Teen banned from prom at Christian school for wearing a dress with mesh cut-outs

Elise Solé
Yahoo Lifestyle

A teen was banned from entering her date’s prom for wearing a dress with mesh cutouts, and her mother claims she was mistreated.

Josie Reason, 16, of Central, Louisiana was thrilled to receive a promposal from her co-worker Christian — a pizza delivery with the words, “I know this is cheesy but prom?” written on the box — for his March 17 prom.

The next day, mom Rebecca Reason took her daughter dress shopping. “Josie is pretty conservative, and since the prom was at a Christian school, she was concerned about looking appropriate,” Rebecca tells Yahoo Lifestyle. In fact, as Josie tried on dresses, she vetoed several for being too tight, having a high slit, or showing too much chest.

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Josie Reason’s friend surprised her with a pizza-themed promposal. (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Reason)
Josie Reason’s friend surprised her with a pizza-themed promposal. (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Reason)

“My only rule was to find a dress that could easily pass at church,” says Rebecca. The pair found the perfect look: a $400 gown with a black-and-white floral shirt and a fitted top with cutout panels covered by mesh.

“I texted photos of the dress to Christian’s mom to make sure it was decent and we could coordinate about the corsage colors,” says Rebecca. “She agreed it was pretty.”

On the night of the prom, held at Central Private, Josie and Christian headed off in a limo. However, shortly after the couple arrived, Rebecca received a phone call from her daughter.

“I could tell Josie was trying not to cry,” she says. “She said, ‘Mom, they won’t let me in the prom because of my cutouts — I either have to wear Christian’s jacket all night or walk 40 minutes to Walmart and buy a belt.’”

Josie had pointed out that her cutouts were covered by mesh — therefore not exposing bare skin — but the teacher at the entrance said it was “see-through.”

Josie Reason’s prom gown violated her date’s school’s dress code. (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Reason)
Josie Reason’s prom gown violated her date’s school’s dress code. (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Reason)

Christian wouldn’t give Josie his jacket on principal. “He said girls wearing more revealing dresses were allowed in and it wasn’t fair,” says Rebecca.

Ultimately, Christian’s mom picked up the couple and took them for a hibachi dinner and a movie. While the night was partially salvaged, Rebecca is bothered by what she says is discrimination. “I feel they treated Josie unfairly because she doesn’t attend Christian’s school.” Central Private did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

What’s more, Rebecca says she later discovered that Christian’s mom had called the school prior to prom and confirmed that cutouts with mesh panels were appropriate as long as “no bare skin showed.”

Josie and Christian are still making the most of prom season — the couple will hit Josie’s prom at Central High School on Saturday.

This time, Rebecca is prepared. “I’m making Josie a ‘prom care package’ with a needle and thread, a marker, scissors, a measuring tape, and a belt,” she says, adding that the kit can be shared with girls who unknowingly violate the dress code. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Josie Reason’s mom is sending her to prom with a dress-code care package. (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Reason)
Josie Reason’s mom is sending her to prom with a dress-code care package. (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Reason)

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