A high school principal in Louisiana in a text to parents said any girl attending prom, including dates who don't attend the school, will need to send her a picture of their outfit for approval beforehand.
In a recent text message addressed to students at Southwood High School in Shreveport attending prom, the principal, Kim Pendleton, said the same applies to "boys" who bring an off-campus date to prom, according to NBC affiliate KTAL, which obtained a copy of the message.
"As you begin shopping for your attire, please make sure you do not purchase any clothes that are sheer or revealing in any manner," the text message said. The message also advised against showing "excess cleavage or skin."
"Prior to purchasing an outfit, I will need you to send me a picture of you in the outfit with your name and grade," the message said. "Once I approve the outfit, you may purchase it. The approved outfit is the only one you will be allowed to wear to prom."
Pendleton, a new principal to the school, said in a statement to NBC News that she received feedback from several staff members and parents concerning students dressing inappropriately for school-hosted events. The feedback from past events did not indicate an issue or concern with the attire of boys, she said.
"In communicating the guidelines for appropriate conduct and dress, which are similar to what schools and districts require across the country, a decision was made to proactively work with families to ensure parents would not spend money on a dress which would be turned away for being inappropriate," the statement said.
Since the guidelines were shared with students and families earlier this week, Pendleton said she had not denied any students’ attire and, instead, has received positive feedback from "parents who are proud of the school for taking a stand to ensure prom is an encouraging, wholesome event."
The school district said in a statement Tuesday that students can express their concerns about the principal's requiring pre-approval of female prom attire at an upcoming assembly.
"In April, Southwood will host their annual prom and school administration has taken a proactive approach of asking parents for photos ahead of their upcoming event," the statement said. "It is a school-level decision for all formal dress to be approved prior to the event."
Some on social media took exception with the principal's requiring only female students to seek approval for their prom attire.
"Once again the blame is placed solely on the female," one commenter wrote on Facebook. "Way to perpetuate rape culture. Smdh"
"This is such bs," another Facebook user wrote, adding that imposing such demands on girls goes beyond the principal's role.
Some, however, came to the principal's defense, saying there would be no need for such a policy if parents took responsibility of their daughters' style of dress.
"It is a shame that the principal has to even do this, but do you know WHY she has to do this? Because the parents of these girls WONT do it!!!" Kimberly Theriot, the parent of a 14-year-old girl who does not attend the school, wrote on Facebook. Theriot told NBC News on Thursday that she would approve of such a policy if it was implemented at her daughter's school.
Albert Bryant, whose granddaughter attends Southwood High School told KTAL, "I can understand because there are some young ladies that are raising themselves more or less and they can get a little bit provocative."