Muskegon senior sent home from prom due to dress code

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MUSKEGON, Mich. -- Muskegon High School senior Mireya Briceno was sent home an hour into her prom Friday night when she was told her dress was in violation of the dress code.  Her mother Connie told FOX 17 that she and her daughter went over the rules last week and thought her $300 dress was fine.

Among many other rules, one specifically states that "no midriff is exposed," which includes seeing the middriff through a sheer material.

Mireya's midriff wasn't showing in her blue and white polka dot dress, but her side could be seen.  "When you look in the mirror, there should be no skin showing around the midriff area," said Connie.  "When her arms were down, you couldn't see any skin."

Connie doesn't know the exact reason her daughter was told to leave the prom. She's only guessing, because no one has told them.

"They asked her to stand-up and turn around, so she turned around and they simply told her 'You're in violation. You need to go home,'" said Briceno.

Connie also points out that pictures show several other girls with similar dresses who were allowed to stay, including girls with sheer see-through material over their midriffs.

We spoke with the Muskegon High School Principal Brad Perkins Monday, but he would not speak on camera.  He told us two other girls were sent home Friday night, but they returned in a different wardrobe.  He also told us that he was told by his vice principal that Mireya wore her date's jacket over her dress to get in but later took it off.

Perkins added that when the vice principal asked Mireya whether she wore the jacket to cover up because she knew she was in violation, Mireya said, "Yes," but her mother disputes that.  "She wore the jacket outside because it was chilly, but she took it off at the front door and even posed for a picture with the cheerleading coach in that dress," said Connie.

Principal Perkins refused to look at the pictures of Mireya or other students when we presented them to him.

"What would be the purpose of looking in the past?" he asked.  Perkins adds he stands by the school's dress code, which has been in place for four or five years, longer than he's been the principal at Muskegon High.

As for Connie, she would like an apology, but she said she's not expecting one.

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90 comments

  • Little Britches

    We just lost one of the nicest families in Muskegon Public Schools. I personally know her mother and she would make sure her daughter was dressed appropriately. He comment from the principal that we shouldn’t look at he past is such a cheep copout. They should apologize and refund her money. I did see many other dresses that should have been kicked out if she was.

    • Rps Abq

      i think everyone is forgetting this girl is 16 years old. She looks like a slut. You parents are the first ones to screem and cry and condemn at the first guy who makes a move on her, thinking she is the 23 year old she looks and dresses like. And when that does happen you want to label that guy a child molestor for the rest of his life. So shut the fuck up. If she’s of legal age to consent then she is not of legal age to dress like a whore at her high school prom. Besides, the rule clearly states that there is to be no open back (not just side) and by wearing a jacket she clearly knew what she was doing. Our schools will improve the second you decide to support them and stand behind their decisions and not a second before. They will never be perfect and so parents make up your minds! You are ridiculous, ill informed and impossible to please.

        • Rps Abq

          Uh…. NO… this is an old issue. For years we have enforced a strict dress code both at school and special events. And every year someone has to test it and cry about it. Girls are instructed via a special assembly AND a letter home well in advance using pictures explaining exactly what the rules are. Also girls are encouraged to bring in a picture of the the dress either from a magazine or even with the student trying it on. They can show it to one our female administrators for approval just to make sure they are in compliance. We do not require this of students, but it is strongly encouraged. They are also warned of a strict policy and that if there is any doubt, they WILL be asked tp leave. It’s intent is to purposefully encourage the girls to err on the side of modest. Revealing dresses, open backs and plunging neck lines are not for high school prom. Period. People, these are young teenage girls, not adults. She knew she was breaking the rule by wearing a guys’ coat. My only suggestion for any male principal: have 2 or 3 other female administrators make and support your decision. Folks: SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOLS!

          • michelle

            You are clearly a person who is NOT worth listening to as the best you can do is swear at strangers on a post. You have a right to your opinion but your rudeness takes away from anything important you may wish to share. Do you even have any children or do you just want to rant?

