Controversial homecoming dress code ends in protest

Sep 27, 2022, 9:49 AM | Updated: Nov 16, 2022, 2:08 pm
FILE:  (Mark DiOrio/The Deseret Morning News)...
FILE: (Mark DiOrio/The Deseret Morning News)
(Mark DiOrio/The Deseret Morning News)

SPANISH FORK, Utah — As many as 60 high school girls say they were denied entry to their homecoming dance because of dress code violations. Now they are questioning the fairness of the decision by protesting. 

American Leadership Academy (ALA) held their homecoming dance Saturday, Sept. 24 without its homecoming queen and student body Vice President. They were turned away from the dance after being told their dresses were inappropriate and didn’t meet dress code.

Consequently, girls of ALA, both those denied and those who were admitted, expressed their concerns about what happened on Saturday to KSLNewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic

The ALA dress code, thought of as extensive and mostly pertaining to female wardrobes, was available prior to the dance. With the dress code in mind, students like Molleleigh Gamble said they took all the necessary precautions. 

Gamble and her mother got her dress approved by school administrators by showing a photo of the dress on a model. Once arriving to the dance she was denied entry and told her body was not the same as the models.

After she was denied entrance, Gamble along with other students who experienced the same thing said they felt body shamed. Gamble said that, collectively, students were being told their bodies didn’t fit into the dresses they were wearing. 

“It’s just not right, no one should be able to comment on any girls’ bodies … especially grown adults,” Gamble told KSL NewsRadio.

ALA’s Homecoming Queen Natalia Burton was also denied entry. She confirmed with a video that girls were being turned away and even being threatened with a $25 fine.  

Burton said she felt there were inconsistencies with who was admitted to the dance. Claiming there were several girls with the same dress and based on their size, some were admitted some were not. 

Protesting in dresses

On the Monday after the dance, ALA students and mothers protested the dress code violations. 

Wearing their homecoming dresses, the students made body-positivity signs, “We waved our signs at cars who were honking at us,” Gamble told KSLNewsRadio. “It was great”. 

ALA’s administration has yet to confirm to KSLNewsRadio any stories being told by the students who came forward to speak out. 

Related Reading: New dress code gives West High School students more leeway


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Controversial homecoming dress code ends in protest