A female Alabama high school student was punished with an in-school suspension after she asked another girl out to prom.
Alexandria High School disciplined Janizia Ross, 17, for being "rebellious" after she invited a female student to prom on stage during a talent show, reports AL.com.
The school claims she broke a rule against public "promposals."
However, according to Janizia's mother, Jeanise Ross-Walton, it is common for students to ask others out during the show.
Ross-Walton explains a teacher had helped plan the surprise, while the show sponsor initially approved of the proposal before withdrawing permission, Fox News reports.
Yet while the master of ceremonies didn't get the message, Janizia was called out anyway. The panicked teenager was forced to continue with the original plan.
"They hugged and walked off stage," Ross-Walton said. "That was it."
Afterward, the school disciplined both Janizia and the master of ceremonies, a punishment Ross-Walton finds unfair.
"This was harmless," she said, adding she believes her daughter is being singled out because she asked a same-sex student.
However, school officials deny they were being unfairly discriminatory.
A statement posted on the Calhoun County School Board's website said published accounts "may have created a misimpression regarding the school's rationale in responding to the situation in question."
After an investigation, they added that the school had "fully honored" the board's commitment "to guaranteeing its students equal educational opportunities."
Principal Mack Holley later apologized ver the school public address system to anybody who may have become offended, while adding the campus is a "Christian school."
Holley also later told the media that Alexandria's prom has featured same-sex couples before. The school, he says, can't ban them because "it's probably against the law."
In addition, the principal argues he wasn't singling Janizia out, referring to a time where he had banned another talent show proposal by a male student for a girl in 2013.
However, the student in question, Hunter Borders, says that while he was told not to do it, the boy was not disciplined when he carried out his plan anyway.
Borders adds he believes what happened to Janizia may be discriminatory.
"Even though it may be classified as an interruption of a school event, I don't see where punishment was necessary," he said. "Regardless of the political or religious standpoint, it's the law that they're allowed to be together. If there was any discrimination, it was wildly inappropriate and should be dealt with."