        • Rps Abq

          she’s not 18. Backless dresses are not allowed. It clearly states in the rules given to her months in advance. For those students who are 18, school board policy states that while at school they are to be treated as a minor. It is to foster a safe environment for all students ranging in ages of 13 -19 at times. Open your mind. Picture your young daughter.

      • bhfirearms

        Idiot. I’ve seen the pictures. The girl did not look like a slut. There is always a moron on this sites. This has nothing to do with supporting schools. The school is a public service that works for that girls parents as well and you need to grow up.

      • ABC123

        RPS ABQ – you really think this lovely young woman looks like a “slut”? What the hell is wrong with you?? YOU and people like you are the problem. I sincerely can not believe you are using that word to describe this girl. The dress is fashionable and she is not showing any leg or cleavage. If she violated the dress code, then fine. She did what she was asked to do and left. She missed her one and only senior prom because of a dress that may or may not have been appropriate according to the seemingly ambiguous “dress code”.

        I am very sad for you – you must be an absolutely miserable person. I hope you are not a female and I certainly don’t hope you have any daughters. If you do, I hope some asshat calls them sluts one day.
        I think this young woman looks lovely.

      • DSHIN

        So you are the one who decided to sic the vice on this girl. Wow, calling her a slut??? And talking about dress making girls the target for pedophiles… What the fuck is wrong with you?? It’s the prom! Not every day street wear, and what she’s wearing is much classier than what most girls wear anytime. It’s the prom, they are supposed to look feminine, oh yeah, and being a beautiful young woman, is something hard to hide. You are a jealous bitch, probably never had a man look your way twice, and if you ever had any your kids are probably the same, and getting fed with the same hate that you are spewing, so as to want to knock everyone down because of their own or rather Your own Self-Loathing. Why didn’t you push the vice to get Everyone out of there??? Oh, no, you just had to go for the most brilliant beauty. You are really a sicko and it is seriously sad that someone Like You was chaperoning that dance! You shouldn’t be anywhere near the kids! Sadistic dumbass.

  • Nicole

    I can tell you aren’t familiar with this school. MHS actually has a pretty strict regular dress code as well, for girls anyway, and would never allow any of their students to be in class looking like they just came from a “bar”. When I graduated, they had the same rules they had now and turned people away at the door for not meeting the dress code. It is a bit ridiculous, but those are the rules. They should adjust to the times though. Muskegon was always over the top when it came to the dress code.

    • rebecca

      I can see being a little more strict on a typical school day. But for prom. Seriously as long as they arent dressed like a slut, hoochie momma.

      • April

        Doesn’t matter school or prom. It’s still a school function. Because it’s prom that makes it ok for her to have that much skin showing? She looks great don’t get me wrong. But, the fact of the matter is that they have a strict dress code and the kids knew it. U don’t wanna follow the rules, she’s old enough to learn that there Are consequences. And that was going home. She should have just went home and changed. Her missing it is her own fault and the mothers.

  • rebecca

    Im sorry but I see nothing wrond with the dress. Its not to short her butt aint hanging out neither are her breasts. The side of her breasts are showing and its not a strapless dress or spaghetti top. She is very well covered and see no problem. But if a more popular girl wore it the school wouldnt have said a word.
    I think the school should apoligize and pay for her dress, tickets, her dates ttuxedo and whatever else they had to pay out. For a beautiful night that was ruined

  • Patti

    I cannot believe that is the Principals flippant response when asked to look at the pictures. The purpose of looking in the past would have been to resolve this issue. Principal Perkins from that statement you yourself sound as though you made a mistake in your decision and don’t want to admit it. This was a bad example for the students!

  • HawaiianMami

    I am very saddened by this. ONE DAY NIGHT was all this prom was. That’s it! Her dress was beautiful! Not at all sluttish. So the back was opened, OMG! You cannot give her back this night. Shame on you.

  • randi

    Can’t believe this. If you drive down Sanford and Southern any school day all you see are boys with their boxers hanging out and pants to their knees. Her dress is beautiful and appropriate for a prom.

    • Juli

      And the girls look like they are 45 and on theirthird divorce. This dress was very sedate compared to what some girls wear to classes..

