Girl almost turned away from prom because of dress length

By: Larry Spruill, ActionNewsJax.com

Updated:

A Florida woman is calling on school leaders to clarify guidelines for what students can wear to prom after confusion and controversy arose over the dress that her daughter wore to the dance.

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Leaders at Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida, told Action News Jax that the teenager's dress was too short in the front.

“She’s crying, she’s like, ‘Mom, just come and get me.’ I said, ‘No, you’re going to the prom.’ We spent all of this money, and it doesn’t make any sense for them to say it’s inappropriate,” Nydia Allen said.

A Florida mother said her daughter's prom dress followed school guidelines.
Photo provided by Nydia Allen

Allen said her daughter called her an hour after she took a picture of her in her dress before prom. Most of the dress touches the ground. The skirt touches her knees in the front.

“She was saying that they said her skirt was too short,” Allen said.

Allen said she bought the dress based on the guidelines outlined in a letter that she said the school sent home.

The letter said dresses must be an appropriate length, but Allen said that when her daughter got to the prom, school leaders told her a different story.

“I asked them to show me what’s inappropriate, and they continued to say, ‘It says it here, it has to be to the ankle,’ and I said, ‘That’s not the paperwork you guys sent home.’ They need to change the way they’re writing these contracts for the students let it be known and make it clear, on what you expect at the prom. She can wear the skirt to school, but she can’t wear it to prom? What’s the difference?” Allen said.

A spokesperson for Duval County Public Schools sent Action News Jax this statement: “For Sandalwood High School, students were made aware in advance that prom dresses must be floor length. To resolve the issue, additional fabric was added to the front of the dress.”

Allen said they tried to add more material to the dress to make it longer, but eventually allowed her daughter in after she put on black tights. 

>> Related: Jacksonville high school apologizes for 'good girl' prom dress flyers posted in hallways

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