Friday, May 13, 2005

Student suspended for attending prom in a dress - THE ADVOCATE

Kerry Lofy had no qualms about wearing a black spaghetti-strap dress to his high school prom--he thought it would be funny. Turns out, his school didn't. The 18-year-old senior at Lake Geneva Badger High School in Wisconsin was ticketed $249 for disorderly conduct, suspended from school for three days, and told he must miss his last track meet. "Things got a little crazy," Lofy said.

School district administrator Jim Gottinger said the discipline was for more than just the dress. According to a police report, a school police liaison officer saw Lofy dancing in a sexually provocative manner, including lying on another student on the dance floor. "Quite frankly, the behavior was a bigger violation than the dress issue," Gottinger said.

Lofy, though, said he wasn't the only one dancing suggestively at prom. "The whole night was that kind of dancing. They can't single me out and say, 'Oh, it was you, it was only you,"' he said. "I think it's over the dress." Police did not cite anyone else at the prom for disorderly conduct, said Donna Wisniewski, assistant to the police chief.

Lofy said his school had no problem letting him go to Saturday's prom with another guy. Lofy is not gay but says his friend is and couldn't find a date. School officials drew the line at his dress. "I thought it would be more appropriate for there to be one person dressed like a girl and a person dressed like a guy than for there to be two guys to go," said Lofy, a member of the school's track, ski, powerlifting, and soccer teams.

Also, Lofy thought people would find it funny to see a 6-foot, 185-pound guy in a black stretchy spaghetti-strap dress. He says he's known for his outrageous fashion--he once went to a homecoming dance dressed like Hugh Hefner with two girls as dates. He went to prom last year in a suit made out of duct tape and took an inflatable doll as his date to another homecoming.

Word got around about his prom dress, and Lofy said the school's associate principal warned him a few times not to wear it. He didn't listen. He showed up in the dress, a blond wig, open-toed platform sandals, blue earrings, and a necklace. Teachers turned him away, but he said he showed up later with a tan-and-black plaid leisure suit over the dress and went inside. He whipped off the suit during a dance-off, and a security guard escorted him out, he said.

Lofy said when he went to school Monday, the school liaison police officer issued the disorderly conduct ticket. "They thought I was mocking the school," he said. Gottinger, though, said the prom is meant to be dignified, and Lofy's dress "doesn't meet our criteria of what would be dignified dress." Lofy said he'd like to fight the discipline but isn't sure how--he can't afford an attorney. He plans to go to Colorado Mountain College in the fall and major in ski hill management. (AP)

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