Teen forced to wear winter coat at school dance after dress was deemed too inappropriate

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HIGHLAND, Utah — A teen in Utah was told her dress was too inappropriate for a high school dance last Saturday according to KUTV.

Gabi Finlayson, 15, said a school representative approached her as she entered the school dance. The representative told Finlayson that she needed to put on a coat or sweater to cover her shoulders.

“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.

Finlayson said she did not agree with the representative that her dress was inappropriate. Finlayson and her mother both claimed the straps on the dress were within the standards of the dress code.

“There were a lot of dresses that were very short, very tight, a lot more exposing or revealing than mine,” Finlayson said.

Finlayson’s bead and lace dress was purchased in Paris with her mom. The dress reminded her of her idol Audrey Hepburn who embodied a classic and graceful style Finlayson said.

“Somehow my shoulders are sexualized,” Finlayson said. “Like it’s my responsibility to make sure the boys’ thoughts are not unclean.”

Finlayson wasn’t the only student told her outfit was inappropriate at the dance. There were a total of 4 out of 1200 students that had to put on something less revealing.

Rhonda Bromley, principal of Lone Peak high school, said students were aware of the dress code for formal events in an email to KUTV.

Lone Peak’s dress code 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’s mother, Kristy Kimball told KUTV that she too was angry with what happened.

“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,” Finlayson said.