Two Sides to Every Story: What Really Happened At the Richmond Homeschool Prom?

I admit it. I read the story about Clare being kicked out of her prom (the original post does contain profanity) — whether it was truly because the dads had complained that she was dressed too provocatively or because some of the women just thought so — and I was outraged.

I’m all about encouraging women and equality for women and ending the “blame the victim” culture in which we are so entrenched.

“You shouldn’t have been dressed like that.”

“You were asking for it.”

“It must have been punishment for your sin.” (That’s a favorite that I just learned about. Apparently church leaders are using that one.)

No, there was no rape involved in this story, but it’s all part of the same mentality. While common sense would tell us that certain dress is appropriate in certain situations, and Christian women are called to dress modestly (sorry, folks, it is in the Bible), I do not believe or condone the belief that what a woman wears is provocation for any kind of behavior, whether it’s shaming by another woman (or group of women) or harassment or physical assault by a male (or another woman, for that matter). We own our bodies, and no one has the right to take that away from us.

**Note 7/1/14: When I (and most reasonable people) talk about “dressing modestly”, it’s a focus on self-respect. You should care more about how YOU look and feel than about trying to make yourself look a certain way just to attract attention. When I mention it, in any context, it has nothing to do with tempting men. If a man is going to harass or rape, he’s going to do it regardless of what the woman is wearing. A woman’s clothing – no matter what she’s wearing – is never an invitation. The only way you can legitimately claim “she was asking for it” is if the words “have sex with me” came out of her mouth, and even then, she has the right to change her mind.  There’s a great post here that goes into this idea in more depth.**

I read a whole bunch of the comments, all in support of Clare. I read the two follow-up posts on Hannah’s blog (Clare is Hannah’s sister and while Clare wrote the original post, Hannah wrote the other two posts.), and some of the comments on those. Everyone seemed to be in support, and there were no dissenting comments.

Then I found out that I know someone in that area. And she knows kids who were at that prom. And Clare’s post didn’t tell the whole story.

Apparently the adults involved in the prom aren’t talking, but the other kids sure are.

“There are two sides to every story. Your side, my side, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.”

I don’t know who said that first, but it’s so true.

Clare’s post went viral, but posts telling “the other side” of the story don’t seem to be getting as much attention. Why would they? it’s not as exciting or sensational as a post about blaming the victim, especially when the victim is a pretty teenage girl.

Alexa is apparently a former homeschooler in the Richmond area, and while she admits she was not in attendance this year, she does know several people who were. Here’s her perspective.

Blogger calliehobbs (I’m assuming a real name is in there somewhere, but I don’t know for sure) says she was at the Richmond Homeschool Prom, and she tells a completely different story than Clare does.

Several bloggers have reposted Clare’s story with titles that blame the dads at the prom. As far as my personal experience goes, I’ve never had an uncomfortable experience with a homeschool dad. I’ve been around them for almost nine years now, and I have two cousins who are homeschool dads (so technically, I’ve been around them my whole life), and I’ve never caught one staring inappropriately at me, another homeschool mom, or a teen or child.

Obviously, homeschool dads are just as susceptible to the current patriarchal culture as other men, but they are not more susceptible. There isn’t a switch that’s flipped somewhere when a family starts homeschooling that turns Dad into a pervert and Mom into a robot who doesn’t notice. So we can stop vilifying homeschool dads now.

When bad things happen, we do need to get the word out, tell our stories, bring them to light. Things only get worse when we pretend nothing is wrong. But if we only tell the part of the story that makes for good news coverage or more blog readers, then we have done a disservice to ourselves and others.

I do not allow anonymous comments on my blog. Anyone is welcome to comment on this post, and if you were at the Richmond Homeschool Prom and have something to say, please do so. I will not remove any comments regardless of which side they support. I will, however, remove any comments that include name-calling (that includes “whore” or “slut”- if you can’t speak without resorting to name-calling, then don’t bother), or vulgar language (again, if you can’t speak without cursing, then go elsewhere).

22 thoughts on “Two Sides to Every Story: What Really Happened At the Richmond Homeschool Prom?

  1. So something just occurred to me. When I (and most reasonable people) talk about “dressing modestly”, it’s a focus on self-respect. You should care more about how YOU look and feel than about trying to make yourself look a certain way just to attract attention. When I mention it, in any context, it has nothing to do with tempting men. If a man is going to harass or rape, he’s going to do it regardless of what the woman is wearing. A woman’s clothing – no matter what she’s wearing – is never an invitation. The only way you can legitimately claim “she was asking for it” is if the words “have sex with me” came out of her mouth.

    • Alexa, I’m not sure why you have posted your link without any comment. Posting your link wasn’t necessary, as I’m sure you’ve noticed that I included it in the post. Please feel free to edit and add an actual comment, but the link doesn’t add anything to the discussion, and I’ll remove it later if necessary.

      Thank you.

