Gay Teen-Age Boy Wears Gown To Prom In Florida – Brief Article
A Florida high school senior recently wore a red, floor-length evening gown to his prom after school officials gave him permission.
Charles Rice of Pierson, FL, 18, who is gay, had worn women’s clothing to school events before, but he had to fight to wear a dress to the prom.
More than 6 feet tall, Rice was told by Peter Oatman, the principal at Taylor High School that he would be refused entrance if he showed up wearing a dress. Oatman cited concerns for the teen’s safety and the potential for a major disruption of the prom. Oatman backed down, however, reported an article in the Orlando Sentinel, after he conferred with Superintendent Bill Hall and school district attorneys, as well as reviewed news accounts of his initial decision.
Hall reportedly told the newspaper that Rice was allowed to wear his gown because the principal had allowed Rice to wear skirts and dresses at past events: as the master of ceremonies of a school talent show last spring and at last fall’s homecoming dance. There were no problems at either event.
Because of these prior episodes, the school system would have had a weak case if the matter had gone to court, Hall told the newspaper.
“I was overjoyed. I was about to cry,” said Rice of his reaction to the reversal of the decision. He was in the process of hiring an attorney when the school reversed its decision. Rice felt he was being discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.
Rice strolled into his prom at the Plaza Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach wearing a $380 red, floor-length evening gown with spaghetti straps, red satin shoes and rhinestone jewelry.
Hall said that in the future no male students could follow Rice’s lead.
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