According to Yahoo Style, this year’s prom was special for Amari Williams. In fact, she skipped her junior prom to make her final year all the more special. Williams, who attends Carencro High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, worked hard to save up enough money get a custom made dress for the special night. However, despite receiving approval for the design ahead of time from principal Mary Qualey, she was turned away at the door. According to Yahoo, the principal said that Williams’ dress was against dress code.
As for the offense in question? It wasn’t a plunging neckline, or a an attempt to free the nipple. There was no offensive language written across a sequin gown etc. Nothing of that nature. Williams was turned away from her senior prom for an exposed...ankle.
“The length [of the dress] has to be all the way to the ground, all the way around; kind of easy to remember. In this case, the dress was not all the way to the ground and on that basis, it wasn’t considered a formal dress,” said the Lafayette Parish School System chief administrative officer Joe Craig. In January a letter was also reportedly sent to parents about the dress code. However Amari, and her mother Troynetta Williams, maintain that principal Qualey approved the plans. After being called about the matter, Troynetta rushed to the school scissors and pins in hand ready to make any necessary alterations on site.
“I asked [principal Qualey] what was going on, [the dress] was approved months ago and she OK’d it. She told me, ‘I’ve seen a lot of pictures.’ We just kind of stood around, and my daughter was in tears,” she said.
“The dress code, when I looked over it, it did mention that the dress had to be floor length, and they considered it not formal since it wasn’t the same length all the way around,” Williams Yahoo Style. “But then I brought it to her attention that some of the rules in the dress-code policy also state that midriffs, high splits, or low back dresses aren’t allowed. As I’d been standing there, I saw she’d been allowing all those types of dresses into prom, but here she denies my daughter, and she’s dressed appropriately, not showing any skin or anything inappropriate at all. Her response to me was she used her own judgement.”
Whether or not the dress code was actually violated is another story, but between same-sex couples being banned from appearing at prom together, to sexist dress codes, and an environment where students feel obliged to make racist proposals, perhaps it's time for the culture around prom to receive a makeover?