A female student in Monroe, Louisiana, has decided to skip her senior prom because her high school will not let her wear a tuxedo.
Claudetteia Love is one of the top students at Carroll High School. She was planning on attending prom with a group of friends instead of a date.
That all changed when Principal Patrick Taylor told her that her wearing a tuxedo was not allowed per the school’s dress code, reports The Daily Mail. He claims it is nothing personal.
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Love told The News Star: "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.'"
Love’s mother, Geraldine Jackson, spoke with Taylor about the school’s rule against girls wearing tuxes.
"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 … I feel like he's taking his values and throwing them on my daughter because of what her preference is and what she represents.”
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Mignon, Love’s sister, said she has overhead faculty talking about the prom dress code rule.
"It's not about how they dress," Mignon said. "They're judging them. They are at school talking about being gay is a sin. Everybody sins. The only person who can judge is God; you can't judge them."
Love has the backing of Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland, who disagrees with Taylor’s decision and sees it as discrimination.
“Banning her from her prom just because of what she wants to wear — that's discrimination,” McFarland 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.”
McFarland plans to ask Superintendent Brent Vidrine to speak to Taylor.
A petition was started and signed by members of the senior class to allow Love to wear a tuxedo to prom. The school faculty did not act upon it.
Love plans to use her experience to make a difference for 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," 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 her graduation this year, Love will attend Jackson State University on a full academic scholarship.