North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Should anyone think they are the exception to rules?


After spending hours getting dolled up for the high school Homecoming dance, dozens of girls were not allowed in because their dresses weren’t up to the school’s dress code.

Girls were crying and upset because they had not only wasted hours preparing for the dance but had also spent hundreds of dollars on their dresses. Dresses that they were not allowed to wear inside the dance.

I am sure many of you are feeling sorry for these girls and probably their parents as well. Spending so much time so that they could attend their Homecoming dance, one of those important milestones in the life of a high schooler, and then to be turned away from the door. It’s a shame, right?

Well, not so fast. It seems that the administrators at Bingham High School had actually warned all of the student body that the dress code would be enforced. They sent home emails to parents, held an assembly for students and passed out fliers leading up to the dance so that students would know the seriousness of keeping the dress standards.

According to KSL, a television news source, “some of the students say the dress standards are too strict and not enforced equally. The dress code at Bingham High… included dresses that cover the chest and back at the armpit, and hemlines that should go no higher than mid-thigh when seated.”

I am not writing to give my opinion on whether or not the dress code is too strict or to lose, I am expressing my opinion to the fact that I am appalled by some of the actions of the students and their parents afterwards.

On the Monday after the dance, students chose to protest by walking out of class. What I am most surprised at is how many parents supported them in this protest.

Rules were set in place, discussed and the expectations were known to all, including the parents. However, several students and their parents decided that they should be the exception to the rule and were mad when they found out that the school wasn’t giving any exceptions.

After reading many comments on Facebook and KSL’s website, I was pleased to see that a majority of those responding were as appalled as I was that there are parents who are teaching their kids that they don’t have to follow the rules.

One reader wrote, “Honestly, I don't think they are inappropriate but they are against the rules that the school clearly set out. When I was a kid, there were a lot of rules I didn't like or that I thought were silly but I understood the concept of rules and consequences. I personally think school dances should lax the rules a little bit since it's an even(t) to dress up and have fun but if the school made it clear that there was a dress code and it would be enforced, it's very immature to go and then throw a tantrum when they don't let you in because you broke the rules.”

Another wrote, “Whether or not I, you, or their parents feel the dresses are inappropriate is a moot point. The dress code was clearly established and published ad nauseam. There is no "right" to attend a prom or any other dance. You (are) voluntarily agreeing beforehand to certain standards. You know what the standards are and the consequence for not meeting those standards.”

What it comes down to for me is, that rules are in place, everyone knew the rules and if those students broke the rules they need to suffer the consequences. Their parents should be encouraging them to follow the rules and prepare them for the penalties if they don’t, not conspiring with them to walk out of class.

This would be a good time for students to meet with the administrators and work together to change the rules for upcoming dances. Do something constructive to make change if that’s what they want, not complain and protest because they don’t think the rules should apply to them.


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