Student denied entrance to senior prom due to dress

CARENCRO, La. (KLFY) – One Louisiana high school student wasn’t allowed to attend her senior prom because administrators said her dress wasn’t formal enough.

This happened after the student says the principal had already given her approval to wear the dress.

Senior prom is normally one last chance to really enjoy yourself as a high school student among your peers.

But at Carencro High School, one young woman didn’t have a chance to make those memories; she was denied entrance to the dance because of her dress.

On Saturday, Amari Williams, a Carencro High School senior, spent her afternoon getting ready for her Senior Prom.

“My makeup was being done, pictures being taken,” she said.

Amari turned down an invitation to prom her junior year because she wanted her senior year to be special; she even saved up enough of her own money to have a dress custom made for the big dance.

“I went to my Principal because my mom said to her it approved to make sure it was okay. So, I got it approved, I got it checked by her and she said it was fine,” Amari explained.

When Amari arrived at the Carencro Community Center for the dance, her night took an unexpected turn.

Amari says, “Hearing from Ms. Qualey, the person who approved it, hearing her say I can’t get in, that was heartbreaking because you approved it but now you’re saying something totally different.”

Ten minutes later, Amari’s mother, Troynetta Williams, says she got a phone call from her daughter.

Williams says, “I headed there, I was willing to do whatever needed to be done. I grabbed scissors, pins, if I had to cut it all one length then I’ll do what I have to do to let her enjoy her night.”

Lafayette Parish School System Chief Administrative Officer, Joe Craig says the Carencro High Administration made it clear by sending several reminders of prom’s “formal” dress code expectations.

He says, “The length has to be all the way to the ground, all the way around; kind of easy to remember. In this case, the dress was not all the way to the ground and on that basis, it wasn’t considered a formal dress.”

Carencro High School Principal Mary Qualey says she doesn’t remember approving a dress that didn’t meet the dress code.

To avoid a similar outcome in the future, Mrs. Williams suggested students have their dress or tuxedo approval in writing from the school’s administration.

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