        • I understand, but you might be better served by actually reading the blog posts you comment on. Most bloggers don’t appreciate (or even allow) comments that are only links.

  2. Thank you Amanda. All too often the truth gets crushed under sensationalism. Especially when the sensationalism allows those with political and social agendas to spout off their hate at the people they dislike. Anyone with any sort of maturity or reason could see that Clares story was that of an angry 17 year old looking for attention. Thank you for being brave enough to post the other side, especially knowing the kind of people it will bring to try and discredit you.

    • I appreciate your comments, but there is nothing about me to discredit. I wasn’t there, so all I’ve done is link to the two other accounts of that night that I’ve found, so people can think for themselves. If they read those and still want to support Clare, that’s their decision. I will respond to comments here, but I won’t continue posting about it or making a big deal about it. I’ve said what I had to say.

  3. I’ve also noticed that neither of the commenters are using their real names. It does make me wonder why you wouldn’t want to use your name.

  4. I was there that night and I had a blast. After talking to one of the leaders because I’m close with them it needs to be known that the whole case being made for Clare Schlaudt is that she would give the boys impure thoughts. If this was true she might have a case but it’s not. After talking to the lady that kicked her out it has been made clear that no one told Clare that the fathers said she would give the boys impure thoughts. No one said that at all but Clare. She added that to her stupid blogpost to get peoples attention because honestly if that was true I could see why she was upset. But she fabricated all that nonsense in hopes to get attention which she is known to always be seeking. Her older sister Hanna is on a hate campaign against homeschooling and conservatives because she feels that’s her parents abused her by homeschooling her. She has caused her family a lot of issues because she believe her parents are wronging her sibling by homeschooling. She writes articles like this all the time to get attention and to milk money out of people who might feel sorry for her. But I tell you today that she had a bad experience with one homeschoolers and has decided to influence Clare and some of the other older siblings. This whole thing is ridiculous. The whole world is riding this article for only one thing. Because she said she was told she would cause impure thoughts. So now that you all know that she made this up and that the lady who kicked her out and any other chaperone there said nothing about impure thoughts u can see how much attention she is seeking. A paypal account to support her for college really??? Any college after hearing these stories would not even give her a chance. This is what happens when people don’t get the whole truth. Now yes don’t get me wrong if Clare got kicked out for her dancing and her dress then some others should have been kicked out too. This is the only thing that I can say was the fault of the prom committee and for the record 8 other kids were kicked out also. But they did not make a scene. They were not puppets being used by the angry sister Hanna who is against anything homeschooling. She walked into prom that night and was heard talking about how she will make a scene. She is her sister Hanna’s puppet and this is another way for them to get money and attention. This is truly a shame. Clare talks about how her boyfriends was polite and stuff lemme address that too. Her boyfriend cussed out the lady and snatched the money that they gave back to Clare. And one of the people in the group shoved and almost knocked over the lady that was addressing them. Then they proceeded to cuss everyone out on their way out and then flick them off. The others in the group did not have to leave but chose to in support of Clare. When you choose to support a cause or something you make a choice to sacrifice something whether it is time or money. They sacrificed both and for no reason should get a refund for what they stood for. Their choice their consequence. They could have called another parent to come get them. Even if the prom committee had done something wrong (which they didn’t) behavior like this makes them less likely to want to help you. Now you have a choice. Listen to Clare’s story that has been encouraged by her bitter sister Hanna and that has fabricated the whole case of IMPURE THOUGHTS and they were indeed rude and breaking the rules or look to the truth like Alexa has written and others such as the Hobbs ladies have done also and also what I tell you because I was there and had no allegiance to either side but when I heard from the lady that dealt with Clare’s nasty attitude and heard the truth I knew there was only one right side to this. Clare has acted immature and childish and her older sister should be ashamed of herself for influencing this girl to such heights. So no the dads were definitely not ogling FYI she by a long shot was nowhere near the prettiest one there but she was the MOST INAPPROPRIATE AND MOST DISRESPECTFUL one there except for her foolish boyfriend of course. In the end she will see good always triumphs over evil and that she has done herself a disservice for lying and making up stories. She made up the impure thoughts part and she had got the world thinking this is some sexist abuse. No this a girl who is influenced and encouraged by her conniving sister and who decided to be a 17 yr old brat all because she was told no basically. I pray for her family because they don’t deserve this but Clare Rose Schlaudt grow up and stop being an attention seeking brat because this will only last for a while before your life dips the other way. And to her sister Hanna your parents love you and did what they thought was best for you and one day you will find that you have either got to move on with your or you can go on and continue to try to manipulate your siblings but God does deal quite harshly with the treatment of His little people. So now you have the truth and Alexa I highly commend you. This might come off as harsh but I’m tired of this foolishness so I put it all out there. Now tell me who is right???

    • This is a really long comment, so I’m going to give you a chance to change the part at the end where you start calling Clare a brat. I specifially said that I would not permit name-calling. If you want to repost the comment without that, and delete this comment, that’s fine. If this comment is still here in the morning, I will delete it.

