Catholic high school creates 'modesty ponchos'
A Catholic high school located in Dearborn, Mich., Divine Child High School, will issue out “modesty ponchos” at their annual prom this year if a student wears a dress that is deemed too revealing.
A note that appears at the high school reads, “If your dress does not meet our Formal Dance Dress Requirements — no problem! We've got you covered — literally. This is our Modesty Poncho, which you’ll be given at the door,” and a smiley face ends the note, Detroit Free Press reports.
Some of the students and parents at the high school are claiming the policy is a form of body shaming, according to the Washington Post. In response to all of the accusations, Eric Haley, the principal at the school, issued a statement through the Archdiocese of Detroit: he basically stated the intentions were to remind students of the dress code and not to make them feel uncomfortable.
Mary Pat O’Malley, a theology teacher, created the poncho, according to WJBK: “We are trying to focus on the inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn’t need attention drawn to it. It was really intended as a deterrent and a lighthearted one at that.”
Jenny Lessnau, a Twitter user, made a tweet regarding the ponchos: “I really have a problem with the fact that if you happen to have big boobs at DC, and wear a dress that is even a little low, that will warrant a ‘modesty poncho’ EVERY time. They basically body shame girls…”
In the formal dress policy, it outlines the dresses can’t have plunging necklines or “cutouts below the traditional bra line,” even if it is covered with a mesh fabric, and the school will not allow midriffs that are visible or show cleavage. A teacher will check the students’ dresses at the door.