Nashville Christian School stood firm in its religious beliefs and did not allow a girl to wear a suit to prom.
The student, who says she is non-binary and goes by the name B Hayes, posted a photo on Instagram holding a cardboard sign that said, “They wouldn’t let me in because I’m in a suit.”
In the post’s caption, she wrote, “My senior prom was today and i wasn’t allowed in the doors because i was wearing a suit. i should not have to conform to femininity to attend my senior prom. i will not compromise who i am to fit in a box. who are you to tell us what it means to be a woman?”
The school defended its decision in a statement to NPR.
An official said that Nashville Christian School “has established dress requirements for daily school attendance and at our special events. All students and families are aware of and sign an agreement to these guidelines when they enroll.”
The school added that the expectations for prom attire were communicated to the student and her family before the event.
“Expectations regarding appropriate prom attire were communicated to this student and the student’s family in advance of the prom,” the statement continued. “While we certainly respect a student’s right to disagree, all of our students know from our school handbook that when they do not follow such expectations at school-sponsored events, they may be asked to leave.”
After the student’s post gained more attention, local business owner Marcie Allen Van Mol and her husband Derek offered to use their company’s event space to host a second prom for Hayes, per a Fox News report.
Then another Nashville area business owner, Allison Holley, organized a GoFundMe for the event which easily exceeded its $25,000 goal. The second prom for Hayes and her friends is expected to be held next month.
“I greatly appreciate the support from my city and my community. The love I have been shown by my friends and family will not be taken lightly,” Hayes said to NPR.
She added that she would like to have the “privacy” to enjoy the rest of her senior year.
“I just ask that during this time I have the privacy to enjoy the rest of my senior year,” she continued. “I would also like for this attention to shift towards those who have experienced similar situations. You are not alone and there are people in this world who will stand with you. I want to spread positivity and help others grow through this process. Thank you all so much for the love you show me!”