DEARBORN, Michigan — Officials at a Catholic high school in a Detroit suburb will require female students to wear “modesty ponchos” at prom if their dresses are deemed too revealing.

WJBK-TV reports that some students at Divine Child High School in Dearborn are calling the new prom policy a method of body shaming.

The pink ponchos are on display inside the school with a note, saying the “modesty ponchos” will be handed to girls wearing dresses that violate the school’s requirements.

Theology teacher Mary Pat O’Malley came up with the idea.

“We are trying to focus on the inner beauty and not draw attention to something that doesn’t need attention drawn to it,” theology teacher Mary Pat O’Malley told WJBK-TV. “It was really intended as a deterrent and a lighthearted one at that.”

But some students says the school has gone too far, calling the ponchos a form of shaming.

One student tweeted: “turns out the prom dress that i’ve had for months is against school code! looks like i have to return it and buy a brand new dress just so that i don’t get adorned with this beautiful, totally not slut-shaming, modesty poncho!!!”


Another student tweeted: “the dress code affects girls buying prom dresses, and maybe the intention of the modesty poncho wasn’t to shame them, but you have to wonder why they made them so ugly and noticeable. regardless of intention, the dress code is ineffective and needs to be revisited.”

The school’s prom will be held May 12.

Crux staff contributed to this report.