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This Girl Was Kicked Out of Her Prom For Wearing Pants

This Girl Was Kicked Out of Her Prom For Wearing Pants

I am generally of the mind that skinny jeans are universally terrible. (Seriously, why would you put those on your body?) But I understand that some people like them, and I guess it’s no skin off my nose if you want to wear them.

Not everyone feels this way. A North Carolina high school senior named Shafer Rupard was kicked out of her prom because her dress was, well, not a dress at all, but red skinny jeans. According to WBTV:

After getting inside and onto the dance floor, Rupard says she was approached by a teacher and asked to leave.

“The teacher tapped me on the shoulder and said she had a problem with what I was wearing,” said Rupard. “I thought it was because of the hat or the leather jacket and I was like well I’ll take those off and she was like no, it’s the pants.”

It’s not really about the pants, though. I think that’s clear. One would expect approximately half of those in attendance wore pants. But Rupard is a girl wearing pants. To a prom, no less! Scandalous! It might be understandable — no less absurd, but understandable — if Rupard violated some kind of policy. But no, that’s not the case, either. School administration, when confronted, admitted as much.

So basically Rupard was kicked out of her own prom for no good reason. She was kicked out because a teacher didn’t approve of her dress. I have a very hard time believing that had she been wearing a skirt, even just a simple one, I would not be writing this post right now.

But there is another possibility. Prom is expensive. Really expensive. The cost has gone down a bit since last year, but, on average, Americans spend about $1,000 on prom.

In certain parts of the country in states such as California, Washington and Oregon the average cost of prom can get as high as $1,125, the survey found. The Northeast also had similar reported costs, at $1,104. Midwestern and Southern families plan to spend the least, at $835 and $926, respectively.

It’s not quite that simple. The cost of prom-related items haven’t gone up nearly as quickly as other consumer goods. But $800 to $1,000 is still a lot of money, and it’s money that not all families have, especially in this economy where the middle class continues to be squeezed.

I can imagine a circumstance in which someone can’t or simply doesn’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for one night of fun. I can also imagine a situation in which a high school student would want to go experience prom anyway. It wasn’t that long ago that I went to my own prom, and I remember repeatedly getting the message that it was an experience I would never forget. Why shouldn’t people who can’t afford expensive dresses and corsages get to enjoy this right of passage?

To be clear, there is no indication that Rupard can’t afford the accoutrements that go along with prom. She just wore what she wanted to wear. Which is, of course, a perfectly legitimate choice to make. Her choice, and the teacher’s choice to kick her out of her own prom, has brought into stark relief something that most of us know intuitively just from living in the world. If you don’t look just right, be prepared to get some grief for it.

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Photo Credit: WBTV news video screenshot

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218 comments

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5:02AM PDT on Aug 1, 2014

I am sure there are far worse outfits than that and what next? People being thrown out because they're not pretty enough, or some other stupid reason?

10:23AM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

People in charge can be CRUEL! Most of the time they have a beef with something else but the little guy always gets caught.

10:52PM PDT on May 18, 2014

I would like to see a picture of her outfit. I can't judge if the teacher was right or wrong otherwise.

9:41PM PDT on May 17, 2014

The "dreaded" outfit was not merely jeans, but skin-tight sparkly RED jeans and a very revealing "partial" top with midriff exposed and more.

3:55PM PDT on May 17, 2014

I have not seen the dreaded "outfit" but from what I have heard of outfits past, jeans would be low on the worry list. Duct tape, garbage bags.... Who is to judge when those were considered appropriate at the time.

I was never informed of a formal "dress" code for our proms back then and never was interested in wasting the money to go to them. I went to one in 8th grade - what a waste of time and money. On the other hand, there are kids who would like to go but don't have the finances to cover an $800 night. That is the cost of the daughter of friends who attended one this month.

4:20AM PDT on May 6, 2014

Shan, as far as a dress code or rule prohibiting "pants" from being worn by girls at the prom, I couldn't say. Back when I was in high school, yes, it was not a written "code" but expected and no girl would have worn anything else. I know this is not the same as back "when" I was in high school, but the prom is STILL a once in a student's lifetime event/affair and a certain decorum of respect is to be exhibited. Showing up in skin tight bright red jeans and a "tu tu" around the middle is not only ridiculous and disrespectful, but yes, almost mocking the event. If she wanted to mock it, then she was treated appropriately. She claims she was merely showing her "independence". Yeah, right!

"if pants on a girl would ruin the evening for everyone else, then "everyone else" is paying far more attention to this than it really merits".............I disagree. The prom is not something she had a right to attend by virtue of being a student regardless of everything else, and yes, the others in attendance deserved to enjoy it and not be subjected to her grandstanding. If this had been the graduation ceremony, would she be as entitled to show up and make a spectacle out of herself as well?.

11:46PM PDT on May 5, 2014

Why should a teacher be fired for doing her job? I didn't attend my high school prom but that was my choice (not to mention I didn't have a date, LOL!). if I HAD, I'd have shown the respect that such an event called for and not shown up in some outlandish outfit to garnish attention on myself. Not only did she want to wear skin tight RED jeans, but the rest of the outfit had feathers or fluffy crap sticking out like a ballet "tu tu" (sp?) and she truly did look ridiculous.

I don't recall reading or seeing in the TV news story about this, what the sex of her date was, and it didn't seem to be a factor, only what she showed up wearing, herself.

5:25PM PDT on May 5, 2014

Unreal. with all the crap that happens in schools? the teacher should be FIRED

7:33AM PDT on May 5, 2014

Is it at all possible that perhaps the dress code was strictly formal and the pants she was wearing may have been jeans which do not conform with the dress code?

I am not saying that she HAS TO wear a dress.. far from it.. maybe the "dress" she wore just wasn't smart enough, perhaps if she wore proper suit trousers no one would have said anything. I agree with dress codes!

4:33AM PDT on May 1, 2014

I wonder if the young lady in question was there as the date of another young lady in a formal. If that was the case, it wouldn't disturb me personally to see her in trousers, though I'd hope it would be trousers that fit into the "formal" look. However, if that's not the situation, I'm then guessing that the young lady broke tradition in order to stand out, to be different, to create a stir. Surely everyone knows that prom means formal attire and that there's a longstanding tradition as to what that looks like. Attending dressed majorly differently can't help but shake a lot of people up, especially teachers and parent wardens. And let one person do it just once, and the door is open to any number of "inventive" outfits at future proms. I realize I'm arguing pointlessly when it comes to those who are all about individuality. But I think the point of prom is partly to bring together, to unify, the attending student body in an event that partly thanks to the dress attire forces the students to act as ladies and gentlemen…it's a growing-up event…which makes it special. And there's something about those formal prom dresses that makes even the plainest of young ladies look beautiful. Cinderella at the ball. Hey, it's a great tradition. Don't mess with it. :>)

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