The school’s principal, Sharon Moffat, wrote a letter to parents laying out a dress code of “collared shirts and trousers for boys, and a skirt or dress with straps for girls.” After parents complained, she said her reason for the strapless dress ban is because she considers them “too distracting for boys.”
Parents are up in arms for their daughters’ right to bare arms. They have petitioned the school board to overturn the policy before the June 12th dance. Girls at the school have been wearing strapless dresses for years. NJ.com reports that one parent, Charlotte Nijenhuis, views the ban to be an attack on women’s rights and discrimination based on sex. In a three-page letter to the superintendent, Nijenhuis wrote that the decision is “arbitrary and capricious and a violation of every girl’s fundamental rights afforded by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.” She also noted that strapless gowns have been allowed at the school for at least six years.
Young women and women have been wearing the style of dress much, much longer. The strapless dress has been in style since the 1930s, and was embraced by women for formal wear. But the style has not been without controversy. During the 1940s and 1950s, Catholic campaigners in the United States protested against “immodest” clothing.
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