013
SilverMinxxx SilverMinxxx
If it is a school function, I think the school has the right to enforce a dress code. I personally, as a student or a parent, wouldn't like it though.
04/24/2013
Ryuson Ryuson
Well, the thing is that one person always has to ruin it for everyone. You let people wear t shirts with graphics, and then all the people with Pokemon shirts have to stop because one kid was wearing a "Fuck the police" shirt.

While I understand being pissed, we had similar rules in middle school. I think that the main issue is that in middle school you don't really have much to help hold it up, so it may be more likely to fall down than on a more shapely person.

I don't know, I was super pissed at how shitty my dress code was in middle school, but at the same time it did help issues like this from happening.
04/24/2013
namelesschaos namelesschaos
"She (the principal) says strapless dresses are too distracting for boys."

Then wouldn't the solution be telling the boys to stop acting like easily distracted idiots. "It is neither a woman's nor a girl's responsibility to control a man's or boy's behavior."

This is a self-perpetuating problem: This passes, boy learn that it girls responsibility not to be distracting to them. Girls also learn this. Boys continue to be easily distracted idiots girls learn to police their bodies to control the hordes of dumb penis bearers.

Teach the boys that a strapless dress is not a excuse to be easily distracted.

Boys= learn respect for women, how to not be distracted by something as insignificant as strap/lack of strap.
Girls=Don't have to police their bodies due boys getting a pass for bad behavior
Parents=get to decided with out school interference.

The dress code itself not to much of a problem in it of itself, dress codes are by their nature can be arbitrary but ,it isn't just an arbitrary line, when the reasoning is antiqued and problematic and explicitly stated by an authority figure it needs to be resisted. We can raise our boys better and out girls deserve better

/end rant
04/24/2013
namelesschaos namelesschaos
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
Well, the thing is that one person always has to ruin it for everyone. You let people wear t shirts with graphics, and then all the people with Pokemon shirts have to stop because one kid was wearing a "Fuck the police" shirt.

While ... More
"I think that the main issue is that in middle school you don't really have much to help hold it up".

Only that not what the principle said, she cited "distracting boys". If she gave your reason, and didn't mention "distracting boys, it would be different no problematic message would be sent by that however when you cite distracting boys your send a message that needs to be countered. It not jut being pissed at the code itself it is the why behind it.
04/24/2013
kendra30752 kendra30752
Quote:
Originally posted by spiced
A middle school principal in New Jersey has angered a number of parents by banning strapless dresses from school dances.

She (the principal) says strapless dresses are too distracting for boys. Parents are angry because they feel they ... More
Well, I understand the reasoning. When I was in school, all strapless stuff was banned & it happened because an idiot jerked the strapless top down that a girl was wearing once, so yea. A middle school dance is not a place for clubwear.
04/24/2013
Gary Gary
Looking back, I know there were some dress codes in our school... I don't seem to recall seeing any of those. But anyway...

I agree, there isn't much of a difference between most of the dresses with and without. Although the above mentioned comment about someone pulling a dress down... it seems like they would have no choice in that situation. With the way people over-react, assign blame and kind of overlook the real problem.

I personally think it should be up to the parents, but I can also see the need for schools to have dress codes.
04/24/2013
indiglo indiglo
I wouldn't say she necessarily did "the right thing", but any school has the right to create and enforce a dress code. They do it every day during the school day, I don't see how this is any different.
04/24/2013
namelesschaos namelesschaos
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
I wouldn't say she necessarily did "the right thing", but any school has the right to create and enforce a dress code. They do it every day during the school day, I don't see how this is any different.
"I don't see how this is any different".

Repetition of old point: "distracting boys"

"They do it every day during the school day"
New point: on that note can't speak to this school code but in general many school dress codes are problematic bullshit that should stop. Think about your stereotypical catholic school uniform.

Boys: Dress shit/pants and a tie at least sometime a suit. Basic business attire something they would be expected to wear as any adult in a board meeting.

Girls= Ever see a CEO give the quarterly report in a catholic schoolgirl skirt? Think woman in catholic schoolgirl out fit how many people are going to think porn as opposed to boardroom? Read this for more: link
04/24/2013
eri86 eri86
While I can understand not wanting dresses that are to short, or to low in either the front or back, strapless seems a bit of a stretch.
04/24/2013
GONE! GONE!
Since when do boys go insane at the sight of naked collarbones? It's not like they're topless dresses, sheesh.
04/24/2013
GirlOnGirl GirlOnGirl
I don't really see the difference between a strapless dress and a dress with spaghetti straps.
04/24/2013
sunflower sunflower
Quote:
Originally posted by namelesschaos
"She (the principal) says strapless dresses are too distracting for boys."

