MONROE, La. -- A gay student in Louisiana says she is going to skip her prom because the school principal won't let her wear a tuxedo.
Claudettia Love, a senior and one of the top students at Carroll High in Monroe, said she was planning on going to the prom with a group of friends, but now they are staying away.
"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,'" she told The News-Star.
The decision is part of the school's dress code and not anything personal, principal Patrick Taylor told The News-Star.
Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland disagreed.
"Banning her from her prom just because of what she wants to wear - that's discrimination," he said. "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 said he planned to ask Superintendent Brent Vidrine to talk to Taylor.
Love's mother, Geraldine Jackson, said Taylor told her faculty members said they wouldn't supervise the April 24 prom if girls wore tuxes. "That's his exact words. 'Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that's the way it is,'" she said.
Last year, Love was one of a group of students presented in a Monroe City School Board meeting as part of the school's high achieving medical magnet program. She will represent the school at the annual Scholars' Banquet, an event for the top students in Ouachita Parish, and has a full scholarship to Jackson State University.
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