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.

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  • Ethan

    Good for the ACLU. I think I’ll send them a check.

  • The sane Francis

    Good news. I notice more and more every day that trying to assimilate isn’t what we as a community should be doing. Instead, we should be standing up and fighting for our place in the world, to be ourselves without discrimination or thinking we should conform to “traditional beliefs”, and not taking no for an answer. Seems like every day some bigoted heterosexuals are trying to, in one way or another, tell us what our place is and will be in this world. It’s heartening to see stories like this that show there are a lot of us who won’t take such discrimination laying down. I especially love it that many times if not most of the time it’s younger folks doing such things, gives hope for the future.

  • greenmanTN

    “Tradition,” huh. In a lot of ways that’s what it all comes down to.

    Sometimes it hard to tell, in a chicken-or-the-egg sort of way, whether religion is the origin of homophobia or if it’s the excuse used by homophobes because gays break tradition and challenge “the way it’s always been.” It’s funny because in many ways the “Leave It To Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” past conservatives and the Religious Right want us to go back to never really existed in the first place. It was the rigid and stifling conformity of that time that made the Civil Rights era, feminism, gay rights, the ‘Beats,’ and the Hippies necessary in the first place.

  • Red Meat

    @Ethan: Send me a check :(

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