A Tennessee girl named Texanna was barred from her high school prom when she showed up to the dance wearing a dress fashioned to look like the Confederate flag, and she can't for the life of her figure out why she was turned away at the door. Oh, Texanna. Our education system is failing.
According to The Tennessean, Texanna's northwestern Tennessee high school had experienced some racial "issues" earlier in the year, and so when Texanna brought up her brilliant idea to wear a stars n' bars frock to prom several months ago, one teacher warned her that it might not be a good idea and that she should clear it with the principal first. But Texanna didn't listen to the lone naysayer, swearing up and down that every other person who heard her plan thought it was a great idea, and was taken entirely aback when turned away at the door. She says,
I didn't talk with administration because we wore rebel flags all through my four years at Gibson County. I didn't ask for approval because I didn't think I needed to. I had one teacher tell me it was a bad idea. but I just thought she only said that because it would offend people. But I asked a bunch of people before I had the dress made and they all loved the idea.
But Texanna was shocked — SHOCKED! — that school administrators deemed it in the school's best interest to send her home. Red, white, and blue are the school's colors. And the Confederate Flag is totally pretty, right? She says that everyone except for the people who kicked her out of the dance (including black students!) was totally fine with it.
We asked why they thought that, but they kept saying the same thing over and over,. We kept asking people walking inside - black and white - and everyone said they loved it. Two black women even went off on the principal. They were upset with the principal. No one was upset with me.
The dubiousness of her claim that two black women offered to fight for a white girl's right to wear a Confederate flag aside, sporting a Confederate flag anywhere — a mudflap, a tee shirt, a prom dress, a dream catcher, wherever — is sort of like wearing a New England Patriots PERFECT SEASON 2007 sweatshirt around, if the 2007 New England Patriots had been terribly racist and Eli Manning was a Ulysses S. Grant type with a drinking problem. Season's over, guys! You lost the big game! It's not a "rebel" flag; it's a "slave owners who lost a war" flag.
The school could have avoided this whole hulabaloo by banning Texanna from the dance on the grounds that it was a crime against fashion.
It seems that Texanna doesn't have many options; the school says they turned her away in order to promote the safety of other students and that legal precedent allows them to do this. Besides, while students have a right to free speech, no one has a constitutionally guaranteed right to attend prom while dressed like an asshole.