On Monday, posters featuring a new prom dress code appeared in the halls of Stanton College Prep, a public high school in Jacksonville, Florida.
As with many dress code fiascos, the Stanton College Prep dress code flyers are both odd and sexist. Each poster features a woman in a different type of gown with the first one, featuring a sleeveless gown, reading: “Going to Stanton Prom?” At the bottom the post reads: “YES you are. Good girl.” The other three posters feature a dress with a high slit up the leg, a backless dress and a dress with a plunging neckline. Alongside each dress, school administrators wrote: “Going to Stanton Prom? No you’re not.”
Many students were not happy.
Lily Willingham, a student at Stanton College Prep, told The Huffington Post that the students’ assumed school administrators put up the posters. “There was immediate outrage due to not only to the fact that the dress code was introduced five days before prom, but also because of the sexist connotations,” Willingham said.
Willingham tweeted a photo of the posters Monday afternoon.
Beyond the fact that the flyers are blatantly sexist, the sudden announcement of a new dress code so close to prom night worried students.
Willingham noted that many girls were upset because they had already bought their prom dresses and didn’t have the time or money to buy a new one before Saturday.
By Tuesday morning, Stanton College Prep issued an apology for the dress code and reported that the school had taken the flyers down.
“The display of prom dress photos at Stanton College Prep is not appropriate or an approved policy,” the school tweeted. “Images were removed on [Monday].”
According to local news station Action News Jax, Stanton Prep principal told students: “Please do accept my apology for this poor delivery of information. Our intent is to make sure prom is enjoyable and memorable.”
On Monday night, student body president Anthony Paul had told students to wear purple and white colors and duct tape the female gender sign on their shirts in protest of the posters.
Since the school’s apology wasn’t made until 10 a.m. on Tuesday (during school hours), many students still wore purple and white in an awesome display of resistance against the sexist dress code.
Below Willingham and other female Stanton College Prep students pose for a picture on Tuesday wearing purple and white in protest of the flyers.
Willingham told HuffPost she was excited to see students come together to protest the dress code.
“It was incredibly inspiring to me to see that students voices were heard [on Tuesday] and we were able to unite as a student body to make a difference,” she said. “It also brought to light an issue affecting women all over the nation when it comes to dress code in schools as well as societies constant hyper-sexualization of females bodies so I hope bringing attention to this will cause change in not only schools but society as well.”
Scroll below to see more students who wear white and purple in solidarity.
As Willingham told HuffPost, this event reflects a larger trend of policing women’s bodies through dress codes.
“Unfortunately what happened here is a symptom of what is still happening to girls in this country – – this over sexualization of our bodies and emphasis on it,” she said. “Girls are made to feel responsible for what a boy ‘might do or feel’ in response to how we dress. Dress codes are grossly outdated for 2017.”
We could not agree more.