Prom is a privilege; some guidelines necessary

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 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.

  1. Uncleaina March 13, 2018 6:27 am Reply

    Great to hear opinions from 1998 expressed so eloquently. Truth is, dress codes almost always target young women – implying that showing too much skin is “unprofessional” – that’s the word they usually use. Go out to a bar on the weekend and you’ll see some of the same people who make these rules dressed in dresses that violate their own rules. Plenty in fact. It’s time to quit blaming girls for being “provocative” and let them make their own decisions about what they wear on their own body.

  2. Right to bare arms March 13, 2018 3:57 pm Reply

    “The purpose of prom should focus largely on the event, itself, camaraderie with friends, dinner, music, and dancing”
    ATTENTION SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION: Please tell that to the boys who are focusing on the girls instead of the above statement.

  3. Anonymous March 13, 2018 5:12 pm Reply

    As a young woman myself, I believe these rules are to prepare us for the future. Professional businesses not only ask women to cover up, but men as well. Students who attend are representing the school and should be in appropriate attire. Looking at other school’s prom dress code, I find Kaua’i High to be the least strict. Many people who signed the petition soon regretted it as they showed their dress and got it approved. This is a school event that is optional to attend and if they do not agree with the rules of the event, then they have an option not to attend. In addition, many other young women agree to these rules and have found many dresses that fit the requirements.

  4. Junior Student March 14, 2018 4:34 pm Reply

    I would like to thank you all for sharing your opinions of the matter. However that all it is, an opinion. What you say will not change the Prom agreement or the dress code. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY? Because the schools first priority is to protect the students. That requires making sure both male and female students dress formally and in an outfit that wont promote the wrong attention from the wrong people. We can only protect your child from the moment they enter our ballroom to the time that they leave. Anything from the parking lot to the prom entrance is on them, and anyone can come upon them during that time(registered sex offender). More so I found this exceptionally funny from a previous comment, “Go out to a bar on the weekend and you’ll see some of the same people who make these rules dressed in dresses that violate their own rules. “(Uncleaina) You did not really just relate the dress code of a high school student to that of an adult teacher. And I really hope your not imagining that high school student in something an adult would wear to a bar, that’s means of a psych evaluation. Another hilarious comment was “Please tell that to the boys who are focusing on the girls instead of the above statement.”(Right to Bare Arms). First off, I am a boy. And I am not focusing on the girls because i want to, its just that I have this weird thing to constantly notice the things that make me uncomfortable. Oh wait that just me being a regular civilized person. How can I enjoy my camaraderie if I feel uncomfortable. No teenager wants to see another student trying to be/dress up like an adult. Its uncomfortable and really kind of embarrassing.

    I support girls and women who want to show off there body and express themselves in anyway they want to. Exuding ones own confidence is a beautiful thing, and I wish we did more of it. But there is a time and place for everything and a school event, hosted at a hotel corporation, sadly isn’t one of them. I thought that would be pretty obvious. I guess not. More so, just to save my own sanity, do me a favor and keep your two sense out of the situation. Unless you’ve actually read our prom agreement or have a child that is attending our Prom, your arguments are invalid and you lack the ethos to support your logos. Cant listen to a source solely on pathos. ( Again I’m a Junior… think about that)

    With Love,
    Common Sense

    P.S Find a hobby
    P.S Amazing job Anonymous

  5. Theresa March 21, 2018 1:17 pm Reply

    You keep talking about how much skin is showing but unless you want to go out and buy dresses for the entire female student body then maybe trust that the parents aren’t letting the kids be indecent .

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