A Catholic high school in Michigan has devised an inventive strategy to keep students covered up on prom night, which is slated for May 12.
As Detroit’s Fox 2 reports, female students at Divine Child High School in Dearborn will be given “modesty ponchos” if school officials deem their prom dresses to be inappropriate or revealing.
“If your dress does not meet our formal dance dress requirements — no problem! We’ve got you covered — literally. This is our Modesty Poncho, which you’ll be given at the door,” reads a note attached to the garments, according to a student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) April 30, 2018
The ponchos come in different colors and prints and are meant to be draped like a collar, concealing plunging necklines in the process.
But many students aren’t on board with the cover-up, which they think shames females and how they dress.
“I do believe the school has gone too far with this,” the anonymous student said. “As we walk into prom, we are to shake hands with all the teachers, and if you walk through and a teacher deems your dress is inappropriate, you will be given a poncho at the door.
“Who knows what will happen to those who try to speak out against it,” she said.
She added that one girl was punished for speaking out and that she would personally rather skip prom than wear the garment.
“It’s a method of shaming … and degrading to females in its interpretation [of] what’s modest and what isn’t,” added a parent.
Theology teacher Mary Pat O’Malley, who is credited with coming up with the modesty-poncho plan, defended the idea. She suggested that seeing the ponchos ahead of time might cause female students to rethink their dress options for the evening.
“We are trying to focus on inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn’t need attention drawn to it,” O’Malley told Detroit’s Fox 2. “It was really intended as a deterrent and a lighthearted one at that.”
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