Then wouldn't the solution be telling the boys to stop acting like easily distracted idiots. "It is neither a woman's nor a girl's ... More
I agree with you completely. The sometimes ridiculous dress codes in schools kind of reinforce a victim blaming mindset on kids. It's not even the fact that they're banning things, it's the reasons that they ban them.

Here's a good article at The Nation that talks about this.
A follow up post from the author's blog:
This “distraction” standard for a dress code sets up a model in which the default student we are concerned about - the student whose learning we want to ensure is protected - is male. It presumes that female students are a distraction to male students’ learning, and therefore it’s young women’s actions that must be policed.
04/24/2013
Cosmonaut Cosmonaut
Quote:
Originally posted by kendra30752
Well, I understand the reasoning. When I was in school, all strapless stuff was banned & it happened because an idiot jerked the strapless top down that a girl was wearing once, so yea. A middle school dance is not a place for clubwear.
Agreed. I saw it happen at a school dance. It cannot be unseen.
04/24/2013
unfulfilled unfulfilled
I think it should be up to the parents to decide what their child wears as well as teach their sons/daughters to behave appropriately.
04/24/2013
P'Gell P'Gell
My daughters' middle school has a dress code, including shirts have to have straps that are at least 2 inches wide, and they enforce the dress code at dances as well. It's a 7th and 8th grade dance, not Prom. Most of the dress codes in our middle school are MUCH stricter than this.. mostly because too many parents don't give a damn what their kids wear. We ARE talking about children, not older teens and not other adults.

A lot of parents let their daughters dress completely inappropriately (in middle school kids are between 10 and 14) and sometimes the school has to do what the parents won't. We're talking about young adolescents and I don't think they have to wear strapless dresses.

I don't have a problem with the rule. I agree that the reason for the rule is that "it's a distraction for the boys" is ridiculous but I do think that if parents won't protect their 10-14 year old daughters from dressing like street walkers, then the school may have to do it. Yes, I know, some strapless dresses can be classy. But, does a 10 or 12 year old girl really need to wear one? No. School is not a night club, nor are these kids old enough to attend at night clubs. They are still children. Let's not forget that.
04/24/2013
PropertyOfPotter PropertyOfPotter
Quote:
Originally posted by kendra30752
Well, I understand the reasoning. When I was in school, all strapless stuff was banned & it happened because an idiot jerked the strapless top down that a girl was wearing once, so yea. A middle school dance is not a place for clubwear.
This was one of the things I was thinking when I read that.
04/24/2013
LoveX LoveX
I think the reason is stupid, does she not realize the girls and boys will be touching when they dance? I don't find strapless to be a big issue either, I find parents letting their little girl's booty hang out the bottom of a to short skirt an issue.
04/24/2013
spiced spiced
I totally agree with namelesschaos that it's ridiculous to ban strapless dresses because boys might get "distracted" . It's a milder form of the same logic that a woman was "asking for it" if she wore something "provocative" ; ;.

Even if the logic behind the decision was reasonable (which it isn't), putting the ban in place could have been handled MUCH better. Involve the parents in the decision-making process; get their input and at least LISTEN to them.

And I'm sure it would have been a LOT less controversial if the change had been announced before parents started buying dresses for their kids. Some of those dresses cost ridiculous amounts of money, finding the "perfect" dress often takes a long time, and finding a new dress at the last minute may be impossible. It probably would have been better to announce that this would be the last year for strapless dresses. Springing this on parents at the last minute was just "asking for it".
04/24/2013
charmedtomeetyou charmedtomeetyou
Quote:
Originally posted by namelesschaos
"She (the principal) says strapless dresses are too distracting for boys."

Then wouldn't the solution be telling the boys to stop acting like easily distracted idiots. "It is neither a woman's nor a girl's ... More
I agree....this is more a societal problem. It's too distracting for the boys because they can't help staring and have no ability to control their raging hormones and the actions that might follow? I call bullshit. It practically screams that the boys can't help but look, so the girls should dress so as not to tempt them to look. That's crap.

This is the same nonsense that people spout when they blame a rape on how a girl dresses.

