This is a response to the recent article entitled, “Student petition opposes prom dress code.” Prom is a highly-anticipated, exciting, once-in-a-lifetime event that occurs for students at least once in their high school careers. Everything from prom attire, hairstyles, and makeup to the shoes, flowers/corsages, and photographs, etc. are very important additional features that help to make prom memorable for the rest of their lives. The purpose of prom should focus largely on the event, itself, camaraderie with friends, dinner, music, and dancing.
Student voice undoubtedly matters in our schools; however, student voice would be valued and highly supported if they are proactive in planning and decision-making, backed up by informed and “accurate” research, facts, and solutions as opposed to reacting emotionally and irrationally.
The petition began on a national website called change.org. Due to its widespread exposure around the United States, those who signed the petition are not solely from students of Kauai High School. There have been many recent discussions among our students, teachers, and parents, and many of those discussions prove that not everyone is in favor of this petition.
Kauai High School’s prom attire policies are similar to Kapaa High School, Waimea High School, and other high schools across the state of Hawaii.
Kauai High, in fact, is known to have been somewhat lenient in prom dress attire rules as compared to other schools. There have been subtle changes across the board throughout the years.
Much like businesses and organizations that require dress codes for various purposes, our high school students must adhere to dress codes for their safety, respect for themselves and others, as well as respect for the hotel venue guests and employees. This is not to imply that all students will dress inappropriately. Simply put, rules and guidelines must be in place.
Prom is a privilege. If students do not wish to comply, they have a choice to attend or not. In the past year or two, there have been no major problems with dress code. Students have not been turned away from prom.
They are encouraged to ask questions, and when they do, they will find that the dress code is not as harsh as it seems. Students are welcomed to speak to an administrator or myself if they have any questions.
Thank you for your time and understanding.
Divina Delos Santos Plowman is Kauai High School student activities coordinator.