A Spanish Fork high school homecoming dress code causes tension between students and faculty

Sep 26, 2022, 7:40 PM | Updated: 7:41 pm

SPANISH FORK, Utah — Upset students are speaking out tonight after being turned away from their homecoming dance.

“They originally let me in, but then chaperones, I guess, had a problem with the length of my dress and kicked me out later,” explained Irvine, a senior at American Leadership Academy.

The Midnight in Paris dance would be Irvine’s last.

“We were mad for her because this is their senior year, and the dance should be fun and special for them,” said Serena Irvine, mother of Irvine.

Irvine and about 60-90 girls say they were turned away at the gym doors for being out of the dress code for their homecoming dance. They held a protest before school on Monday, asking for an apology.

But, Rich Morley, Director of American Leadership Academy, believes the number is closer to 12 students being denied entry.

“From what we were able to see, there were 12 students who were turned away, four of them, left got in dress code and came back, we may have missed some students,” he said.

Morley said the majority of infractions had to do with cleavage showing and too short dresses.

“They needed to have no undergarments showing, so no underwear showing, the dress had to be at least finger length and no plunging necklines, no cleavage is to be seen,” he explains.

Meanwhile, the teenage girls say they made sure their dresses met the guidelines, some had theirs pre-approved but were still asked to leave the venue.

“We looked at the dress code and made sure it’d be perfect, and we had it perfectly tailored to me,” said Liliana Bradford, another senior at American Leadership Academy.

Some students said some girls were body shamed for what they wore.

“There’s a girl who was told that she wasn’t allowed to wear the dress because it didn’t look the same on her as it did on the model,” Bradford continued.

Morley responded to those claims.

“Just because another student has worn that dress doesn’t mean it’s going to fit you the same way it’s going to fit them,” he said.

Irvine and her mother said they didn’t like how the school handled the situation.

“I hope that the school changes their policy a little bit. I don’t like that it kind of discriminates against girls that are curvy or have different sizes,” Serena said.

Morley said the school board recently changed the dress code policy to be more lenient.

“As an administrator, we don’t make policies. We just enforce policies that are established by boards,” Morley explains.


KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Brig. General Richard W. Gibbs speaks with students before a ceremony at the University of Utah whe...
Logan Stefanich,

University of Utah, US Air Force strike historic education partnership

The University of Utah College of Engineering on Friday signed a historic educational partnership with the U.S. Air Force and Hill Air Force Base.
17 days ago
Jennifer Steele holding her daughters GPS watch. (KSL-TV)...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Safety feature or distraction? Debate over kid-tracking watches in the classroom

A mom says it’s about safety. Her school says it’s a distraction. Where is the line when it comes to smartwatches in the classroom? KSL’s Matt Gephardt investigates.
18 days ago
air purifier...
Mike Anderson

Free air purifiers are available for Utah schools to help with dirty air, RSV

It doesn't take a website or a special device to see how dirty Utah's air can be. But some parents, like Brad Plotow, might notice it more than others.
18 days ago
Noah and Riley Fullmer with their mother, Barb Fullmer, while they create their Gratitude Tree. (KS...
Ashley Moser

‘Gratitude Tree’ helps toddlers express love while learning how to write

Utah family uses a creative activity to help young children practice reading and writing, while learning about love and gratitude.
19 days ago
Brigham Young University cheer leader, Makenzie Roberts. (KSL-TV)...
Karah Brackin

Local scholarship supports BYU cheerleader so she can keep cheering

A Utah-based company is helping BYU cheerleaders by giving them scholarships so they can focus on school and pursue their passion.
19 days ago
phone with apps...
Daniella Rivera

Violent sexual predators use dating apps as ‘hunting grounds,’ BYU study finds

The newly published BYU study is the largest of its kind in the world, examining more than 200 sexual assaults in Utah that occurred during the first in-person meeting between people who connected through online dating apps.
21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
A Spanish Fork high school homecoming dress code causes tension between students and faculty