Principal Who Banned Strapless Dresses from Dance Is Threatened, Prompts Separate Dance to be Canceled: Police

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    Parents took to a school board meeting in New Jersey to protest a school principal's ban on strapless dresses at an 8th grade dance. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013)

    The New Jersey school principal who banned girls from wearing strapless dresses to an eighth grade dance received a threatening email as a result of her policy, prompting school officials to cancel another dance that was scheduled for Friday evening.

    Sharon Moffat, the principal at Readington Middle School, received a "threatening email" Friday morning, Superintendent Barbara Sargent wrote in an email to parents. The contents of the email were not made public, but police told NBC 4 New York they do not believe the threat to be credible and that the email appeared to have been generated from overseas. 

    Readington Police spokesman John Isabel added that the email did not suggest any threat against school property.

    School officials considered allowing police to post an officer at Friday's dance, which was to be held at the middle school, but, Sargent said in her email, "It seems more sensible to not hold this event tonight."

    Moffat's decision earlier this week to ban girls from wearing strapless dresses to an upcoming eighth grade dance was immediately unpopular among parents and students. Moffat said strapless dresses "distract boys," according to a mother who had a conversation with the principal. Parents said it is neither a woman's nor a girl's responsibility to control a man's or boy's behavior.

    They brought their protest on the strapless dress ban to a school board meeting Tuesday night. 

    "They get dressed up, it's a nice formal occasion, and they're much more mature than that, and they can handle it better than they're getting credit for," said parent Nancy Garceau. 

    Moffat and Sargent promised to review the policy and make an announcement next month before the dance, scheduled for June 14 at a Frenchtown, N.J. catering hall. That dance is funded by parents. 

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