On Friday night, Aniya Wolf was hoping to enjoy her senior prom at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Instead, the school told her she wouldn’t be allowed to attend because Aniya, an out lesbian, chose to wear a tuxedo.
According to a Facebook statement from the school:
Bishop McDevitt High School held its annual prom on Friday, May 6, 2016.
Without question, we love, respect and cherish all of our students.
The dress code for the prom specified girls must wear formal dresses. It also stated that students who failed to follow the dress code would not be admitted.
The full dress code policy was sent to parents about three months ago. A reminder was sent to all students on March 6. On Friday afternoon, when it was brought to the attention of the school administration that a female student was planning to wear a tuxedo, we contacted her mother in hopes we could resolve the situation.
It’s important to note that students who haven’t adhered to the dress code in past years haven’t been admitted to the prom.
Bishop McDevitt will continue to practice acceptance and love for all of our students. They are tremendous young men and women. We simply ask that they follow the rules that we have put into place.
To be sure, there’s no legal issue here. It’s a private Catholic school and they’re allowed to set the rules as they wish.
It’s just a completely idiotic rule.
The administrators are lying when they claim to “practice acceptance and love” since their actions show none of that applies if you’re not wearing “appropriate” clothing. Instead of saying, “We want this to be a memorable night for you,” they opted for, “We’re going to ruin this memory because we care about our irrational rules more than we care about you.”
For what it’s worth, Aniya went to the dance… only to be kicked out by a school official who threatened to call the police on her. Just like Jesus would have done.
Khoa Trinh is a graduate of the same school and he’s appalled by his alma mater:
The amount of clothing worn or not worn is not indicative of morality. If anything, it has more to do with the level of comfort and confidence an individual has…
By rejecting Miss Wolf’s choice to dress in a tuxedo to go to her prom, you rejected part of who she is. As she and her mother said multiple times, she has dressed like a boy since she was little. She felt comfortable and happy with the clothes she wore. She felt comfortable and happy in a suit she wore to Snowflake [the winter dance at the same school]. She felt comfortable and happy with the slacks and Oxford shirt and tie, or the polo as required by the school uniform. In what way is this different from either of those examples?
By rejecting her clothing choices, you rejected her choice to express who she is and how she feels. You made her feel like “a mistake”. That isn’t acceptance. That isn’t love…
One student noted on Facebook that he had seen students “who are utterly disrespectful in the classroom, spend a ton of time in detention, fail classes, show up to school high/drunk, and so on, get admitted into prom WITHOUT A PROBLEM.” But girl in a tux? Can’t have that now, can we? The issue couldn’t have been modesty since other students wore more revealing clothing.
This was discrimination, whether it was against lesbians or against students who don’t fit some gender binary norms.
Maybe the best news to come out of this is that Aniya exposed the bigotry of officials at a large Catholic school. The more we see stories like this, the more likely it is that sensible, decent parents will choose not to send their kids there. And the more likely it is that graduating students will feel no loyalty to the Church as they grow up.