Prom Dress Drama: Shelton Students Say Crackdown Comes Too Late

There's drama over the dress code at Shelton High School. With just one week until prom night, students and parents are saying it's too late for the school principal to crack down on dresses they've already paid for.

Students said the warning came over the intercom during morning announcements on Friday. School headmaster Dr. Beth Smith allegedly told the students what kind of dresses they will not be allowed to wear.

"Everybody was like freaking out in my class," said Samantha Bucherati, a senior whose dress was deemed inappropriate. School officials said they have flagged about half a dozen dresses.

Bucherati described Smith as "more strict" and said her message about prom attire is "just out of control."

According to students, Smith said backless dresses or those with slits or cut-outs would not be allowed.

Many of the students said they paid for their dresses weeks ago.

"Everyone’s so mad and everyone’s already bought their prom dress and spent hundreds of dollars," said Shelton High School student Jennifer Peebles.

Parents said they're upset about the timing of the crackdown.

“If she had a problem with this, she should have addressed it two or three months ago, not a week before, said Bucherati's mother, Leisha Verdi.

Though Smith did not respond to NBC Connecticut's request for comment, the Shelton Supt. Freeman Burr issued a statement that said, in part:

"The decision was made by the Headmaster to reiterate, once again, the appropriate prom dress guidelines."

Freedman said school administrators relayed the rules to students several months ago and this week's announcement was meant to serve as a reminder about those rules.

"She’s going for another alteration tomorrow," said Verdi. "I can’t return this dress."

The superintendent said that even those six or seven girls whose dresses have been deemed "inappropriate" will be able to have that decision reviewed as soon as Monday.

They may be able to alter their clothing to allow their dresses to be worn to the prom.

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