Tacoma middle school students say dress code for upcoming dance goes too far

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This dress would be in violation for the school dance because it doesn't cover her shoulders.

This dress would be in violation for the school dance because it doesn’t cover her shoulders.

TACOMA — Students at a Tacoma middle school are signing a petition asking the administrators to change the dress code for an upcoming dance.

The eighth-grade graduation and school dance at Mason Middle School are both on June 11 — it’s a day many of the students were looking forward to, until they saw the dress code.

Bernadette Phillips had already gotten her dress for the big event.

But this week she learned her dress would be violating the event's dress code, because it exposes her shoulders -- one of the many rules she and her friends say are dated and sexist.

"There are no dresses that have sleeves," she said. "Most of the rules are only directed to girls."

That's the reason she and fellow eighth-graders Audrey Elliot and Bianca Ponnekanti are helping to gather signatures at school and online on a petition asking the school to reconsider.

Bernadette's mother, Cheryl, says her own eighth-grade dress wouldn't have fit today's guidelines.

Tacoma Public Schools says each school sets their own dress code for special events. Mason Middle School has had their for more than a decade. They say the goal is to discourage body image issues and promote equity.

But these students aren't buying it.

Another item of concern is that if girls choose to wear capri or other pants, they must be dressy -- the same doesn't apply for boys.

Once organizers gather 500 signatures, they hope to take it to the school and the district in hopes a change can be made.







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  • hellomurica

    “They say the goal is to discourage body image issues and promote equity.”
    In other words, if you’re a fat hamplanet then this soft-headed school will make sure that others who actually take care of themselves, and do more exercise than speed-dialing the local pizza chain, will be restricted from dressing to accentuate the fact that they don’t have generate their own field of gravity. Why bother doing anything to make yourself less of a landwhale when you can just drag everyone down to your lard level?

  • "peety"

    it’s never too early for girls to learn that boys are not responsible for their actions. If a girl dresses in a manner that makes a boy react, it is the girls fault.

    • A113

      Excuse me? What you’re saying not only is offensive towards girls, but also to guys. You basically said that guys can’t control themselves, and are animals that can’t think properly. Functioning humans should be able to control themselves so stop being an ass and respect people! Okay? OKAY?

  • tootietuttle

    the rules are in place because there are too many parents out there who are okay letting their kids dress like ho’s.

  • person

    Okay, so I go to MMS, and last year, this was kind of a big thing. People were talking about it, and everyone that I talked to had the same opinion: It’s disrespeful to everyone. The girls aren’t allowed to wear the dress they want because it’s “inappropriate” (OMG, I can see her shoulders, I’m scarred for life). And second, BOYS ARE NOT F**KING ANIMALS, they actually have self control so stop acting like some fourteen year old kid is gonna do something like that because they can see a girl’s shoulders, they are not total asses either, okay? Good. I’m sure no one reading this has disagreed with anything I said, and if you did, I’m sorry you believe such things. Good bye.

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