TOOELE, Utah (CBS Las Vegas/AP) — A Utah high school principal has apologized to dozens of teens who were turned away from their homecoming dance because their dresses were deemed too short.

Stansbury High principal Kendall Topham held four assemblies Monday, telling students the school’s dress code policy was too vague to be properly enforced and vowing to hold a free dance to make up for Saturday’s dress debacle.

“It was upsetting,” Callie Orcutt, who was turned away at the door Saturday night, told The Salt Lake Tribune. “I wanted to dance.”

Orcutt is a 16-year old student who wore a black dress that hung about 2 inches above her knees. She covered her shoulders with a small, orange jacket.

“I apologized that we had those who came thinking they were meeting the standard and doing what they were supposed to who still turned away, and it being a very disheartening, sorrowful night of sadness and frustration,” Topham told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Students and parents took to Facebook over the weekend to protest what they called a “homecoming spirit massacre.” They posted examples of sparkly dresses an inch or two above the knee that school officials said broke the rules.

“I understand rules. I think there should be rules, but they need to be realistic,” parent Natalee Stewart told the Tribune.

The Tribune reports as many as half the students who planned to go to the dance in Tooele left after their friends were turned away.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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