  • Josh c

    Wow! This is important hard hitting news! I’m so glad Fox 17 had the fortitude to report on such an important issue our local community.

    • gobluespartyon

      But yet you clicked the headline if you don’t care about this story than don’t click the headline that simple & easy.

  • CommonSense

    Parents and students need to start skipping the scam of prom. What a waste of money.
    Spend it on your college education, it would be better to put to use.

  • gobluespartyon

    Shame that Mireya was kicked out of prom I saw no problem with the dress she was wearing. Seeing the other photos the other dresses were showing more skin than what Mireya was wearing finger of shame that principal didn’t want to see the photos. Principal & the school were wrong to kick Mireya out of prom and should give her money back for tickets the dress & tux along with dinner that seems fair.

  • tracy

    You should have seen what a lot of girls were wearing, the photos on facebook make you say hmmm. There were outfits that violated more than school rules. They went to prom

  • Amber

    This is the same kind of thing that happened to be on Halloween. I was sent home before breakfast for wearing a costume that fit the dress code. Shouldn’t we be more focused on education and bullying, and less on if your clothes hide you enough?

  • Sherry Symons Mitchell

    there is nothen wrong with that dress others wore almost the same i hope he knows this has ruined this girls dreams for every girl grows up dreaming of the prom what a jerk but i have had bad times with this school when my daughter went there i would never recommend any one to send there kids there i would rather see a kids go some where’s eles or home schooled

  • Ruth

    I would like to know why Mr. Perkins is so adamant on not reviewing other photos that were taken that night, is it because Mr Perkins knows that there will be other girls who did not comply too the rules and they did not get caught and sent home. I’m thinking so. If not, then there is no reason to not review them. Every school hires a photographer to take photos of couples, singles and group shots these photos will really show what happened that night.
    I’m thinking that an extremely low cut front would be more “inappropriate” and “revealing” than an open side. Extremely short dresses would also expose undergarments or anatomy more than an open side.
    The definition of Midriff is: the region of the front of the body between the chest and the waist. Not the sides…
    Connie and Mireya had gone out and prepared for the dance and felt like, as they reviewed the policy, that they were in compliance. And then to come and be turned away, that is disheartening.” Prom is something all girls look forward to.
    Muskegon school is pretty much saying that “the girls bodies are distractions to the school environment and require strict regulation” whose environment is being prioritized and at whose expense. That’s like telling that’s telling a girl that she needs to change herself and who she is…so wrong…

  • lachula8116

    Here is a copy of the dress code policy for that prom! In no way shape or form did Mireya break dress code! It states on the dress code that NO Midriff is to be showing, which she is clearly NOT! Because if you want to get technical the definition of mid·riff
    ˈmidˌrif/
    noun
    the region of the front of the body between the chest and the waist. Also the rules clearly state that BACKLESS DRESSES ARE ACCEPTABLE, so whats the deal! Are they just discriminating against her? Thats what it looks like to me! I have so much mire to say but I will leave it at just that!

  • kyle

    Muskegon has really lost there minds it should be up to the senior it is the best time of their life to go to prom shame on the principal and may karma do its work

  • so wrong

    I went to Muskegon high school and the girls at my prom where Damn near naked they had pieces that came off from the dress that showed off everything

  • carolina

    I have seen prom dresses that show way more body parts then this one, this is not that bad. Now the girls with open backs, open cleavage, and open tummy’s and they are short they should not be aloud to leave the house for prom dressed that way. I graduated in 2003 and I don’t think girls my age went that far with the dresses showing almost everything. Shame on the parents.

  • Carolina Njoroge

    I think more schools need to be harder on dress codes and turn kids away until they can go home and change, to many girls go to school now a days with short dresses, shorts, skirts, short shirts low tops it’s crazy, they go dressed to impress boys instead of education, they need to learn you can dress cute without looking easy. Even prom you can look pretty without showing your tummy and thighs off a little cleavage isn’t so bad. But the dress in this photo really isn’t so bad it shows some back but she’s covered else where.

  • Sarah

    Ha, if only that principal could see the dresses that my friends and I wore to prom. It’s sad to see people shame on girls for showing a little bit of skin. If they can do it with class, as this girl did, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with it. This is a beautiful girl with a gorgeous figure and she should be able to show it off if she wants to.

