The prom is a night that you remember for the rest of your life, which is why teenagers spend so much time and money making sure every last detail, from the dress to the limo is absolutely perfect.
After trying on dozens of dresses, a 16-year-old from Central, Louisiana went out of her way to make sure the dress she chose for both her prom and her date’s prom made her feel beautiful while also being appropriate enough. However, when she showed up on the night of her date’s prom, she was crushed by what the staff told her…
The Pizza Delivery
In early 2018, 16-year-old Josie Reason from Central, Louisiana was confused when a pizza delivery person knocked on her door holding a pizza pie since she never actually placed an order and she definitely hadn’t paid for anything.
Josie tried to explain to the delivery person that there must be a mistake with the delivery address, but then insisted that the pizza was meant for her, and handed her the pizza. Josie took the box, but it wasn’t until she looked down that she saw there was a special message for her on it…
“I know this is cheesy but prom?” the message read on the pizza box, which had been sent by Josie’s co-worker, Christian. Christian was a junior at Central Private School in Central, Louisiana, and instead of inviting a classmate, the teenager wanted to bring his co-worker and friend.
The Central Private School Prom
Josie was also a junior but went to a public high school, Central High School, and was excited to be going to another school’s prom with Christian. She immediately told her mom about the exciting news, and they started thinking about what kind of dress she should wear…
The very next day, Josie and her mother, Rebecca Reason, went out dress shopping. According to Rebecca, Josie normally dresses pretty conservatively but they knew they were going to have to pick a dress that didn’t show too much skin since it was a Christian school prom.
The Search Begins
“Josie is pretty conservative, and since the prom was at a Christian school, she was concerned about looking appropriate,” Rebecca said. While trying dresses on, Rebecca told Josie if dresses were too tight, too low cut, or showing too much leg…
“My only rule was to find a dress that could easily pass at church,” Rebecca said of the rule she gave her daughter while looking for the perfect prom dress that she could wear to both Christian’s prom on March 17 and her school’s prom shortly after that.
A Difficult Task
However, while the mother and daughter were out shopping that day for a dress, they realized just how hard it was going to be to find a dress they both thought looked nice but was also appropriate enough to wear to both formal events…
A Strict Dress Code
While trying on dresses, it seemed all of them either had a slit that went up too high in the leg, were too low cut and either showed too much cleavage or back, or had cutouts that showed bare skin, which went against the dress code at Central Private School.
The Search Is Over
So when Rebecca and Josie finally found a dress that they both thought was pretty, didn’t have a slit up the leg, had a neckline up to her collarbone, and wasn’t too tight, they were both thrilled and relieved that their search was finally over…
The Perfect Dress
The dress, which cost $400, had a floor-length skirt with a black-and-white floral pattern and a black, racerback style top that had cut out panels on both sides of the waist that are covered with a mesh fabric, which kept her from showing any bare skin.
Getting A Second Opinion
Rebecca and Josie thought the dress met all the requirements of the dress code from the private school, which were slightly more strict than the public school’s prom dress code, but to be sure it wasn’t too revealing, they sent a picture of Josie wearing the dress to Christian’s mom…
The School’s Approval
“I texted photos of the dress to Christian’s mom to make sure it was decent and we could coordinate about the corsage colors,” Rebecca said. “She agreed it was pretty.” To be sure the dress was appropriate, Christian’s mom even called the school to check.
When Christian’s mom contacted staff from Central Private School, she explained that the dress had mesh-covered cutouts at the waist and asked if that was in violation of the dress code. They told her that it was fine as long as there was no bare skin…
The Big Night
On the night of March 17, Josie got all dressed up in her new dress, did her makeup, and got her hair styled for the big event. Christian, who rented a white tuxedo, also rented a limo for the night and the 2 headed off for what they thought was going to be a night of dancing and fun.
The Phone Call
A little while after the couple left for the prom, however, Rebecca got a call from her daughter and could immediately tell something was wrong. According to Josie, her dress was in violation of the dress code and she wasn’t allowed into the prom…
“I could tell Josie was trying not to cry,” Rebecca explained. “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’s skin was not exposed in any way, but the school staff at the door claimed that the mesh was see-through.
Refusing To Cover Up
Even though she was allowed to enter the prom if she wore Christian’s jacket, Christian refused since it was so unfair to Josie, who went out of her way trying to make sure the gown met the dress code. “He said girls wearing more revealing dresses were allowed in and it wasn’t fair,” says Rebecca. “I feel they treated Josie unfairly because she doesn’t attend Christian’s school,” she added. After Josie was the only girl banned from entering the dance, Christian’s mom picked them both up and brought them out for dinner and a movie…
Rules Are Rules
“Central Private is a Christian based school and we have guidelines that we ask all our students and their dates to meet and they sign a contract and get it back to us. I trust our sponsors to handle all (the) guidelines students sign and they did,” Central Private School Superintendent Wayne Cooks said. “No cut-outs that show skin in the mid-section will be allowed.”
A Prom Care Package
Christian and Josie sadly never got to go to his prom, but they are planning to go to Josie’s prom together. This time, Rebecca is making sure Josie and every other girl doesn’t get turned away. “I’m making Josie a ‘prom care package’ with a needle and thread, a marker, scissors, a measuring tape, and a belt,” Rebecca said. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”