Skimpy Prom Dress Lands Teen in Cuffs

Marche Taylor was denied entry to her high school prom because of her dress.


May 13, 2008 — -- For high school student Marche Taylor, the prom may be a night to forget, not remember, after a dispute over her midriff-baring dress ended with her in handcuffs.

When she arrived for her prom Saturday night in an outfit that consisted of a short skirt and straps of material across her chest, the 17-year-old Houston senior was told to go home and change if she wanted to be admitted, according to school officials.

"The young lady came to the prom wearing an inappropriate dress after the students were told what the guidelines were," Houston Independent School District press secretary Terry Abbott said.

Only one inch of an attendants' midsection was permitted to be shown and slits in dresses could be no more than three inches above the knee, according to the Madison High School prom 2008 guidelines obtained by

Additionally, "see-through fabrics should not be worn in places which reveal private body parts," the document read.

Students planning to attend the function were required to sign the guideline document and return it to their homeroom teacher, school officials told

If students did not sign the guidelines and adhere to the dress code, they would not be allowed to attend the prom, school officials said.

And, according the prom chaperones, Taylor's dress fit few of the school's guidelines.

Taylor failed to leave the prom when she was asked to, according to Abbott, and instead began making a scene. Abbott said Taylor began yelling and acting "belligerently."

"After she was told she would not be allowed in unless she went home and changed, [Taylor] became aggressive and belligerent and eventually police were called to escort her from the building," Abbott said. Police hired internally by the school district handcuffed the teen and placed her in a patrol car until she calmed down, Abbott said.

No official arrest was made, according to several local authorities.

The principal of Madison High School, Aubrey Todd, whose prom it was that Taylor was trying to attend, declined to comment to

Taylor, who could not be reached for comment, told a local television station that she saw no problem with her risqué outfit.

"I actually like the dress," Taylor told Houston's KHOU of the yellow garment that left her belly bare and covered only parts of her chest with a single piece of fabric. "Everybody else likes my dress.

"She shook her head, she was like 'you are not getting into this prom,'" Taylor said of the prom's chaperone, who she said stopped her at the door of the local Marriot hotel, where the event was being held. "We were arguing back and forth because I wanted to know why I can't get into my prom."

Marche admitted to becoming infuriated after being denied entrance and asking for a refund on her prom ticket.

"They didn't give me any options but to go to jail or go home," Taylor told KHOU.

But school district officials stand by their decision, questioning how the teen could have been allowed to appear in public wearing the outfit in the first place.

"[Taylor's dress] was very inappropriate and frankly I'm surprised her parents let her out of the house like that," Abbott said. "The school did exactly the right thing by enforcing the rule."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events