ACLU warns school about dance discrimination
MONROE - The ACLU of Louisiana warned school superintendents not to engage in discrimination after news surfaced of a Monroe girl who said she was pressured into skipping prom because she wanted to wear a tuxedo.
Claudettia Love said the Carroll High School principal won't let her attend the April 24 prom unless she wears a dress. Love, who is gay, told the News-Star she felt the school was "using" her because they celebrate her academic accomplishments as an honor student, but won't let her celebrate her impending graduation the way she wants to.
The ACLU said they've sent multiple letters over the years reminding school officials they cannot deny students access to dances based on what they wear or who they bring as a date. Executive Director Marjorie Esman said a female Mississippi student successfully sued their school in 2010 for denying her right to bring a girl as her date and wear a tuxedo instead of a dress to a dance. The ACLU said the Supreme Court has ruled such policies also violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
Principal Patrick Taylor told the media that the decision was part of the school's dress code, and not a personal one. School Board President Rodney McFarland, however, said there is not policy he's aware of that dictates what students wear to prom.