dress code

It Took A Kind ACLU Threat To Get This Louisiana High School To Let Monique Verdin Wear A Tux To Prom

Schools not letting teenage girls wear tuxedos, you almost didn’t hear the story about Monique Verdin, the Ellender Memorial High School senior who was nearly refused a ticket to her prom on Saturday because she refused to wear a dress. And then, haha, the ACLU pointed the Louisiana school’s administrators to its little case involving Ceara Sturgis and asked politely if the Terrebonne Parish School Board would like to spend a half million dollars defending its right to dictate dress code, and the school district relented. (Or so I imagine things went down in my head.)

“It’s a good thing,” says Verdin, who had the backing of her family in her decision to don a tux (that her father Jody in the photo). “They shouldn’t have put me through so much trouble like that. I figured they might change their minds because of the letter they got from the ACLU. This is good for my friends because I get to go with them and they get to go and I can have fun with them.”

So why did Ellender Memorial initially refuse to let Verdin wear anything but a dress? ony Authement, supervisor of Terrebonne Parish’s public high schools, explains: “It’s a tradition. Tradition, and that is it. Period.” But by yesterday, the tradition changed.