Some AR parents weigh in on Ryan’s prom dress guidelines

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Some parents are not happy about the Archbishop Ryan administration’s prom dress guidelines and the reasons some prom dresses have been disapproved.

These parents contended men have simple guidelines to follow while the women have strict requirements to meet, including getting the dresses approved  by administration.

Ms. Nancy Kurtz, assistant principal for academic affairs, has said most girls “seem to have no problem having their dresses approved.’ Additionally, Mr. Charles Panepresso, assistant principal of student affairs, has said the policy has been successful for years.

One parent who does not like the policy, Kim Smith, has two daughters, Lindsi and Britni, who are juniors and who have had their prom dresses rejected by the administration.

“I was told the girls’ dresses were denied based on the illusion of flesh material,” Mrs. Smith said. “I was also told that if I did not like the restrictions, my daughters did not have to attend the prom.”

Parents should have the last say in what their children wear, according to Mrs. Smith.

“It is an insult to the parents, and the young women at Ryan are capable, with the guidance of a parent, to choose a prom gown,” Mrs. Smith said. “As their mom, I would not allow my daughters to wear a dress that fit them in an inappropriate manner, All women are unique in body type and should be permitted to find a dress that makes them feel beautiful; the fact that some of their body is exposed does not make the dress inappropriate.”

Another mother, who requested anonymity, expressed a similar concern.

“Confidence is an important part of growth for women and so sending in pictures and getting denied may put extra pressure to a girl who once felt beautiful in her dress that can no longer wear it under certain circumstances,” she said.

In addition, the mother questioned what she said was a lack of consistency in dress codes for dances.

“I have seen many fall and winter formal pictures of students, and I am very surprised that many girls go to these dances in short dresses and some with low-cut dresses. Why is there no picture sent in for these dances? There needs to be consistency with the rules at Archbishop Ryan High School,” the mother said.

The woman said the prom dress code had not been a problem for her two older daughters, who are Ryan graduates, but has become an issue for her third daughter.

“Both [older] girls went to proms at other schools and they were trusted to wear appropriate attire,” she said.

The mother also took issue with men being part of the decision to accept or reject dresses. “It’s concerning that men are a part of this approval process,” the mother stated.

Another mother, who posted a comment on a petition circulating in opposition to the dress code, said she and her daughter had trouble with the dress code last year

“Last year my daughter and I spent hours trying to find the perfect dress. She has an unique figure and despaired of finding anything. We finally found 2 dresses. I felt like a moron, at 49 years old, telling the clerks I can’t buy it until somebody else approves it. One was rejected (the more sedate one), the other was okayed, but was gone when we went back, “ wrote a supporter who signed as Maria Silva of Philadelphia, She added: “We finally bought one and sweated bullets waiting to see if it would get approved. It should’ve been an incredible experience, but you made it very stressful. Don’t girls have enough problems, that you need to create more?”

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