Local News

Students upset after being denied entry to high school prom

Posted April 28, 2014

— 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.


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  • Grand Union Apr 30, 2014

    "This is where we've come -- every grievance with a school or teacher goes straight to the media. No wonder teachers and other school staff are leaving in droves."

    Oh please! if you think teachers are more worried about a complaint about prom night than they are about near starvation levels of wages, no rises for years and a utterly insulting and hostile State gov. then you are delusional.

  • N Diana Bobbitt Apr 29, 2014
    user avatar

    I looked at the picture of Julia and her prom date, and the dress kept to the rules posted for students. In fact, the dress was far better than some of the examples shown. Giving back the 95 dollars is not going to replace prom night. I hope Julia and her date dress up and go out to a very nice place for an evening. Maybe the parents can all get together and rent a hall for these kids. How sad that the evening was ruined for the students over a hemline, when I see worse whenever I go shopping...

  • georgegray Apr 29, 2014

    This is where we've come -- every grievance with a school or teacher goes straight to the media. No wonder teachers and other school staff are leaving in droves. Every single judgement call is scrutinized. The dress looks tasteful enough to me, too, but I wasn't there and, frankly, I'm glad I don't have to make that call. So, I'll assume they had students' best interest at heart until proven otherwise.

  • JAT Apr 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    sorry but I could see where someone would say it's at the top of the knee. Picky yes but again, if they hadn't pushed the limit and went ahead and got something where there would be no question at all, all would have been fine. lesson: don't push the limit all the time.

    I bet she could have either stretched the skirt part a bit or done something at the time to be in compliance. or just done home and gotten another dress.

  • Michael Clay Apr 29, 2014
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    If you double click on the picture in the artical it will take you to another site which shows her with the dress on. With it on it more than meets the requirments!!

  • JAT Apr 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    look at where she's holding the dress. the dress will hit her at a different place on the knee if it were on. trust me. if she wore the dress as she's holding it, her girls would be hanging out and she'd have gotten kicked out for that.

  • Kristin Byrne Apr 29, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    That dress hardly makes her look like a hoochie. In fact, I think the dress is very pretty. I've seen worse on people at my job.

    My bridesmaid dresses were a bit shorter than this dress, and they were nowhere near trashy. If they were, I don't think they would have allowed me to be married in the church.

  • Sadie Howard Apr 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Who she should be mad at is her mother who brought the dress and sent her there to look hoochie. I have raised 3 girls and have one left age 9 to get out the door I can't believe parents that allow their daughters to go to school dressed the way the do and to school affairs but I guess if they are doing it then it is ok for the daughters. Follow the rules you will in your adult life.

  • Forthe Newssite Apr 29, 2014
    user avatar

    for it to be a good thing is MUST be applied to ALL the students EQUALLY! If it was not then the school was wrong. From what I saw the dress was OK but I agree it would be good to see it on. They allow shorts in school shorter than that.!

  • Amy Smathers Apr 29, 2014
    user avatar

    the problem is, her dress met dress code! She did follow the rules. Look at the dress code and look at her dress.