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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.

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

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“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?

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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.
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