Claudetteia Love
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A school board president in Louisiana has come to the defense of Claudetteia Love, a high school senior. It says that Love, a lesbian, can wear a tux to her prom if she wants to, Raw Story reports, despite the arbitrary rule by the school’s principal that girls must wear dresses and guys must wear tuxedos.

Love had planned to boycott her prom after, she says, she was told by Patrick Taylor, the principal at Carroll High School, that she would not be allowed to wear a tux because she is a girl.

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Love took the issue to her mother, Geraldine Jackson, who took up the issue with Taylor. According to Jackson, Taylor again reiterated that Love would not be allowed to wear a tux, and shifted the onus onto the school’s teachers, who allegedly felt uncomfortable with that kind of attire on girls.

“[Taylor] 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.’”

Taylor argued that the rule was about dress code and not meant to discriminate against Love because of her sexuality, Raw Story reports.

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Word moved up the chain pretty quickly, and Rodney McFarland, the school board president of Monroe City, slammed the high school’s rule forbidding girls to wear tuxedos and said that he would be taking the matter up further with the school superintendent.

“As school board president, I don’t agree with Carroll banning [Love] from her prom just because of what she wants to wear—that’s discrimination,” McFarland said.

McFarland went on to mention that there is no statute or precedence that allows the school to make such a decision about attire based on a student’s gender. “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,” he continued.

Love feels reassured that she and her mother’s efforts to reverse the school’s decision will positively affect lesbian students in grades below hers. “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,” she said. 

Read more at Raw Story.