Parents of girls at a middle school in New Jersey are furious after the principal sent a letter describing the new dress code for dances which bans strapless dresses.
Sharon Moffat, principal of Readington Middle School, said "young gentleman are encouraged to wear collared shirts and trousers; many boys wear ties or jackets. Young ladies should wear a skirt, dress with straps, or dressy pants outfit. Jeans or sneakers are not appropriate for this event."
Moffat said the boys are too distracted by strapless dresses.
Parents are angry because they funded the dance and it is being held off of school grounds. They believe Moffat should not have a say in how the students dress.
Many students already purchased their dresses and now must return the strapless ones, as they will be denied entry to the dance if they show up without straps.
Mother Charlotte Nijenhuis said it is not the girl's responsibility to control a boy's behavior.
"Ms. Moffat's comment about 'distraction' to the boys is particularly offensive because it suggests that boys are not able to control - or ought not to be required to control - their behavior when in the presence of girls wearing strapless dresses," she said.
Harry Nijenhuis, her husband, said, "I've seen full dresses that are more inappropriate than these [strapless] dresses. It's not an inappropriate dress. It's a fancy dress."
Melissa May, another mother, said, "As parents, we should have the ability to say what our children wear."