School supt. on prom: ‘What we will not allow are dresses that are considered to overexpose one’s body’

Shelton School Supt. Freeman Burr made the following statement on Monday, May 11 during a press conference on the controversy about appropriate attire for the Shelton High School prom.

Burr made the prepared comments during a press conference at Shelton High, attended by TV outlets from Connecticut and New York City as well as other media representatives. He also answered some questions from the media.

Here is Supt. Burr’s May 11 statement:

“I would like to begin by thanking the many parents, the many students, as well as several members of the community, who have called or emailed us, thanking us for making sure that (Shelton High School’s) dress code policy is followed at Saturday night’s prom.

“So far, 549 students have purchased tickets to attend the prom; of those, 313 are female students. To purchase prom tickets, they sign a contract that includes the dress code as well as expectations.

“As of today, we are only talking about six or seven ‘questionable’ prom dresses. The guidelines for appropriate dress are outlined in the student handbook, a copy of which is given to each and every student at the beginning of the school year.

“Those guidelines were announced over the PA [school’s public announcement system] again last Friday [May 8], following concerns raised by some faculty, staff and even some male students, who had some serious concerns about some prom dresses they were shown.

“Obviously, we understand that prom attire is different from what students wear to school on a daily basis, but what we will not allow are dresses that are considered to overexpose one’s body.

“We just want all of those attending to have a safe and memorable evening. I really don’t see what’s wrong with that, or why this has turned into what some are calling a controversy.”

The Shelton High Junior/Senior Prom is scheduled for Saturday, May 16 at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford. Tickets cost $90 per person.

Attending the May 11 press conference with Burr, held near the lower entrance to SHS, were Shelton Board of Education Chairman Mark Holden and Asst. School Supt. Lorraine Rossner.

At the press event, media representatives were given copies of the Shelton High School Prom Permission Form and the SHS student handbook page that includes the “Dress Code” section.