Mum furious after daughter 'violated' outside school dance

Angry parents of female students have taken aim at school administrators after their children were denied entry to a dance over their dresses being too revealing.

Female students of Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky, were left distraught outside the event last Saturday after having their hems measured with a ruler by staff.

Carrie Vittitoe was among several parents outraged by the alleged crackdown on dress lengths at the homecoming dance, and wrote a fiery blog post complaining.

The mum-of-three said officials outside the dance singled out female students and shamed them based on the length of their hemlines.

Female students at Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky, where they were turned away over their dresses.
Students say they felt violated by the incident. Source: Carrie Vittitoe

Girls with dresses that fell shorter than two inches above the knee were allegedly refused entry, even after they paid the entry fee, the mum wrote.

Ms Vittitoe and her 15-year-old daughter said the dress code was “arbitrary”, because some girls avoided scrutiny despite wearing similar outfits.

In a letter to the school posted on Ms Vittitoe’s blog, her teen daughter — whose name was withheld— told school administrators she and her friends “were absolutely horrified, and felt embarrassed and violated”.

“We had just been told that covering our bodies was more important than having fun,” the teen wrote.

Ms Vittitoe told Yahoo her daughter was allowed into the dance, but decided to leave because the experience of being measured and criticised for her dress was too upsetting.

A group of girls at Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky, refused from their dance because of hemlines.
Vittitoe said all the girls pictured here were turned away. Source: Carrie Vittitoe

“The administrator asked my daughter to pull her dress down closer to her knees,” Ms Vittitoe said.

“My daughter complied. The administrator said, ‘You barely made it’. At that point, my daughter burst into tears. She and her friends decided they were far too upset to actually attend the dance at this point.”

Both mother and daughter claimed the dress code was not consistently enforced.

Photos taken by other parents and shared with Ms Vittitoe and Yahoo showed several dresses allegedly banned from the dance.

They appeared nearly identical to other dresses that made the cut.

After hearing from her daughter, Ms Vittitoe returned to the school to pick her up, bringing a sign that read “Down With Sexist Dress Codes”, according to her post.

While the dress code debacle reportedly mostly involved female students, one boy was apparently turned away for not wearing a tie, she said.

Ms Vittitoe said she noticed several stranded teens who had been refused entry when she went back to collect her daughter.

Female students denied entry to homecoming dance over cleavage at Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky.
Vittitoe said the girl in the short red dress on the left was denied entry for showing too much cleavage. Source: Carrie Vittitoe

“EHS staff, more or less, tossed students off the property in the dark on a Saturday night to fend for themselves,” she told Yahoo.

“The kids who were hanging around after the dance can't drive. Older students with cars left the premises. There were no staff members supervising these kids, so I took it upon myself, along with another mum's help, to stay with these students until their parents picked them up. The EHS staff put students in an unsafe situation.”

In a letter EHS’s spokeswoman shared with Yahoo, Principal Lana Kaelin addressed the situation to parents and vowed to review the dress code.

“I wanted to take some time today to address what happened this weekend at our homecoming dance as well as our path moving forward,” the letter, sent on Monday, read.

“I understand your concerns and truly regret that some of our students were not able to enjoy their evening. Understandably, we had students and families who were upset or hurt by what took place, and for that, I apologise.

Some girls that were denied entry from their school dance at Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky, because dresses were too short.
Three of the girls pictured here (in fitted white, solid green and maroon dresses) were denied entry. Source: Carrie Vittitoe

“The dress code for our formal dances will be reviewed by student, parent and teacher representatives so that we can gather valuable feedback and suggestions that will help ensure the dress code is fair and equitable for all students.

“Additionally, I want you to know that we will be reviewing how we communicate the dress code to all students and families as well as our processes for entering the dances to ensure that families feel both informed and welcomed to our events.

“At the end of the day, we want to make certain that all students are able to come and enjoy the dances, and that parents also feel the events are safe and fun for their students. To that end, we will be working with our different stakeholders of our school community to ensure that happens.”

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