As 15-year-old Gabi Finalyson entered to school dance, she says a representative from her school told her to cover her shoulders because they felt her dress was violating the school dress code.
“She said, ‘Would you mind putting on a shawl?’ I didn’t want to make a big scene so I said, yes. I had a coat in the car so I had to go back and get it,” Finlayson told KUTV.
However, now the high schooler is speaking out because she’s upset that she was forced to wear her winter coat throughout the entire dance over a dress she felt was more than appropriate.
Principal of Lone Peak High School, Rhonda Bromley, says students were well aware of the dress code before the event, which states:
“Formals, backless dresses and/or tops may not extend beyond the bottom of the shoulder blades. Girls’ dresses and tops must have a 2″ minimum strap on each shoulder. Shawls, boleros and other shrugs are acceptable if worn over the dress at all times. Cleavage covered.”
Finlayson says her dress, which was purchased in Paris, and resembled in her mind, the classic, graceful style of her idol, actress Audrey Hepburn, was within the parameters put forth by the school dress code, and she says there were other girls at the dance whose dresses were questionable in her mind.
“There were a lot of dresses that were very short, very tight, a lot more exposing or revealing than mine,” Finlayson explained.
The 15-year-old told KUTV that she was felt Lone Peak High School was shaming her for what things may go through some boys’ minds.
“Somehow my shoulders are sexualized. Like it’s my responsibility to make sure the boys’ thoughts are not unclean. Maybe instead of teaching girls they should cover themselves up, we should be teaching boys that we’re not just sex objects that you can look at and derive pleasure,” said Finlayson.
Finlayson’s mom, Kristy Kimball, is angry as well. She said the school is sending negative, demeaning messages to the girls they forced to cover up. “How have we gotten to the point that we look at shoulders as if they’re somehow pornographic? As if they are this shameful thing,” Kimball said.