26 May 2016

Update on St Dominic College ball dress controversy

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:22 pm on 26 May 2016

You may remember yesterday we spoke to the principal of St Dominic Girls College about the rules around what kind of the dresses senior girls can wear to their ball. However since that interview we've received several emails from students at the school who strongly dispute what Ms Coddington said.

Excerpts of some of the emails we received from students at St Dominic College:

I am a student at St Dominic's College. I was present at this year 12 and 13 meeting unlike Coddington. The year 13 dean and the associate principal were present and telling us these rules. I'm appalled to say that even though our motto 'veritas' means truth, Carol [Ms Coddington] has said the complete opposite. We were specifically told the rules as they sound. Only serious relationships were allowed. Several girls that I know have had their dresses that they have already bought before these rules, turned down. We were also specifically told that if we turned up unacceptable, we would be turned away. I know its been and gone, but I just want you to know that we are not lying or exaggerating. Those were the rules. Until Coddington said differently on the radio.

The way she dealt with it made us look like attention seeking teenagers which are not, we are simply trying to make sure everyone can be confident and comfortable at the 2016 ball. It was clearly stated that no cleavage is allowed we have to completely cover our chests and no students can only bring people from other school if they are in a serious relationship

Ms Coddington was not present at this year 12 and 13 meeting where the rules were explained. These had been clearly explained as
1. cannot see up, down or through the dress. As explained by Ms Coddington in the interview.
2. Dresses cannot be backless, The lowest the dress may go is under your armpit.
3. No cleavage at all.
4. you may not remove your shoes at any point during the night even if they are sore. ' this is an unprofessional look' if they were to be uncomfortable, we are not to wear them.
5. You may only bring a partner that you are in a serious relationship with, to bring a partner you must approve this by a member of senior management.

We were also told in that meeting that the dresses could not be shorter than the knee, how does this fit into being allowed to wear cocktail dresses? It doesn't. She says that infact nobody has been told that they can not wear their dresses when I know personally of many in my close group of friends.

The response from St Dominic's Principal Carol Coddington

It is unfortunate that the messages around attending the annual school ball are now getting further misconstrued. Early next week the senior leadership team at St Dominic's will be meeting with all girls planning to attend the ball. A free and frank conversation will be held at that school meeting.  


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