      I do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

  5. I lol’d at you referencing Callie’s blog. She was there, but she admits that 1.) she wasn’t present for what was said to Clare by the chaperone, and 2.) she has a personal bias against Clare. And you consider that the other side? You then cite random posts on pages by people who say they were told something else by those that were supposedly there, and you honestly expect 3rd hand ramblings on blogs to get equal attention? That is laughable. BTW, according to the news articles I read, the prom organizers were contacted by various members of the media for comments/to state their side but they have not returned any calls. If they were interested in getting their story out then they could easily do so.

    • I wasn’t there. I only know that more than one person is disputing Clare’s claims, and I had something to say about that.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Because unlike the sensationalist media, the adults in this situation understand that this isn’t news, nor worth getting dragged into. Not that it matters, since the people infuriated by this would never change their mind anyway.

      • The adults involved know they are wrong and that’s why they are continuing in silence. As for changing my mind…I’m sure all of Christian culture would be thrilled if girls and women like Clare just shut up and got back to cooking and child rearing while covered from head to toe. That way men wouldn’t have to expend any effort controlling their bodies or taking responsibility for their thoughts and actions. To the author of this post. There’s nothing here except hearsay. And by continuing this modesty junk you are contributing to the problem.

        • First, if you read the first part of my post, you’ll see that I don’t agree that anyone should be shamed/judged/harassed for what they wear under any circumstances. It’s quite clear that you didn’t actually read what I wrote. You read what you wanted to read. I was outraged when I read Clare’s post, just as everyone else was.
          Second, I mentioned that about Christian women dressing modestly to emphasize that regardless of my personal opinion, people have the right to wear what they want (within common sense and cultural norms – no bikinis at the grocery store) without being looked down upon. Also, I don’t even know if Clare is a Christian (I’m guessing not, by her use of G-dammit, but I don’t know and she doesn’t say), so how would my comment about Christian women dressing modestly have anything to do with her anyway? I’m not one who believes that just because I believe in something, that everyone else has to believe it, too.

          • I did read every part of your post. Particularly the part that said ” (sorry, folks, it is in the Bible)”. The favorites Christian catch phrase. So precious. Sorry not sorry.
            There are millions of Christians who have absolutely no problem with swearing. Millions. In fact this whole not using foul language is just another rule heaped upon the heads of people who are supposed to be free from the law.
            You don’t get to decide if she’s a Christian or not solely based on what she wrote when she was upset. You also don’t get to choose what’s modest and what’s not. She met the requirement for the specified dress code. Just because a bunch of perv dads couldn’t control their thoughts doesn’t mean she’s wrong. They are wrong and we are wrong if we teach our sons and daughters that this way of thinking with in Christian culture is correct. This teaching that men aren’t in control of them selves and therefore women need to dress modestly leads to rape and molestation and blaming and shaming.

          • Again, you only saw what you wanted to see, and that’s fine. You are going to find fault with anything I say because you have decided you know who I am (despite judging me for allegedly doing the same thing to Clare).

          • Also, I have no personal vendetta against Clare. I don’t know her or her family. You were probably too busy being angry to notice that I actually deleted an “anti-Clare” comment, because while it was informative, the author also called Clare a brat several times, so after giving him (?) the opportunity to edit the comment, I removed it. I’m not here to trash anyone, and as this is my blog, I get to decide what kind of language is used here. Brat isn’t a curse word, but it’s derogatory and unnecessary.

          • I’m not angry. Perhaps you’re being oversensitive because I’m logically challenging something you believe is true and good but is really a harmful lie? (women dressing modestly so men don’t become aroused) Also you’re the one who said ” I don’t even know if Clare is a Christian (I’m guessing not, by her use of G-dammit, but I don’t know and she doesn’t say), ” And that’s what I’m referring to when I say millions of Christians could care less about having their language policed when there are more important issues on the table like grown men not being able to control themselves at the sight of a 17 year old wearing a sparkly dress…..because Jesus. It’s sick. And the more time we spend addressing Clare’s dress and ignoring the adults who are really the ones at fault, the more women and girls will continue to be harmed by this ridiculous modesty garbage.

          • I’m not angry. I’m mostly just amused that you continue to pick apart what I say so you have something to argue about. I have *never* said at any time anywhere that women are responsible for men’s actions. In fact, I have specifically said otherwise in this blog post and repeatedly on Twitter and Facebook. Maybe you’re confused because you think that the common excuses that I listed at the top of the blog post are things I agree with? They’re not. They are examples of the current culture that I and so many others are trying to change.

          • And also amused that no matter how I try to say postive things in these comments, you continue to pick it apart, and find something negative. This blog post was actually very neutral, and only introduced people to another perspective, which shouldn’t be a problem, if Clare told the whole story. The truth will always come out eventually one way or another.

            Since I have children and a life, I would ask that unless you have something constructive to add to this post and/or conversation, that you find someone else to amuse.

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