By Justin Worland
April 5, 2015

A gay student in Louisiana has decided to miss her senior prom this year after her high school told her she can’t wear a tuxedo.

Claudetteia Love told The (Monroe, La.) News-Star that she thinks Carroll High School is using its dress code to condemn her sexual orientation.

“I told my mom, ‘They’re using me,'” she said. “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.”

The school’s principal, Patrick Taylor, insisted to the newspaper that the tuxedo rule isn’t about sexual orientation, rather just an issue of dress code. Geraldine Jackson, the girl’s mother, said the principal told her that teachers said they would refuse to chaperone the event if the dress code wasn’t enforced. Jackson said he told her that “girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is.”

Now, in response to media coverage of the controversy, the local school board is getting involved.

“As school board president, I don’t agree with Carroll banning her from her prom just because of what she wants to wear — that’s discrimination,” Rodney McFarland, president of the Monroe City School Board, told the newspaper. “You can’t just go making up policies.”

[The News-Star]

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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