Students petition removal of prom dress approval system

- Some students from Archbishop Ryan are upset over a dress code for their prom. It requires girls to get approval from the school's administration for the outfit they want to wear to the dance.

Gabriella Stocklin is like many seniors at Archbishop Ryan High School who say a prom dress approval system set up by the administration goes too far.  Girls have been told to e-mail administrators pictures of their dresses for a 'yes' or 'no' decision.

Gabriella says her dress picture was approved, but she disapproves of the process altogether. 

"I don't like that we have to send pictures in especially because every girl loves their dress," said Gabriella. "Once you send the picture in you still have to wait for approval and that dress could be gone."

We scrolled through the Archbishop Ryan dress guidelines which say dresses cannot be cut below the bust line, showing stomach and that backless dresses cannot be cut below the natural waist.

Juniors and seniors responded with this petition on Change.org, calling the policy sexist and saying it doesn't account for different body types, among other grievances.

"I think that girls should be allowed to at least show on the sides a little bit, not like the whole entire stomach," said Gabriella. "It's not like we're walking in like belly dancers."

The Archbishop Ryan boys don't like it either.

"It's sorta disrespectful towards us because we can't control ourselves around women that they have to be so covered up so we can control ourselves," said senior Antonio Mendez. 

The Archdioceses of Philadelphia released a statement defending the dress code. It says in part:

"As our high schools are Catholic, they seek to engender holistic Christian formation of young men and women spiritually, academically, and socially. The intention of the policy is to ensure modesty in dress at this social function, which is school sponsored."

Despite the petition, some students don't mind the rules.

"I don't mind the policy. My dress actually got approved so I don't really have a problem with the policy," said senior Halana Geinnotta student. 

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