Kerikeri High School strict ball dress code ‘ridiculous’ say unhappy students

Students are trying to ensure their ball dresses meet the new guidelines at Kerikeri High School. Photo / Getty Images

Natalie Akoorie

By: Natalie AkoorieNZ Herald reporter based in Hamiltonnatalie.akoorie@nzherald.co.nz@NatalieAkoorie

A strict high school ball dress code has upset students who say they are worried about being turned away from the event if they don’t meet expectations.

Kerikeri High School has banned plunging necklines, revealing splits and anything other than ankle-length dresses at the ball.

Suits must be one colour, ties worn at all times and proper dress shoes are required, and any student who doesn’t meet the code will not be allowed into the July 27 ball.

Three students, who spoke to the Herald on Sunday on condition of anonymity for fear of being “barred” from the ball, said the dress code was decided by a handful of students and did not represent the majority of the student body who were not consulted.ADVERTISEMENT

One of the students said the rules did not accommodate all body types as claimed, meant that students would effectively be hiding their bodies, and that their right to freedom of expression had been undermined.

Students must not show cleavage or have a high split in their dresses which must not go above the ankle at the Kerikeri High School ball. Photo / Newsletter
Students must not show cleavage or have a high split in their dresses which must not go above the ankle at the Kerikeri High School ball. Photo / Newsletter

“By saying they want to be more gender and body inclusive, the dress code they’ve stated does the opposite of that.

“Because of this, many people go to the ball and feel uncomfortable in what they are wearing.”

The Year 13 student said many girls had already bought their dresses online, which cost up to $300, and now had to return them or pay extra for alterations.

“There are girls who’ve had to send their dresses back because it didn’t fit the new dress code and they’re worrying about whether or not their dress will arrive before the ball.”

The student said her dress was not approved by the dean and she now has to alter it which she felt would ruin it.