Yow! After hearing from many of you, I have updated this post here.
With LHHS students enjoying the excitement of Homecoming Week and preparing for Saturday’s Homecoming Dance, some eyes are on Mesquite ISD – could it happen here?
Last weekend Mesquite High School held their dance, and as many as 50 girls were turned away for arriving in evening dresses cut too low at the neck or too short in the length to be deemed “modest” by school administrators. Girls were screaming and crying, parents were irate, and students who purchased tickets but weren’t admitted demanded their money back. One girl, featured by the Dallas Morning News, said the event went from “Red Carpet affair” to “Unfair affair.”
Could it happen at LHHS?
First, Mesquite ISD is notorious for its conservative dress code and strict enforcement. Remember the kindergartner denied entry for long locks? They also sent several students home last year for wearing “skinny jeans” and other pants deemed “too tight.” They’ve also been publicized in recent years for requiring that shirts be tucked in & belts worn and other codes stricter than most.
Lake Highlands is unique – our Homecoming Dance follows a more collegiate style. Students dress in costumes befitting the themed party instead of wearing evening gowns. But, still there are students who push the limit – 2008’s Disney-themed Homecoming brought a few Tinkerbell and Pocahontas costumes small enough to make me wonder if they were purchased in the kids’ department.
The difference between LH and Mesquite may be the administrators. LH leaders seem more accepting of mainstream fashion. Finding a dress at NorthPark that isn’t cut to be sexy is a virtual impossibility, short of shopping in the Mother-of-the-Bride section. I also praise LH staff for knowing their kids by name and guiding them to stay within the rules. Michelle King, assistant principal in charge of the senior class, is particularly good at keeping rebellious teens towing the line.
Could a Mesquite-style fashion fiasco happen in LH? Doubtful. But there are always students who want to push the envelope, regardless of the strictness of the rules. That’s nothing new – I doubt James Dean believed in dress codes, either.
My question is this: what did the students do and where did they go after they were turned away from the dance? As my mommy genes kick in and I imagine the trouble and danger teens can get into when rebelling against the rules of seemingly arbitrary adults I wonder – were the kids safer at the school dancing in short dresses or driving around town in cars looking for ways to demonstrate their independence? I’m glad everyone arrived back at school Monday, angry but safe.