Texanna Edwards, a senior at Gibson County High School, wore the dress to prom Saturday, but was not allowed to enter because the dress was deemed offensive, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported.
Edwards said she talked to fellow students about the dress before prom and they seemed supportive, but added that a teacher suggested she speak to school administration before wearing the dress.
"I didn't talk with administration because we wore rebel flags all through my four years at Gibson County," she said. "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."
Eddie Pruett, director of schools for the Gibson County School System, said there have been race-related issues at the high school in the past and Principal James Hughes thought the dress may cause a problem.
"She was told because of the dress and what it would look like, it would be considered inappropriate," Pruett said. "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."