Teen almost turned away from Sandalwood prom because of dress length

by: Larry Spruill, Action News Jax Updated:

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A local mother is calling on school leaders to clarify guidelines for what students can wear to prom after confusion and controversy arose over the dress her daughter wore to the big dance.

Sandalwood High School leaders tell Action News Jax the teenager's dress was too short in the front.


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“She’s crying, she’s like, 'Mom just come and get me.' I said, 'No, you’re going to the prom.' We spent all of this money, and it doesn’t make any sense for them to say it’s inappropriate,” Nydia Allen said.

Nydia Allen said her daughter called her just an hour after she took a picture of her in her dress before prom. Most of the dress is touching the ground. A skirt is touching her knees in the front.

“She was saying that they said her skirt was too short,” Allen said.

Allen says she bought the dress based on the guidelines outline in a letter she says the school sent home.

The letter said dresses must be at appropriate length, but Allen said when she got to the prom, school leaders told her a different story.

“I asked them to show me what’s inappropriate, and they continued to say, 'It says it here, it has to be to the ankle,' and I said, 'That’s not the paperwork you guys sent home.' They need to change the way they’re writing these contracts for the students, let it be known, and make it clear, on what you expect at the prom. She can wear the skirt to school, but she can’t wear it to prom? What’s the difference?” Allen said.


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A spokesperson with Duval County Public Schools sent Action News Jax this statement: “For Sandalwood High School, students were made aware in advance that prom dresses must be floor length. To resolve the issue, additional fabric was added to the front of the dress.”

Allen said at first they tried to add more material to the dress to make it longer, but eventually allowed her daughter in with black tights on. 

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