A Catholic high school is under fire for displaying “modesty ponchos” to encourage teens to follow the dress code requirements for the school’s prom.
The ponchos were put out at Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan, before the school’s dance on May 12, according to Fox 2.
“If your dress does not meet our formal dance dress requirements — no problem! We’ve got you covered — literally,” a note on the ponchos read. “This is our Modesty Poncho, which you’ll be given at the door. :)”
Fox 2 reported on Monday that the ponchos would be passed out to teens at the dance who wore dresses that did not meet school requirements.
However, in an email to parents on Tuesday, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, the school’s principal, Eric Haley, disputed the station’s reporting.
“To be clear: the poncho will not be passed out at prom,” the email read. “It was on display to proactively remind students of our dress code policies and eliminate any confusion prior to this event.”
O’Malley told Fox 2 that Divine Child High School is “trying to focus on the inner beauty.”
“We are trying focus on the inner beauty of people and not draw attention to something that doesn’t really need to have attention drawn to it,” she said.
She added: “It was really intended as a deterrent and a very lighthearted one at that.”
A parent and a student, speaking anonymously to Fox 2, said that they disliked the ponchos.
“It’s a method of shaming, a method of bullying…” a parent told the TV station.
While Haley said that “modesty ponchos” will not be passed out at the prom, he did say the school will pass out “wraps and shawls.”
“We encourage our students to tailor their outfits or provide their own wraps or shawls that would meet our requirements,” Haley said.
“If necessary, we may also provide wraps and shawls, as we have done at school functions for many years.”