Well, that didn’t take long.
Administrators at Divine Child High School, a private school in Michigan, have now announced that they will no longer hand out “Modesty Ponchos” at prom to girls wearing anything even remotely revealing.
Mary Pat O’Malley, the theology teacher who came up with the idea, said earlier that, “We are trying to focus on the inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn’t need attention drawn to it.” Which was really just another form of slut-shaming. Were bustier girls unable to display their inner beauty?
Tonight, though, the principal of the school sent this message to parents, as reported by Ann Zaniewski of the Detroit Free Press.
On Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Detroit released a letter Principal Eric Haley sent out to parents:
“Our intention with displaying the poncho was never to make students feel uncomfortable, but to remind all students and parents of our formal Prom dress policy, which has not changed for several years,” Haley said. “To be clear: The poncho will not be passed out at Prom. It was on display to proactively remind students of our dress code policies and eliminate any confusion prior to this special event.”
Haley said Divine Child, like many other private and public schools, is simply asking students and parents to follow the dress code when selecting prom outfits.“We encourage our students to tailor their outfits or provide their own wraps or shawls that would meet our requirements,” he said. “If necessary, we may also provide wraps and shawls, as we have done at school functions for many years.”
So… it was all a big joke? The poncho was just meant to scare students? Based on the reporting, students seemed to be taking it literally. And even if “modesty ponchos” are out, wraps and shawls are still in? Which girls will be forced to wear those?
This school can’t seem to make up its mind about what’s too slutty. They just know girls have to cover themselves up. Everywhere. I joked earlier about girls having to wear burkas to this dance, but that doesn’t seem like a stretch now.
Most schools have sensible policies that basically say no one should wear anything too revealing. The problem with this Catholic school is that they’re trying to micromanage every square inch of girls’ bodies. As if the girls are too stupid to know what kind of dress would be acceptable at a school dance.
At least the online ridicule had an impact. And the students have learned a very important lesson about why they should never count on the Catholic Church to do the right thing.