Judge Rules No Straps, No Dance - NBC Chicago
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Judge Rules No Straps, No Dance



    A judge ruled in favor of Readington Middle School's ban on strapless dresses for Friday night's event after two 8th-grade moms sued the school district over the policy. (Published Thursday, June 13, 2013)

    The right to bear arms doesn't extend to eighth-grade girls in a New Jersey school district.

    A judge has found the girls will not suffer “irreparable harm” by being made to wear at least one strap on their dresses at a dance off school grounds Friday night.

    Readington Middle School entered the national spotlight earlier this year when parents became upset with a proposal to ban strapless dresses took their concerns to the school board, the press and eventually court.

    The school board last month decided to ban girls from wearing strapless dresses to the dance to spare them from wardrobe malfunctions. The principal had earlier prohibited the dresses because she said they would distract boys.

    Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

    A lawyer for two parents tried to stop the ban. But State Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman on Wednesday found the girls are not being deprived of their rights.

    Parent Charlotte Nijenhuis, one of the most vocal opponents of the ban, told the Courier News of Bridgewater she's disappointed, but is dropping the case.

    “Obviously we are disappointed, but I understand,” she told the paper while acknowledging that the issue is “cloaked in a triviality.”

    “It’s not about strapless dresses. It’s about the government deciding to change policy without notice or input from parents,” she said.

    The Courier News of Bridgewater reported board members were concerned a strapless gown mishap could get posted online and embarrass a student.

    “It is the board’s position that the risk of a wardrobe mishap either intentional or unintentional and the possibility of the dissemination of such an occurrence through social media should be mitigated,” school board member Laura Simon said in a prepared statement, according to the paper.

    Some parents last month criticized Readington Middle School Principal Sharon Moffat for prohibiting the dresses because she said they would distract boys. Some parents said such a statement was sexist while others said they had already purchased their daughters' dresses.

    A group of eight grade boys at the school said they should be given more credit.

    "She's kind of making a stereotype for teenagers... it's not really fair for us," one boy told NBC New York.

    A committee will review the dress code and make recommendations in September.