A school board president in Louisiana has smacked down an arbitrary ruling made by a high school principal who warned an openly gay student that she would not be allowed to wear a tux to her prom, telling her, “Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is.”
According to the News Star, Carroll High School senior Claudetteia Love was going to boycott her prom after being informed that she wouldn’t be allowed to attend if she wore a tux.
In an interview, Love’s mother, Geraldine Jackson, said she spoke with Carroll High Principal Patrick Taylor about the school’s no tux rule for girls.
According to Jackson, Taylor told her that members of the faculty were concerned after hearing about her daughter’s choice of dress for the occasion.
“He said that the faculty that is working the prom told him they weren’t going to work the prom if (girls) were going to wear tuxes,” she said. “That’s his exact words. ‘Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is.”
According to Taylor, the decision was based upon the dress code and had nothing to do with Love’s sexuality.
Alerted to the controversy, Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland said he has called a meeting with School Superintendent Brent Vidrine to take up Love’s case.
“As school board president, I don’t agree with Carroll banning her from her prom just because of what she wants to wear — that’s discrimination,” he said. “As far as I know there is no Monroe City School Board policy saying what someone has to wear to attend the prom. You can’t just go making up policies.”
Love, an honors student who will attend Jackson State University next year on a full academic scholarship, expressed her dismay at the controversy, saying that the school had previously held her up as a shining example to the student body.
“There are other girls in lower grades than me, and I want for them when they come up to not to have to feel like they aren’t accepted,” Love said. “I don’t want them to feel like they are less of a person because people don’t accept them. There are people in the world that won’t accept you but they don’t have to be so judgmental and make you feel like you’re less of a person and that you shouldn’t express yourself.”