Students protest dress code after being denied entry to school dance

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SOUTH JORDAN — Some students at Bingham High School walked out of school Monday to protest the school’s dress code.

The issue started when administrators stopped several couples outside this weekend’s homecoming dance. The school told a few students their dresses did not meet school standards.

Administrators say they sent emails, held an assembly and passed out fliers leading up to the homecoming dance so the dress code would be clear. Still, some students didn't make it inside.

School leaders say three or four girls went home from the dance and didn't come back.

"No, no, no," said student Cierra Gregson said. "Three or four girls might have gone home and didn't come back, but the amount stopped was about 100.”

Some of the students say the dress standards are too strict and not enforced equally. The dress code at Bingham High on Saturday included dresses that cover the chest and back at the armpit, and hemlines that should go no higher than mid-thigh when seated.

"I was a little sad,” said Spencer Dunford, Bingham High's student body president. “I wanted them to come in, but we gave them plenty of warning.”

Dunford also said any student who didn't meet the standards was given the opportunity to change and come back.

Britanny Brown said school leaders told her the dress she was wearing was too short and the back was too low. Her mother, Julie Brown, came to support her and the other students who walked out Monday.

“Girls left crying,” Julie Brown said. “It’s just a sad thing. I do see a place for a dress code, but I think they need to make it more clear.”

But for some parents, the damage was already done.

"They had them standing there in the middle of the hall and be judged,” said Veronica Pehrson, a concerned parent. “It was kind of shameful and demeaning.”

"She came in bawling. I said, 'What's wrong?' And she said, 'I got coded and can't go to the dance,'" said Chad Pehrson, a concerned father.

Dress code issues aren't new. At Stansbury Park High School last year, 30 students were denied entry into their school dance for dress code violations.

It's something that caught the attention of Alysia Maynard. She saw more and more schools cracking down on the dress code, so she started the business Bling It on Dresses to help out high schoolers.

"We even put a call into Lehi High School and got clarification,” Maynard said.

She offers specially made inserts that can be clipped into all the dresses she rents out. There are slips to lengthen hemlines and small jackets to cover shoulders.

Administrators at Bingham High say they will meet with any parents who are upset about what happened.


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Ashley Kewish


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