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Catholic high school apologizes for modesty ponchos that were meant to help students abide by prom
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A Catholic high school in Dearborn, Michigan, offered a unique solution for making students abide by the school's prom dress code modesty ponchos.

According to The Huffington Post, the school came under fire for suggesting that female teens wear the modesty ponchos if their dresses were deemed inappropriate by teachers for the upcoming prom event.

If your dress does not meet our formal dance dress requirements no problem! Weve got you covered literally. This is our Modesty Poncho, which youll be given at the door, read a note attached to a mannequin, according to HuffPost.

Divine Child High School dressed mannequins in the halls of the school with the ponchos, which are not unlike rain ponchos and are available in both short and long styles.

According to the Associated Press, the length suggests its designed to cover cleavage.

The schools prom dress code, after all, said dresses can't have plunging necklines or cutouts below the traditional bra line, the Associated Press reported.

The school forbids exposed cleavage and visible midriffs, and a teacher will check for compliance at the door, according to the Associated Press.

Parents and students alike complained about the ponchos, calling them a form of body shaming, according to Fox 2 Detroit.

The school backtracked on its commitment to the ponchos, sending out an apology letter to the community.

To be clear: The poncho will not be passed out at Prom. It was on display to proactively remind students of our dress code policies and eliminate any confusion prior to this special event, the schools principal Eric Haley wrote in a letter to the community. We recognize that it has done the opposite for some members of our community and draws away from our goal of having students adhere to the dress code policy.

A spokesperson for the Detroit Catholic Archdiocese told Fox 2 Detroit that the ponchos werent distributed to students, nor were students required to wear them.

"Come prom night, if necessary, staff may provide wraps and shawls, as they and other schools have done in the past, spokesperson Holly Fournier said in a statement to Fox 2 Detroit.

Theology teacher Mary Pat OMalley said she came up with the idea for the ponchos to help spread a positive message at the school.

"We are trying focus on the inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn't need attention drawn to it," O'Malley said.

An anonymous Divine Child student told Fox 2, "I do believe the school has gone too far with this. 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."

The Michigan controversy comes a day after a Utah teen came under fire for her own modest dress. According to the Deseret News, Woods Cross High School teen Keziah Daum was criticized online for wearing a red qipao, a traditional Chinese dress.

Critics said the dress was a case of cultural appropriation, which is defined as an act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture," according to the Cambridge Dictionary.

Daum defended her dress choice, saying she bought it for the sake of modesty.

"I remember being there, and I'm like, 'I want to find something that's a little more modest. Don't want to send the wrong message,'" she told the Deseret News.
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