Tennessee girl barred from prom for wearing Confederate flag dress

A senior at a Tennessee high school got turned away from her prom when she showed up in a custom-made Confederate flag dress.

Texanna Edwards, 18, of Trenton, Tenn., said she wasn't allowed inside Gibson County High School's prom on Saturday because officials deemed the knee-length red dress trimmed with the stars and bars was "offensive and inappropriate," she told the Tennessean.

The controversial flag is seen as a symbol of slavery-era racism by many, though others believe it stands for the heritage of the South.

"We asked why they thought that, but they kept saying the same thing over and over," Edwards said. "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."

School officials, however, said a teacher warned Edwards two months ago that the dress might be problematic. The teacher, who served as prom sponsor, suggested to Edwards in February that she should clear the idea with the principal, but Edwards did not do so, according to Eddie Pruett, director of schools for the Gibson County School System.

Race-related issues have occurred at Gibson County High School in recent years, Pruett said, and Principal James Hughes thought Edwards’ dress could have caused a problem.

"She was told because of the dress and what it would look like, it would be considered inappropriate,” Pruett told the newspaper. "She had talked with the prom sponsor and they told her it would be inappropriate. ... I feel like Hughes followed legal precedents set by other court cases. Students have legal rights, and we don’t infringe upon those. But we have to follow legal precedents, and if there is a reason to believe something could happen, we don’t wait until after the fact to do something."

Attempts by FoxNews.com to reach Edwards Wednesday were not successful.

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