Claudetteia Love, a senior at Carroll High School in Monroe, La., has no plans to attend the prom.
That's because the school has barred Ms. Love, whom the News-Star of Monroe describes as a top academic scholar at the struggling school's high-achieving medical magnet program, from wearing a tuxedo.
Love, who is gay, says that the school's requirement that all female students wear dresses to the April 24 senior is a form of discrimination.
"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.
Love, who is still scheduled to attend the annual Ouachita Parish's Scholar's Dinner as her school's representative, is set to attend Jackson State University on a full academic scholarship. She had not intended to take a date to the prom. Instead she had planned on going with a group of friends, who have also opted to skip prom after a petition filed by the senior class to the faculty asking to waive the dress code went unacknowledged.
Since the ban on females students wearing tuxedos went in place, school board president Rodney McFarland has taken up Love's cause.
"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," he told the News-Star. "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."
Carroll High is not the only school to make headlines for promoting a gender-exclusive dress code. In 2013, after students at Sultana High School in Hesperia, Calif., elected a lesbian homecoming queen, who appeared at the homecoming game in a suit and tie, school administrators began strictly enforcing gender exclusive dress codes at formal and semi-formal events, prompting a backlash from the ACLU.