School says students must submit photos of dresses before dance

2015 rule causes fresh uproar from parents

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A Wisconsin school district is requiring pictures of students' homecoming dresses before the kids are allowed to buy tickets to next month's dance, the Journal Sentinel reported.

The rule has been around since January 2015, but a recent email to families created fresh uproar about the requirement, the Journal Sentinel reported. 

Pewaukee school officials are concerned about preventing students from being sent away for showing too much skin, according to Superintendent Mike Cady.

"It's really out of a sensitivity to our students," Cady told the Journal Sentinel. "We want (school dances) to be a positive experience. We don't want anyone to show up and have to be sent home because of a dress-code violation."

Parents are calling the requirement "sexist and micromanaging," according to the newspaper.

"The girls are essentially being held responsible for the wayward thoughts (administrators) think boys have," Rebecca Sheperd, whose daughter is a Pewaukee freshman, told the newspaper. "They're being told, 'You are the problem.' These are the roots of rape culture, frankly."

The district's dress code bans spaghetti straps, backless clothing, clothes that only cover one shoulder or blouses that do not cover the midriff.

"It's annoying," senior Nicole Stark, who has been "yelled at" for wearing an off-the-shoulder top, told the Journal Sentinel. "Guys wear tank tops all the time and don't get dress-coded."

Senior Kaitlyn Boelter told the newspaper the rules make school shopping a challenge.

"A lot of the styles now are low-cut and tighter. So if you're busty or anything, it can be hard to find things that wouldn't be rejected," she said. "I understand that they don't want it hanging all out. But to the extent that you have what you have, you shouldn't have to be ashamed of that."

Male students said girls' clothing isn't an issue for them; it doesn't distract them, a common reason cited in support of dress codes.

"We spend all summer with our friends who are girls," said junior Ben Miller to the Journal Sentinel.