Patrick Taylor, principal of Carroll High School in Monroe, Louisiana, has given in to massive outcry and agreed to allow lesbian student Claudetteia Love to attend her school prom wearing a tuxedo.
When Claudetteia first expressed her desire to attend her high school prom wearing a suit instead of a dress her school principal, Patrick Taylor, informed her that she would not be allowed to attend the prom if she chose to wear a tuxedo.
A student that has already earned a scholarship at a top university and has finished top of her class Claudetteia was disgusted that she was treated this way. She spoke out saying, ‘They’re using me. They put me in all these honours 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 needed to accomplish and I’m about to graduate they don’t want me to do it the way I want to do it.’
Even after Claudetteia’s mother Geraldine became involved Principal Taylor refused to relax the rules, telling her ‘the faculty that is working the prom told him they weren’t going to work the prom is girls were going to wear tuxes.’ She told news websites that his exact words following that statement were ‘Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is.’
Taylor’s statements drew instantaneous attention from social websites and media outlets around America, and the world, even drawing condemnation from members of the school board. Rodney McFarland, President of the Monroe City School Board, said that no such policies exist to enforce gender rigid dress codes for prom, and that the Principal Taylor’s decision was bordering on discrimination.
Following a massive outpouring of support for Claudetteia and condemnation towards the school and Principal Taylor the school has thankfully reversed its decision and will be allowing Claudetteia, and any student who wishes, to attend prom in a tuxedo.
Thankfully Claudetteia and her mother had the foresight to report the school’s decision and raise support for their cause, but what worries me is all those other students being forced to adhere to strict and outmoded gender stereotypes and heteronormative rules that should not be allowed. The battle for equality is far from over in the world, and whilst people in any position of power choose to make decisions like Principal Taylor things will never get any better. Only by challenging these injustices when we see them will we make the world into a better place.