You’ll Never Guess What This Catholic High School Is Requiring of Its Female Students Before Prom

Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You
Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles (in 10 Things I Hate About You) don't approve of the prom dress preapproval at Delone Catholic High School either! Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

And you thought choosing a date was the challenge!

Just six weeks before their May 1 prom, the female students at Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania, were informed that they would need to have their prom dresses preapproved by the faculty in order to attend the dance.

Even more of a shocker to the ladies: The announcement came with guidelines for their prom ensembles.

"Women's gowns may not be extremely short, have an extremely low cut front or back, have any excessively high-cut slits, have overly revealing midriffs, or be inappropriately revealing, giving the illusion of nudity," the proclamation, which, as Today.com reported, was posted on the school's website one week ago, read.

Meanwhile, the male students of the school had their own (admittedly, less complicated) rules. The note continued, "Gentlemen must be in formal attire: tuxedo or complete suit coat, dress pants (no shorts), dress shirt, and tie."

Problem is, many of the students had already found and purchased their prom attire. Which is what inspired parents, who believe that the guidelines should have been shared much farther in advance, to kick-start a petition.

"We as the paying customers of Delone Catholic have been notified about antiquated and unreasonable restrictions imposed on the formal wear for the May 2015 prom," states the parental petition, which was posted to Change.org. "Restrictions have been posted six weeks before the prom. Many parents have purchased non-refundable prom gowns… Our children will not undergo scrutiny of prom gowns based on outdated, unrealistic expectations and rules implemented at such short notice."

So far, the petition has more than 250 signatures—but Delone hasn't budged. In response, the administration released another message on March 19, via Facebook, stating that they only had the students in mind. "The early release of the guidelines…was a proactive approach to prevent student's embarrassment and disappointment of being denied entrance to prom due to dress code infractions," the note read.

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