A high-school senior will now be allowed to wear her tuxedo to prom, thanks to a school board president’s decision. Claudetteia Love, an openly gay honor student at Carroll High School, was told by her principal that she couldn’t attend prom because she wanted to wear a tuxedo. According to the principal, the decision was based on the school’s dress policy, but Love thinks it was based on her sexual orientation.
Geraldine Jackson, Love’s mother, stated that the principal was concerned about her daughter’s choice of attire for the prom.
“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.”
But the school board’s president had a different opinion.
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 says her fight to wear a tuxedo extends beyond herself. She wants everyone to be able to wear whatever they want to wear.
“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.”
Following graduation, Love will attend Jackson State University on a full academic scholarship.
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