A Louisiana teen could miss this year’s prom because her school supposedly won’t allow her to wear a tuxedo to it.
Carroll High School, in Monroe, insists it’s a matter of the school’s dress code, but openly gay senior Claudetteia Love thinks it comes down to her sexual orientation.
“I told my mom, ‘They’re using me,’ ” Claudetteia told The News-Star.
“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 added.
Claudetteia’s mom, Geraldine Jackson, told the paper she confronted the school principal about the bizarre rule.
“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,” Jackson said. “That’s his exact words: ‘Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is.’ ”
Claudetteia had planned to attend the event, set for April 24, with a group of friends, who have now boycotted prom to support her.
And even when the rest of senior class rallied around her, signing a petition to change the no-tux rule, the faculty reportedly ignored it.
But now the city’s school board president has stepped up after hearing about Claudetteia’s story.
“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 told The News-Star.
“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.”
For her part, Claudetteia plans to use the experience to inspire others. “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,” she said.
Added the senior: “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.”