Alumni of a Tennessee Christian school are in complete disgust with their alma mater after the institution went viral for allegedly banning a female student from attending her senior prom because she was wearing a suit.
On Saturday, student B. Hayes penned an Instagram post about her non-existent prom experience at Nashville Christian School, a religious private school for preschool through the 12th grade.
“Im 18 years old and i’ve been attending Nashville Christian School for 13 years,” Hayes wrote. “My senior prom was today and i wasn’t allowed in the doors because i was wearing a suit.”
Along with the post, Hayes uploaded a photo of herself wearing a black suit and holding a sign that said, “They wouldn’t let me IN because i’m in a suit.”
A group of kids are seen in the photo, also dressed in formal attire, stepping out of a Yukon to attend an event that appears as if it’s being held in the building behind Hayes.
“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,” Hayes wrote. “Who are you to tell us what it means to be a woman?”
By Monday afternoon, the post had racked up thousands of likes and comments.
“Ain’t no hate like Christian love,” one person commented.
“As an NCS alumni, I am so sorry this happened,” another person wrote. “No one should EVER have to go through this. I’m proud of you for speaking out and sharing. A school especially one with the word ‘Christian’ in it should have welcomed you with open arms for expressing yourself, not turn you away.”
“When I graduated four years ago this same thing would’ve happened and it really sucks to see nothing has changed with this school,” one Instagram user added. “You are so strong for standing your ground and you have several people and NCS alumni’s [sic] backing you!!”
“Btw didn’t Jesus wear a gown and sandals?” yet another person wrote. “Distinctly feminine apparel. Wonder if he was locked out of his prom, too?”
“As a queer person that attended this school I can’t thank you enough for standing up for something that generations before you were too afraid of,” another alumnus wrote. “There are so many teachers at this institution that truly love us, and I’m proud to have known them. But the teachers preaching hate, bigotry…are the ones that make the school an unsafe space for students. Do better NCS.”
Meanwhile, comments on the school’s Facebook and Instagram pages were restricted.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Nashville Christian School said dress requirements had been established “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 statement read. “The school’s expectations regarding appropriate prom attire were communicated to this student and the student’s family in advance of the prom.
“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.”
According to Nashville Christian School’s online handbook, “ladies (Grades 6-12)” are required to wear uniform shirts with the school’s crest and a plaid skirt or khaki twill pants during “dress uniform days.” Dress shoes are a necessity. On designated “standard school days,” school polos are allowed, uniform bottoms have to be of the approved color scheme, skirts cannot extend too far above the knee, and “tennis shoes or closed toe shoes” are required. Shirts must be tucked in, and body piercings and tattoos cannot be visible.
“While the dress code policy applies to clothing worn during the school day, parents are responsible for supervising the choice of appropriate clothing for school events that occur outside of the normal school day,” the handbook states.
The dress code was last updated in 2022.
Nashville Christian School declined to provide The Daily Beast with a copy of the agreement students and parents were allegedly supposed to sign as well as the exact dress code guidelines for special events, like prom. The school also declined to comment further when asked exactly how Hayes was made aware of the event’s dress code.
“Our primary focus today is on our students and conducting a regular school day so we will let the statement we sent you stand,” the school told The Daily Beast.