Also, I don't see a huge difference between thin straps and strapless, visually speaking. I wouldn't allow my daughter to wear something that I didn't feel was age appropriate.
04/24/2013
Martiniman Martiniman
Right or wrong doesn't matter, being a school event the principal has the right to make the rules. Furthermore, having experience in this area, the majority of parents can't be trusted to decide what's appropriate wear for their children. You may not like that, but it is a fact! Most parents either don't care or don't have the time to be burdened. Not all, but enough that it ruins it for everybody. And seriously, their upset over this trivial item. They could just not have the dance!
What's the difference between strapless and spaghetti straps? Yeah they both show the same amount of skin, but one is secure while the other comes down easily, exposing the breast, either by accident, on purpose or by the hands of a jerk who thinks he's being cute. It's called playing it safe, and anyways, this is a middle school, not a high school.
You may not agree with me about parents and that's fine, but I challenge you to spend some time at a high school, I think your mind will be changed. Our local high school has a first knuckle rule for skirt, dress and short length for girls and they take full advantage of it. I'm at the local high school at least twice a day dropping off and picking up my son and I've seen more ass cheek, and a few times a little more, than you would see at a nightclub on any given weekend.
04/24/2013
TJtheMadHatter TJtheMadHatter
I'm alright with spaghetti straps in high school. I wore a strapless dress in high school. This is middle school. There's a reason there are all these internet jokes about jail bait. Why are people allowing their kids to dress like adults? They're 11, 12, 13. I say straps and the principal was right. They're kids and need to dress appropriately. High school is a different story but these are middle schoolers.
04/24/2013
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
My daughters' middle school has a dress code, including shirts have to have straps that are at least 2 inches wide, and they enforce the dress code at dances as well. It's a 7th and 8th grade dance, not Prom. Most of the dress codes in our ... More
Exactly!!! That's exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it better than I did. Little kids do not need to be dressing like adults (or wearing make up for that matter).

Whether anyone likes the rule or not (and even if anyone thinks the reason for it is stupid) it is well within the school's right to enforce a dress code. And it wouldn't even be an issue if parents remembered that children should dress like children.
04/24/2013
namelesschaos namelesschaos
"They could just not have the dance!"

Which would actually be a much better solution to the issue of "distracting boys" then baning a specific dress style. Dances are a privilege if a student body of any age can not handle seeing bare shoulders then they have not earned the privilege. Which actually intersects with something else I've been researching the concept of "gameifcation" (turning life into a game of short in order to increase motivation and productivity.)

A "game" by it natures has rewards that have to be earned, the current system of school functions is not a system of earned privilege. They can be taken away but you start the year assuming they will exist, this is lack of a dance as a punishment. However, in the "game" model you'd have to "unlock" dances, good grades attendance, not getting in trouble all would give you points, bad grades detentions you would lose points. You need x number of points to unlock a prom ticket. Also each class would function as a team you need to have so many point to have a dance in the first place it in the first place. Now this idea has a lot a problem but my point here is not to necessarily argue for this model, but to use it as an example of a system where dances would truly function as an earned privilege.
04/24/2013
spiced spiced
What gets me is this: strapless dresses were just fine for the 2012 Readington Middle School Spring Dance but suddenly they're distracting to boys and are not fine for the 2013 Spring Dance? And they can't announce this change until a month before the dance?

I'm guessing they're responding to some incident(s) which happened recently... but if I were a parent who'd made 10 trips to local stores and shelled out several hundred bucks for a dress that was fine when I bought it, but now suddenly useless, I think I'd be pretty pissed-off, too.
04/24/2013
Sbmsvschoolgirl Sbmsvschoolgirl
Distracting from what? It's a school dance, not class. I don't really get it.
04/24/2013
KinkyKatieJames KinkyKatieJames
We weren't allowed to wear them in our middle school either. It was ridiculous. If the parents think it's okay, then I don't see anything wrong with it.
04/24/2013
snowminx snowminx
Every school has a dress code, what makes this different? Although you don't really see more skin without straps it helps keep you up so there isn't any "accidents". Along with that some boys that age are really just immature and might step on someones dress to see it come down or put it down from the back.

Also you talk about parents that have already bought a dress and spent so much money. Who pays a lot for a middle school dress???? It's not like it's high school prom. Even then all they are saying is the dress has to have straps, just find similar color fabric and just sew/pin them on. A dance isn't a right. At least they are going to a nice place, we just had ours (BOTH middle and high school dances in the cafeteria). Oh yeah, and in middle school most of our people just wore shirts and skirts.
04/24/2013
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