Central teen denied entry into date's prom after school deems dress inappropriate

Josie (left) and Christian (right). Source: Rebecca Reason
Josie (left) and Christian (right). Source: Rebecca Reason
Josie (left) and Christian (right) Source: Rebecca Reason
Josie (left) and Christian (right) Source: Rebecca Reason

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - A Central mother is upset after her daughter was denied entry into Central Private School's prom over the weekend because of the dress her daughter was wearing.

Rebecca Reason believes her daughter and her daughter's date were treated unfairly and misled by the school.

This was the first prom for 16-year-old Josie, who is a junior at Central High School.

Her date, Christian, who is a junior at Central Private School, put effort into making the night special for both him and Josie. He rented a white tuxedo and rented a limo for the evening.

Upon arrival, school officials told Josie she could not enter the prom because the dress had two side patches on the waist that were covered by nude colored mesh patterns.

Josie was given the options of going to Walmart to get a belt to cover up the waistline cutouts or wearing her date Christian's jacket for the entire prom.

Christian's mother told WAFB she called the school's office over a month before the problem to seek clarification on the cutouts on Josie's dress. She says she was told by someone at the school over the phone that the dress was appropriate because it had mesh.

On prom night, when Christian's mother spoke to a teacher on the phone, she was told she had initially spoken to the wrong person and that the school's office wasn't in charge of the prom.

The mother says she should have been put in touch with the correct teacher when she called the first time.

Central Private School Superintendent Wayne Cooks told WAFB over the phone:

"Central Private is a Christian based school and we have guidelines that we ask all our students and their dates to meet and they sign a contract and get it back to us. I trust our sponsors to handle all (the) guidelines students sign and they did."

The superintendent described a portion of the dress code over the phone but refused to give WAFB a full description or copy of the dress code.

"No cut-outs that show skin in the mid-section will be allowed," he said.

Cooks declined an on-camera interview Monday and denied WAFB's request for a copy of the prom contract that each student is required to sign.

The superintendent did say two other students wore dresses that were deemed inappropriate, but those two students choose to wear jackets over their dresses during the prom. Other students, whose dresses had mesh material, were allowed in because they met the dress code, he said.

Cooks said he would not comment on whether Josie and Christian would receive a refund for their prom tickets.

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