Students upset after being denied entry to high school prom
Posted April 28
Pinehurst, N.C. — Administrators turned away 10 of the approximately 550 students at a Pinehurst high school's prom Saturday night for violating the school's dress code, and some parents say they don't understand why.
The rules, which were posted on Pinecrest High School's website in January and were also communicated to parents and students in other forms, specified cuts and lengths of dresses and provided examples of appropriate and inappropriate attire.
Sarah Gomez says she and her daughter, Julia, a Pinecrest junior, took the list of requirements with them when they bought her dress to be sure they adhered to the requirements.
Julia, however, was one of the students asked to leave the prom because the hemline of her dress was just at her knees. The dress code requires hemlines be no shorter than the top of the knee caps.
"I would have never sent her to the prom in an inappropriate dress," Gomez said Monday.
Gomez says she feels the rules were applied arbitrarily.
"Honestly, I think it was personal opinion," she said. "Whoever was standing at the door at the time let some people in but not others."
"There were other girls getting in that had dresses that were not as appropriate as mine, and everybody was saying it was inconsistent," Julia said.
Pinecrest Principal Thomas Ferrell said Monday that the dress code was put in place this year due to concerns about attire at previous proms and that the female administrators checking attire tried to be as consistent as possible.
Ferrell, however, said he understands why parents and students are upset and that he is willing to sit down with concerned parents to discuss the matter.
He also said students who were turned away will be refunded the $95 they paid for a prom ticket.
"This whole thing is very unfortunate and, on behalf of the school, we wish that things had gone differently," Ferrell said.