Gibson County High School senior Texanna Edwards was barred from her schools prom this past Saturday after the senior showed up in a prom dress decorated to resemble the controversial confederate flag with its blue stripes and white stars located inside of those stripes.
The 18-year-old approached the entrance way to the prom when officials said her dress was “offensive and inappropriate” for the event and the sent her away.
During an interview the following Monday the senior said:
“We asked why they thought that, but they kept saying the same thing over and over. We kept asking people walking inside — black and white — and everyone said they loved it. Two black women even went off on the principal. They were upset with the principal. No one was upset with me.”
In the meantime officials for the school say Edwards was told two months ago by a teacher that wearing the dress may get her barred from attending. That teacher allegedly told Texanna to have the dress cleared with the principal before moving forward with the design.
The biggest concern was the fact that race-related issues had caused problems at Gibson County High School in recent years and some teachers and other faculty believed a confederate dress could be portrayed as racist and cause more problems for the school.
Eddie Pruett, director of schools for the Gibson County Special School District told the Jackson Sun:
“She was told because of the dress and what it would look like, it would be considered inappropriate. She had talked with the prom sponsor and they told her it would be inappropriate. … I feel like Hughes followed legal precedents set by other court cases. Students have legal rights, and we don’t infringe upon those. But we have to follow legal precedents, and if there is a reason to believe something could happen, we don’t wait until after the fact to do something.”
Edwards said she told several people about her idea and many liked it. Only the one teacher said the dress was a bad idea and that she should check with school administration, she said.