(Olive Branch,MS) – With their perfect prom dresses in hand, Ashley Lawson and her friends were looking forward to having the night of their lives.
“That’s the night we look forward to,” Lawson said.
“Making memories and you get to tell your kids about it,” fellow Olive Branch High School senior Shelby Ruble said.
But their prom night ended before it even began.
“She pulled me out of line and said you cant’ get in with that dress, Ruble said.
They were told their dresses were too short to go inside.
“That’s the last senior prom that I’m going to have and I didnt get to enjoy it,” Lawson said.
Lawson’s mom, Daphne, spent $400 on her daughter’s dress. “Her dress was fine to me. it wasn’t too short. The back wasn’t out in it,” she said.
But school officials told the girls dresses had to be knee length.
“If it’s three inches above the knee for dress code at school what’s the difference in a prom dress,” Lawson said.
The girls admit their dresses were too short, according to the prom dress code.
However, they say the enforcement of the dress code wasn’t consistent.
“I think they owe our students an apology,” Tonya Evans said.
Evan’s son’s date drove all the way from Tyler, TX to go to the prom. Her dress was long, but the slit came just above the knee. She too was sent home for having a dress that was too short.
“I was confused,” Evans said. “I didn’t understand why.”
The school told the girls they could get a refund on their tickets, but they say that won’t make up for the memories that were lost.
In a statement to WREG, the school district wrote “On two prior occasions students they were given the dress code rules in writing, requiring all dresses to be knee-length. On the night of the Prom, if students did not meet the dress code, they were given an opportunity to return to the Prom in another outfit.”