Teenager forced to kneel to 'test' her skirt for dress code violation


This is a bit of old fashioned morality that I’m surprised still exists in the US in 2016:

Edmonson County High School senior Amanda Durbin got in trouble for wearing a dress that did not meet the stringent requirement of the Kentucky high school she attends. The dress, seen in the above picture, was considered to sit too high above her knees. Forget about the insanity of this kind of dress code, Amanda and other students say that since this past winter break, the enforcement of the dress code has become considerably more intense.

Amanda said the length of her dress was tested by her getting on her knees and a ruler measured how far the floor was from the end of her dress.

When the principal was told that the dress Ms. Durbin wore that day was one she could wear to church, Principal Hodges said that he was running a school, not a church.



This sounds like more of an issue related to evangelicals in the Puritan tradition of the US.

It’s always going to be pretty hard to enforce a dress code when there is no fundamental uniform code. It basically leaves so much of the judgement to the school staffs personal opinion and that a recipe for discrimination from the outset. They should just set a uniform and make the judgements of a violation subject to a standard evaluation.


All I can say is… B O O H O O. it doesn’t sound like she was singled out.

If there is a dress code and you violate it, sucks to be you. Don’t push the boundary. Heck, I’m glad to see people that care about morality and standards of acceptable dress. I assume there is a reason that they have been more stringent in enforcing it. Given that they mention 30 or 40 others were sent home or told to change for wearing similar things, then sounds like they are being consistent. It’s a little like someone complaining that they got caught in a speed trap when they have sped through the same area for 3 years. Just because you’ve gotten away with it in the past doesn’t mean you are in the right when you get your knuckles rapped.

In my house we call this a learning opportunity. If there are rules and you break them, then I guess it’s time to learn that rules can’t be ignored just because they are inconvenient.


I don’t think I’d believe an article that spells “teachers” with an 's.


What a good life lesson for her about how her body can be looked at and about following rules. Hopefully she will be able to draw from this experience in future employment.


The girls in my children’s Catholic school wear uniform skirts shorter than that dress. And although there is a dress code, unfortunately, it is never enforced. When parents would complain to the administration, they were told “just worry about what your own child wears.”

My own children wore what they were supposed to, btw. Blouse or shirt always tucked in, tie for males, correct type of shoes for both. Not skinny pants, not the wrong color.

It’s just as easy to wear the right thing when you wear a uniform, but kids wouldn’t.


I worked in a catholic school for a while and boy howdy did the tweens and teens hike those skirts up as much as they could. And had bare legs most of the time too. They were trying to show their legs off, it was obvious. They would have done much better with a uniform type pants for the girls. So they aren’t as feminine, at least they’re covered! :thumbsup:


We wore uniforms in the 50s and 60s but everyone was aware that skirts had to be below the knee. Furthermore, we had to wear uniform blouses only. We got demerits if they weren’t , and I can’t remember girls defying the dress code or parents grumbling about it. Also, for proms or dances, no strapless or spaghetti strap gowns either. And the mothers didn’t sob how unfair it was, but probably enforced it. I think we could wear a little jacket over it though. When these girls, Catholic school or not, go into the working world they’ll be very surprised there are even unwritten dress codes, and if you don’t dress correctly you may not be hired or promoted.


True, work places are usually conservative when it comes to dress codes.


I agree with this position. The downside would be like a motorist who, after gettting a speeding ticket, becomes gets annoyed when someone passes him/her up. She would tend to get more conservative herself. Then again, this may not be a downside after all.

To be fair, this should work for the boys too. My next-door lady neighbor, having two daughters, pulled me aside one day and told me to watch what I wear as apparently it was distracting them. But then I was in college, having all kinds of freedom. :slight_smile:


in my high school in the 1960’s wearing a dress was a requirement and if they thought the dress was too short you had to kneel on the floor and they would measure with a ruler to see how high the skirt was from the floor. I don’t remember the requirements, but it surprises me they are still doing this. From the picture, her dress does not seem that short. I don’t know if it violated the dress code or not.


In the mother’s defense, this is a public school. Could that be why this is so shocking to her? :ehh:


This girl looks like a nun compared to some of the girls who went to school with my daughters. It was embarrassing the way some of the girls dressed. (low cut blouses, tight jeans and short skirts) I did not allow my daughters to dress like that and I set specific boundaries with their manner of dress and make-up. But kneeling?
I do think that’s a little much.


They lost me at “insane”. They compounded their editorializing of this story with a picture of the dress, but this time, the girl had on pants of some sort underneath the dress. Yet even in the effort to editorialize, the article complains that the enforcement had been more intense, belying the idea that this girl was singled out. She knew the code and knew it was being enforced strictly, then wore a dress that did not meet the code. It’s all on her.


This was regular practice in my daughter’s Catholic school.

2" above the knee when kneeling. That’s was the rule. No dyed hair, no mohawks, shirts tucked in, shoes tied… Violation gets a uniform infraction. Three or four infractions and they get sent home.

My daughter outgrew her skorts, they did a spot check, too short, a note was sent home. I had to order new skorts.

It’s not a big deal.



I think its entirely reasonable for her to kneel to test skirt length. This was the way they did it in the 60s and it was just fine. If there’s a dress code the kid should abide by it. Period.


Her dress looked perfectly fine to me. And she was wearing tights underneath. Not even bare legs. Dresses and skirts are more appropriate for girls, and look the nicest too. Also, I don’t see anything wrong with wearing a strapless dress to a prom. I think strapless dresses are very elegant and pretty. All that’s showing are the girl’s shoulders and arms. What’s wrong with that? Sometimes I think dress codes go a little too far. I’ll admit I’m not terribly conservative about fashions for girls. I like shortish dresses and skirts. Don’t really see much wrong with it. What I don’t like are tummy-baring tops and ridiculous cleavage. That’s just vulgar and ugly.


It has nothing to do with what the dress code is or if we agree with it or not There are rules and she (and many others) violated those rules and were reprimanded. Really what I don’t like is those that break the rules and then whine and act like a victim of some injustice.

There is a road near me where the speed limit drops from 55 mph to 25 over about 1/3 of a mile on a slight decline. A few years back, I was ticketed for going 36 in a 25 right where it changes from 35 to 25. There were atleast 4 other cars pulled over on the side street, so it was obviously a speed trap. That being said, I broke the law and paid the fine. I didn’t contact the media and complain about how the police victimized me. And you know what? I slow down through that section and make sure I am doing 25 when I pass that last sign. I am also more cognizant of my speed other places. Lesson learned.


Maybe the rules are sometimes silly or unjust or just plain wrong.


It was a dress code. In what sense could it be either unjust or wrong? There is no moral right to show one’s knees. It might be enforced unjustly, but according to the article the enforcement was wide.

I know of one school that requires collared, solid color shirts. There is no moral right to be free of a collar. I truly do not understand how morality or justice can enter in on such issues. Most dress codes are set based on the perceived need to avoid distractions from the education mission.

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