Teen Is Kicked Out of Prom for Not Wearing a Dress, Decides to Speak Up

    18-year-old B Hayes was not to allowed to attend their prom because they were wearing a suit.

    The student protested the rejection and shared the exclusionary experience on Instagram.

    But the case went viral, and vendors came together to host a special prom for Hayes

    Eighteen-year-old B Hayes showed up to their prom in a suit but could not attend the event. Hayes, who goes by the pronouns he/them, was a student of the Nashville Christian School in Tennessee.

    The high school senior claimed they were forced to confine themselves to social constructions of femininity. They found it unfair not to be allowed to attend a prom at a school they had attended for over a decade and could not take no for an answer.

    Hayes stood outside the venue with a poster that read, “They would not let me in because I am in a suit.” They then took a photo with the poster and put it up on Instagram, writing, “I have been attending Nashville Christian School for 13 years. My senior prom was today, and I wasn’t allowed in the doors because I was wearing a suit.”

    Hayes’ experience went viral and reached several business owners who wanted to help the teen fight what the school had done to them.

    B Hayes Received a Special Prom
    Hayes’ case went viral, receiving over 23,000 likes and over 2,000 comments. It also made it to different business vendors, specifically Derek and Marcie Allen Van Mol, owners of the event venue AB Hillsboro Village in Nashville.

    Van Mol contacted Hayes asking if they would be interested in having an intimate prom with 25 of their close friends. The business owner understood the students’ pain of displacement and wanted to do something special for them. “At the end of the day, it is about doing what is right, and B got slighted,” Van Mol expressed.

    One of Van Mol’s friends, Allison Holley, created a GoFundMe page after coming across Hayes’ posts and raised over $29,000 to help put together Hayes’ dream prom.

    The money raised was able to organize Hayes’ “ultimate” prom, and the surplus was donated to their charities of choice, such as Inclusion Tennessee and Oasis Center.

    Hayes’ case stood out to Holley because she felt that being excluded from spaces due to how one chose to represent themselves was an issue that needed attention. She stated, “I naively was unaware that we were still having dress code issues like this in 2023.”

    What started as an Instagram post led to Van Mol and his wife receiving over 1,000 emails from vendors wanting to be part of what has now turned into a movement. The new prom even had an exclusive performance from RCA recording artist Tone Stith.

    For the new prom, Hayes added more glitz and glamour to their outfit. They wore a sequined floor-length cape with rainbow colors over their black suit.

    Hayes thanked everyone involved in bringing their dream prom to life. They wrote, “To all the local businesses who helped, I love you, and you guys brought this whole thing together. I cannot thank you enough!”

    The comments from their post were also filled with immense positivity. People encouraged Hayes to keep their attitude because it would continuously break boundaries and change the world.

    The commenters applauded the student for challenging the rules and also gave credit to their mother for helping Hayes stand up for themselves.

    Another remarked, “Love that you are being your true ethic [sic] self.” Others thought it was sad that the student had to fight something like that but commended them for their courage.

    More followers applauded Hayes and wished the world would accept people for who they were instead of trying to fit them into boxes. At the same time, others apologized to Hayes for their painful experience. “The world is so much better and brighter because of you,” another user remarked.

    Instagram users were proud to see a young person standing up for change. Even though they found the situation “ridiculous,” they encouraged Hayes to continue rocking suits.

    The School’s Response to Hayes’ Experience
    Nashville Christian School is a coed private school that hosts children from the age of six to the 12th grade. It is also a school that has built its principles on the bible to guide students on how to present themselves and behave.

    According to the school’s online handbook, these rules are based on: “Identity — God created us as male or female, and we will live consistently with the gender God chose for us.”

    When it comes to dress codes, the school declared, “All students should choose banquet attire that is appropriate for modesty and consistent with the Biblical principles to guide student behavior and the statement of faith of Nashville Christian School.”

    The school also reasoned that the students signed agreements and knew these rules upon enrollment. The dress codes stipulated in the handbook also applied to events sponsored by the school.

    The Nashville private school stated that should students not adhere to these rules, they would not be allowed to attend any events. This also applies to sexual identities, meaning students of the same sex cannot go together as dates to a school event.

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