  • MLy

    “What would be the purpose of looking in the past?” WOW. Just the attitude we need from people teaching and leading our children! Sure hope he wasn’t a history teacher before he became a principal.

  • dm

    I think she looked absolutely stunning. Her dress covered all the important parts, so asking her to leave was just mean. Young “lady”, I am sorry you missed your Prom, you looked beautiful.

  • Cody

    I was at that prom and they’re were many other girls with dress similar to Mireya’s and some that were a lot more revealing and even a few see through in places that shouldn’t be seen and they weren’t kicked out. That was stupid of them to kick her out. That dress did not violate the dress code in any way.

  • Dale Burke

    She wasn’t TURNED AWAY – she was there for over an HOUR her mother even SAID so on the video – she wore a JACKET to cover up AND the student ADMITTED to it b/c she KNEW she wouldn’t be allowed inside. RULES are RULES.

  • jamie

    Not trying to be racist but she’s Hispanic, eh? Her dates black… was it racism that the white girl in the backless dress was ok’d to stay because that principle is simply just racist? Or was it that her dress was bordering too much on the sides? Cut too low on the back?

  • Dee Walker

    It doesn’t make sense. That dress was fine according to the school rules. I don’ know but it seems to be something else other than dress. Could it have been because her date as Black? Just asking because being kicked out because of the dress doesn’t make sense. People know this teacher and his attitudes. Could this have been the reason? Regardless, I would sue that vice teacher and the school.

  • Rps Abq

    i think everyone is forgetting this girl is 16 years old. She looks like a slut. The rule clearly states that there is to be no open back (not just side) and by wearing a jacket she clearly knew what she was doing. Our schools will improve the second you decide to support them and stand behind their decisions and not a second before. They will never be perfect and so parents make up your minds! You seem impossible to please.

  • Rps Abq

    Uh…. NO… this is an old issue. For years we have enforced a strict dress code both at school and special events. And every year someone has to test it and cry about it. Girls are instructed via a special assembly AND a letter home well in advance using pictures what the rules are. Also girls are encouraged to bring in a picture of the the dress either from a magazine or even with the student trying it on. They can show it to one our female administrators for approval just to make sure they are in compliance. We do not require this of students, but it is strongly encouraged. People, these are young teenage girls, not adults. She knew she was breaking the rule by wearing a guys’ coat. My only suggestion for any male principal: have 2 or 3 other female administrators make and support your decision. Folks: SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOLS!

  • Mark James

    The young girl in question looks fabulous! It is truly unfortunate that as a result of the Idiotic Subjective Opinion of 1 Incompetent Individual Her High School Prom was ruined.
    If this had been my Daughter the High School Principle would have met with a moment in time he would have NEVER Forgotten!!!! Sham on Him

  • michelle

    Outrageous!!! Both the Vice-principal and the Principal should be fired. This young lady looks sweet and elegant and that dress is beautifully age appropriate. The dress meets the requirements of the stated rules. I am tired of adults in educational positions failing to set a good example for young people. There is clearly a double standard at that school, they allowed other girls wearing similiar dresses to remain at the prom as photographic evidence shows. The Vice-principal made a poor subjective decision and now the Prinicipal is trying to brush it under the rug. If you make a mistake, you FIX it!!! That is the example that the Vice-Principal and Principal are FAILING to teach by example. Apologize to the girl because you made a BAD decision!!! I am was born and raised in Michigan and I now live in California and I am ashamed to know that people from Michigan no longer know how to admit when they are WRONG and then FIX it!! Where is your integrity as a person and the head of the school? Please do the right thing and apologize for YOUR mistake to that young girl who did nothing wrong and was in fact dressed within the dress code rules.

  • Zigman Frued

    RPS ABQ, Why are you fantasizing about this poor girl as a 16 year old slut? Why are you publicly posting your fantasies about some girl you’ve never met who you perceive as a 16 year old slut? Keep your disgusting fantasies to your self and may the editors remove both your and my post immediately

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