An openly gay honor student at a Louisiana high school was recently told by school officials that she could not wear a tuxedo to her prom.
While the school maintains the decision came down as a result of a dress code, Carroll High School senior Claudettia Love believes it is due to her sexual orientation and has decided not to attend the prom this year as a result.
“I told my mom, ‘They’re using me. They put me in all these honors and advanced placement classes so I can take all of these tests and get good grades and better the school, but when it’s time for me to celebrate the fact that I’ve accomplished what I need to accomplish and I’m about to graduate, they don’t want to let me do it, the way I want to,’ ” she said.
Love was presented last year during a Monroe City School Board meeting as part of the school’s medical magnet program, and is set to represent the school at the annual Scholar’s banquet held for top students. The school has a failing school performance score, reports Barbara Leader for USA Today.
Geraldine Jackson, Love’s mom, went to principal Patrick Taylor to discuss the rule concerning not allowing girls to wear tuxes, who said it was part of the school’s dress code and nothing personal.
“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.’ “
Love had planned on attending the prom with a group of friends, who will all not be attending the prom now because of the recent events. A petition started by members of the senior class in an effort to change the rules reportedly was not acted on by school faculty.
Despite this, Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland said he plans on contacting Superintendent Brent Vidrine, and will request to speak with the principal concerning the rule, all on Love’s behalf.
“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 will be attending Jackson State University in the fall on a full academic scholarship.