The Michigan high school is displaying the "Modesty Ponchos" on mannequins, along with a note reading, “If your dress does not meet our formal dance dress requirements — no problem! We've got you covered — literally." (WJBK)
A Catholic high school in Michigan has created “Modesty Ponchos” to hand out to female students considered inappropriately dressed for prom.
The ponchos are displayed on mannequins at Divinity Child High School in Dearborn, along with a note: “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. :)"
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The Modesty Ponchos come in different patterns and are all designed to be worn over the shoulders and dress of female students — like a poncho.
"We are trying focus on the inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn't need attention drawn to it," theology teacher Mary Pat O'Malley said to FOX 2. "It was really intended as a deterrent and a lighthearted one at that."
O’Malley came up with the idea for the Modesty Poncho as an addition to the school’s already detailed formal dress code agreement, which students and parents have to sign as part of the dress guidelines.
O’Malley and the high school principal told FOX 2 that no parents have complained about the proposed cover-up, but students are saying the poncho is a form of body shaming.Display nothing; This is on Publish with no configured Image
A student who wished to remain anonymous out of concerns of retaliation by the school, told FOX 2 that she is concerned about the clothing item.
"I do believe the school has gone too far with this," she said. "As we walk into prom, we are to shake hands with all the teachers and if you walk through and a teacher deems your dress is inappropriate you will be given a poncho at the door."
"Who knows what will happen to those who try and speak out against it?" she added. Her classmate was allegedly disciplined for criticizing the new poncho on social media. The administration neither confirmed nor denied the claim to FOX 2.
At least one parent agrees with the students' upset over the Modesty Poncho.
"It's a method of shaming, a method of building and degrading to females," the parent, who also asked to be anonymous, said.
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The school’s prom is scheduled for May 12.
Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.