The Family Room The Family Room Blog Home

Strapless dresses banned at middle-school dance

The dresses 'distract boys,' New Jersey principal says; parents of eighth-graders protest decision.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Apr 23, 2013 5:35PM

A New Jersey principal has banned girls from wearing strapless dresses to an eighth-grade dance because they “distract boys,” reports the Daily Mail.

According to Mycentraljersey.com, a letter sent by Readington Middle School principal, Sharon Moffat stated that “young gentlemen are encouraged to wear collared shirts and trousers; many boys wear ties or jackets. Young ladies should wear a skirt, dress with straps, or dressy pants outfit. Jeans or sneakers are not appropriate for this event.”

Photo: School bans strapless dresses / Image Source/Getty Images More from MSN Living: High school proms: Then and now

Parents call the new dress code “an abuse of authority” and debate the principal’s involvement because the dance is not being funded by the school or held on school property. Besides, they argue, many of the eighth-grade attendees have already bought strapless dresses for the dance.

More from MSN Living: The most awkward pregnancy photos ever

One mother, Charlotte Nijenhuis, is among the group of parents taking her complaints to the school board tonight.

Bing: Outrageous school dress codes

“Ms. Moffat’s comment about ‘distraction’ to the boys is particularly offensive because it suggests that boys are not able to control -- or ought not to be required to control -- their behavior when in the presence of girls wearing strapless dresses,” Nijenhuis said.

What do you think? Are strapless dresses too sexy for an eighth-grade dance? Do you think the parents or school board should decide what kids wear?

More from The Family Room:

Mister Rogers on times of tragedy

Mother’s nightmare: 2 sons each lose a leg

Father furious after finding crayon-written message

Love content like this? Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest.

Readers: Calling all mom bloggers — we’re looking for fresh voices on MSN Living. Email us your samples and contact info.

Photo: Image Source/Getty Images

Apr 30, 2013 6:06PM
So aren't boys suppose to be attracted to girls? I mean that is what is actually suppose to take place in real life. I think NEW JERSEY might as well change it's name to HELL!
Apr 30, 2013 3:35PM
I have a daughter and don't let her dress trashy. A lot of parents don't care how immodest their kids dress and it is sad. Our kids cant even wear tank tops to school and their shorts cant be the short ones either. We don't need our kids being sex symbols or targets for the creepy sex offenders that are lurking around every corner. 
Apr 27, 2013 10:58PM

Strapless is just inappropriate for that age.  Period.


Apr 27, 2013 12:01AM
Most middle school girls are not equipped emotionally or physically to handle a strapless dress.  I was shocked and appalled when a friend let her 11 year old wear a "strapless mullet" to an afternoon mother daughter Girl Scout tea!  When I expressed my concern, she told me that the child wanted the dress, so she got it...SAD SAD SAD
Apr 26, 2013 6:23PM
Using an old joke here a lug wrench is a distraction to young boys
Apr 24, 2013 9:23PM
I agree with the principal.  I wouldn't be able to control myself at that age either.  Proper etiquette and dress should be mandated by the school early, and not be dictated by MTV.  Young girls are being sexualized by society at younger and younger ages.  I'm surprised any parents would object to this (I bet the majority support the parents).
Apr 24, 2013 9:06PM
Seems like a good opportunity to make one of those duct tape dresses.
Apr 24, 2013 8:34PM
We are no longer in the fifties and in poodle skirts.  I see nothing wrong with these girls wearing a strapless gown and this principal needs to learn that the school cannot dictate rules for off campus, non school related events.  In my day strapless would be out of the question but that was 50+ years ago.  Let the schools authorities control bullying and then, if they have extra time, they can worry about boy's libidos.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads

  • Family talking together

    5 reasons your family needs a weekend without any plans

    Remember the concept of weekends being a time for rest, relaxation, and togetherness? No? Us either. Between soccer games, playdates, dragging your kids to see the new exhibition at the local children's museum, and we need to pick up a gift for that birthday party that starts in . . . 20 minutes, juggling a busy family's weekend schedule can be more stressful than a weekday. While we know it's simply not realistic to cancel all your plans and obligations moving forward, clearing the calendar for just one weekend can be just the refresher that your family's craving. Here's why.

  • Kids who suck (Courtesy of Scary Mommy)

    10 kids who can drive you crazy

    Any of these sound familiar?

  • Swingset (YourTango)

    Why you might not realize your kid has abandonment issues

    4 steps for raising a child who doesn't feel emotionally stranded.

  • Getty Images

    7 things new moms will feel guilty doing, but should

    You just had a baby? You're a superstar! All those diapers, all that spit up, and you're makin' magic happen. But you're also likely tired - really tired - and busy (so, so busy). Taking time for yourself might seem like an indulgence but a happy mom makes for a happy baby. Here are 7 things you should definitely do to keep your sanity intact and your spirit high. <more, below>

  • DIY finger paints

    Kid-friendly DIY: 10 projects sure to inspire summer fun

    Summertime is on, and the kids are out of school. Every mom knows that for these three months it's more important than ever to keep the kids busy. But you don't have to schedule your life away with camps, or drop a bundle on activities and games that come in a box. You can make your own fun, and even include the kids in the prep, with some simple, inexpensive DIY crafts that will keep them playing 'til the lightening bugs come out. Make your own fingerpaint, bubbles, and crayons. Create a fort-building kit and superhero capes that will kick their imaginations into overdrive. Here are 10 of our favorite kid-friendly DIY crafts to fuel your summertime fun.

  • DIY modern dog bed

    5 easy-to-make dog beds

    Let these DIY dog bed projects be your inspiration and within a single weekend, you can construct something that really makes Rex feel like a king.

  • Global baby serum

    What to get someone who’s having a baby

    The task of finding an eco-friendly, safe-for-baby gift parents-to-be will actually use is kind of challenging. Add to that a price limit of $50, and the feat suddenly feels impossible! Fortunately, we combed the marketplace for some of the prettiest, most useful, sweetest gifts for baby and family. Many are fine on their own, while others would work well as part of a bigger basket — you know, if you wish to achieve that shower-goer hero status.

  • via Newser

    Mom threatened with forced c-section

    Jennifer Goodall gave birth Friday after much drama

  • via Scary Mommy

    Me, through my children's eyes

    My kids snapped a pic of me on my phone and it changed how I see myself

  • Newser

    Boy, 8, carries disabled brother through triathlon

    6-year-old has rare brain condition

  • Newser

    Question gets boy, 4, banned from doughnut shop

    He wanted to know if woman was pregnant

  • GHK

    And the best state to raise kids in is...

    Did your state make the grade?

buzzing now on msn living
follow us
follow us follow us on facebook follow us on pinterest follow us on twitter
family videos