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HomeNewsFlorida Teen Accuses School of Denying Her Entry to Prom for Wearing...

Florida Teen Accuses School of Denying Her Entry to Prom for Wearing Suit

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A picture of Sophie Savidge and her friend.
Source: nypost/X

A teen from Florida claims she was turned away from her public school’s prom because she was wearing a suit, which the school claims is against its dress code for formal events.

Sophie Savidge, 16, is a junior at Mason Classical Academy, a highly regarded charter school in Naples, Florida. She arrived with her mother, Holly Savidge, and friends at Vanderbilt Country Club on Saturday night, May 18, 2024, for her school’s prom. 

Upon their arrival, Mrs. Savidge said that Sophie was rejected after Vice Principal Nissa Mitchell said that Sophie’s outfit was not complying with the dress code. Sophie was told that the only way she could attend the dance was to go home and change.

Mrs. Savidge said on Wednesday that she was furious with Mitchell for turning her down. She added that she also mentioned that Sophie doesn’t wear dresses to Mitchell. However, the vice principal informed them that such were the regulations.

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Since Sophie had never had a conversation with an administrator at her school, she felt anxious. Regarding the outfit, she said that she had not anticipated it becoming a problem; she was rather shocked when she was turned away. 

When contacted for comment, the school did not reply immediately. However, according to a statement it released, it has clear dress code rules for all dances.

The statement said that all parents and kids have been given a detailed explanation of the dress guidelines. According to the dress code at the MCA dance, students are allowed re-entry only with proper attire.

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All MCA students who receive equal treatment are welcome and encouraged to attend these volunteer events. The school’s website has an attire guide that states that females should wear dresses and one-piece attire only on formal occasions.

Both Holly and Sophie acknowledged that they were aware of the dress rule. They also stated that Sophie had previously worn suits to school functions, like the dance in February in honor of Valentine’s Day.

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Sophie did her homework on legislation and court cases beforehand. She said she didn’t think her school would forbid her from going to prom since she wore a suit. 

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She claimed to have located a ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Peltier v. Charter Day School. The ruling, which was held in 2022, spoke about how dress restrictions mandating skirts for girls violate Title IX. This restriction prohibits sex discrimination in government-funded schools.

Holly stated that while she hopes the school changes the clothing rule, she does not intend to pursue any litigation against the school. Despite the year’s challenges, she plans to homeschool Sophie for her final year. The choice is unrelated to the prom event. Holly stated that since Sophie’s father passed away last month, they have had difficulty returning to normal.

Two students met Sophie at school to thank her for speaking out and tell her that they planned on doing the same. Holly stated that after reading about Sophie, a local clothes designer named Peter Jean-Marie also got in touch. 

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Sophie received five silk bow ties from him, and he showed her how to tie an Eldredge knot when he saw her at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples on Wednesday after school.

Sophie urged young people going through similar experiences to stand up for their convictions.

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