Teen Banned From Prom Because She Wants to Wear a Tux

tuxedoClaudetteia Love is a senior at Carroll High School in Monroe, Louisiana. She's graduating this year and has a full academic scholarship to Jackson State University. Prom is coming up -- April 24 -- and she's excited to celebrate with her friends before they all go on to other colleges, but because she wants to wear a tuxedo, the openly gay student was told she cannot attend. This is wrong, and many people are speaking out to help Love attend prom in a tux.

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Love said of the school:

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's right. It's quite simple: If Love or any other girl at the school wants to wear a tux to prom, it should be allowed. It's clothes, and mighty fine clothing at that. We live in 2015 -- women aren't forced to wear corsets and ballgowns to the gala anymore. Thank goodness. Where is the acceptance? The school is failing to teach kids one of the most important lessons in life by not allowing Love to wear a tux.

Be yourself. Be true to you. Accept others. Love.

It turns out that Carroll High School where Love is a senior has a record number of failing students. But not Love. She's one of the few who is excelling. She is even representing the school at the yearly Scholar's Banquet, which honors the top students from the area. This is quite an achievement, and one she should be proud of. Her school should be proud of her, and celebrate her. And this includes the allowance of her wearing a tux. But when Love's mom, Geraldine Jackson, spoke to Principal Patrick Taylor, she was taken aback what he had to say on the matter. She shared:

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. That's his exact words. 'Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that's the way it is.'

That isn't the way it is. This kind of thinking is wrong. The family is rightfully concerned that this isn't about wearing a tux, but about the fact that Love is gay. The kids came together to support Love and there was a petition signed by the senior class which urged the faculty to change the no-tux rule. But they stayed firm on their ridiculous decision.

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There is some good news here. Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland has spoken out to the local paper The News-Star saying he doesn't agree with the school's decision to ban Love from prom for wearing a tux. He felt it was "discrimination" and he's discussing the matter with Superintendent Brent Vidrine so they can speak to Principal Taylor. "As far as I know there is no Monroe City School Board policy saying what someone has to wear to attend the prom," he said. "You can't just go making up policies."

And while it was reported that this discrimination has brought Love to tears and that hurts my heart, it's beautiful to know that her spirit isn't broken and she remains steadfast to all that her name means. Love said:

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. 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.

Those are words to live by. Principal Taylor should learn from her, follow her example of acceptance. Let's hope Love prevails. And if for some reason the ban holds, Love along with every kid attending prom should just show up in a tuxedo. That would make a huge statement, and be a wonderful display of solidarity.

What do you think of the Principal's attempt to ban Love from prom because she wants to wear a tuxedo?

 

Image via Steven Depolo/Flickr

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