"Somehow my shoulders are sexualized, like it's my responsibility to make sure the boys' thoughts are not unclean," Gabi Finalyson said

By Alexandra Zaslow
Updated January 28, 2015 04:35 PM
Credit: Courtesy Kristy Maxfield Kimball

A Utah teen sparked a controversy after she was forced to wear her winter coat during a school dance because officials thought her dress was “too inappropriate.”

Gabi Finalyson, 15, couldn’t wait for Saturday’s formal at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah. She even bought the perfect dress during a recent trip to Paris, according to KUTV.

But as soon as she walked into the event, a school representative told her and four other students to cover up because they were showing too much shoulder and back.

“Somehow my shoulders are sexualized,” Gabi told KUTV. “Like it’s my responsibility to make sure the boys’ thoughts are not unclean.”

The school’s dress code states: “Formals, backless dresses and/or tops may not extend beyond the bottom of the shoulder blades. Girls’ dresses and tops must have a 2″ minimum strap on each shoulder. Shawls, boleros and other shrugs are acceptable if worn over the dress at all times. Cleavage covered.”

“The dress code has been reviewed and approved by both the PTSA and the school community council,” Principal Rhonda Bromley told KUTV. “The dress code is based on the community standard.”

But Gabi says her straps did meet the 2-inch requirement.

“There were a lot of dresses that were very short, very tight, a lot more exposing or revealing than mine,” she told the station.

Her mom, Kristy Kimball, also spoke out about the school’s action.

“The message that sends to girls is really troubling and damaging and they’ve already got so many other damaging messages that are being sent to them,” Kimball said.

Added Gabi: “Maybe instead of teaching girls that they should cover themselves up, we should be teaching boys that we’re not sex objects that they can look at.”