Parents at Burdett Avenue Secondary Academy have been describing their anger to Southend News Network after the headteacher at the school CANCELLED this year’s traditional Year 11 Prom over concerns that some girls had ordered ‘inappropriate’ dresses. The news was announced in a text message that was sent out by head Dr Clive Gland, and a statement from the school confirmed that a parent had expressed concerns that some female partygoers would have excessive skin on display and partially-exposed cleavage areas.
In the statement to Southend News Network, Dr Gland said: ‘A few days ago, one of our parents visited my office and informed me that some of our girls had ordered prom dresses from Joanna Mounds in Southend that left an unacceptable amount of cleavage exposed, and I was obliged to look into these allegations as part of my Duty of Care to all pupils. After some investigations, it emerged that more than twenty of these dresses had been ordered from the same supplier, and therefore I came to the conclusion that there was potential for a significant amount of offence to be caused on the night of the Prom. With this in mind, I was left with no alternative but to cancel this year’s event, and everyone involved has to remember that this optional celebration needs to be organised and conducted in a manner that takes cultural and religious sensibilities into account.’
The parent who made the complaint contacted Southend News Network’s Chief Reporter, but she has asked to remain anonymous. She said: ‘It came to my attention recently that some of the other mums at school were ordering dresses for their daughters that included varying amounts of exposed cleavage, and as a responsible mother I went straight to the gown supplier in question and demanded to see details of any orders that had been placed for the event at Burdett Avenue. Once I threatened legal action against the owner of Joanna Mounds, she showed me some images of these outfits and I took them straight to Dr Gland’s office at school – I am delighted that he has now seen sense and cancelled the event. Although a lot of parents will argue that they could have just changed the dress code for the Prom so that everyone could still enjoy it, this was the only solution to make it 100% certain that my son would not have been exposed to ladies dressed in an indecent manner. A couple of the other mums have already told me that they are disgusted with my behaviour, but they would soon be the ones complaining if I tried to impose my own preferred way of life on their kids.’
This isn’t the first time that headteacher Dr Clive Gland has hit the headlines in recent months. His ban on a 13-year-old girl who looked ‘too pretty’ for school with a new pair of glasses made global headlines in March, and once again there are now parents who are accusing Dr Gland of over-sexualising young girls who attend the school. Outraged mum Claire Mouche said: ‘How dare they cancel the whole event due to one parent’s over-reaction! I have already spent more than £1500 on a dress, limousine hire and a pre-Prom party for my daughter and all of her friends, and now that has all been wasted. The whole thing is utterly ridiculous – one minute they are relaxing the rule about 95% school attendance before being invited to the Prom, and the next minute they are cancelling the whole thing.’