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Prom Dress Needs Pre-Approval by Catholic School; New Policy Angers Students in Pennsylvania

(FACEBOOK/Delone Catholic High School page)Students have some free time inside their classroom at the Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania.

A Catholic high school in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania, is requiring female students to submit a photo of their prom dress for pre-approval, a policy which has angered parents and students.

The Delone Catholic High School recently issued the policy for its May 1 prom along with guidelines on the style of dress.

"All young women planning to attend the Delone Catholic prom, whether a member of the Delone Catholic student body or a guest of a Delone Catholic student, will need to submit a photo of the gown that will be worn to the prom for pre-approval. This must be done prior to purchasing prom tickets," according to the policy posted on the high school's website.

Margaret Eser, whose daughter, Audrey is attending the prom, said, "I think it's a little ridiculous."

"If you already have a dress, what are you going to do then?" she told York Daily Record.

A petition by parents was launched on Change.org against the pre-approval policy. "We as the paying customers of Delone Catholic have been notified about antiquated and unreasonable restrictions imposed on the formal wear for the May 2015 prom," the petition said.

It said many parents have already bought non-refundable prom gowns and the guidelines were only posted last March 13 or just six weeks before the prom.

"The parents of Delone Catholic High School will not tolerate these guidelines imposed for this year," it said. "By supporting this petition our students do not have to submit photos to a prom committee. Our children will not undergo scrutiny of prom gowns based on outdated, unrealistic expectations and rules implemented at such short notice."

Under the guidelines set by the school, the "dress code has been established to help make your prom meet the values of Christian leadership."

"Students wearing inappropriate attire (as deemed by the Prom Committee and/or Administration) will not be permitted into the prom," the school said.

According to the policy, women's gowns may not be extremely short, have an extremely low cut front or back, have any excessively high cut slits, have overly revealing midriffs, or be inappropriately revealing – giving the illusion of nudity.

In light of the protests against the policy, the school said, "The early release of the guidelines, and the addition to them, was a proactive approach to prevent student's embarrassment and disappointment of being denied entrance to prom due to dress code infractions."

It said "fidelity to the Catholic identity of the school is the fundamental priority."

"The administration will continue to work with students and parents on a proactive approach for future events," the school stated.

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