A Louisiana honor student, who also happens to be a lesbian, was told by her school principal that she could not attend prom if she did not wear a dress. Claudetteia Love, a senior at Carroll High in Monroe, said she had planned to wear a tux to the prom but was told by Principal Patrick Taylor that “girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is.” He says it would be a violation of dress code to allow Love to enter the prom in a tux, so she must stay home if she refuses to wear a dress.
The Daily Mail reports that Claudetteia Love is one of the top students in her senior class at Carroll High in Monroe, Louisiana. The student received a full scholarship to Jackson State University and says that due to her hard work, she deserves to be able to attend the prom. Love says that she is being excluded due to her sexual orientation and that the school has no issue using her grades to bolster their test scores, but then refuses to allow her the honor of attending the prom. Her standing is good enough to attend a special academic banquet in the school’s honor, but not enough to attend a school dance.
“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 says the principal is taking his values and “throwing them” on her daughter.
“I feel like he’s taking his values and throwing them on my daughter because of what her preference is and what she represents.”
However, the Carroll High principal says it is just a simple matter of dress code, nothing to do with discrimination against Love’s sexual orientation. He says Love “shouldn’t take it personal.” Love’s mother disagrees and says that when she spoke with the principal, he claimed that “girls wear dresses” and that it was just the way it is. She also noted that the principal said that faculty members refused to chaperone the dance if girls were allowed to wear tuxes.
“That’s his exact words. ‘Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is’.”
Love and fellow Carroll High seniors filed a petition to allow her to attend in a tuxedo. However, the school has yet to act on the petition and Love says she will skip the prom with her friends. When Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland spoke with the News Star, he said he disagreed with the principal’s decision and planned to take the issue up with the Superintendent.
“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.”
What do you think about the principal’s response to the issue? Should girls, lesbian or not, be forced to wear dresses to gain entrance into prom due to the fact it is historically the attire of choice?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Stringer]