Prom is hot topic every spring, but poses an issue for LBGT students who want to attend just like everyone else. Many LBGT students (especially in the south) are still feeling stifled by the status quo around dates and dress codes. Well, at least one Louisiana school has hopefully learned their lesson after the school retracted a ban on a female student's tuxedo for prom.
Yeah. Get this: Monroe, Louisiana's Carroll High School principal Patrick Taylor told openly gay senior student Claudetteia Love that she absolutely could not wear a tuxedo to prom, even though Love is an honors student, and a shining star in an underperforming school. (Carroll High School received an "F" performance grade for 2014, according to Louisiana's Department of Education.)
Monroe, LA is located just across the river from West Monroe, home of the Robertson family. They are the super religious stars of A&E's mega-hit show, Duck Dynasty. The cities both fall under the same school district. And if you didn't know, Jesus is everywhere down there, y'all. And, according to some, he does not appreciate smart women wearing pants.
"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 told the Monroe newspaper, The News Star.
Taylor told a local paper that it wasn't a personal decision against Love, but instead a call based on the dress code.
Monroe City School Board Presiden Rodney McFarland turned right around to call BS on that statement, and went on to tell The News Star: "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. 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."
A petition from students, attention from the press, and involvement from the school board president turned up the heat on Taylor's decision. Now, Principal Taylor has had a change of heart. Love will attend the April 24 prom, tuxedo and all.
"I am thankful that my school is allowing me to be who I am and attend my senior prom in tuxedo," Love said in a statement Tuesday, according to Take Part. "Now that I can go in my tuxedo, I am looking forward to celebrating the end of my senior year with friends and classmates at the prom, like any other student."
Amen. It will be a last, and lasting, celebration for Love before she attends Jackson State University on a full academic scholarship in the fall.