High schooler says she was turned away from prom for wearing a suit

NAPLES, Fla. (WINK) - A Florida teenager’s prom dreams were ruined when she was turned away from the dance because she was wearing a suit.

Holly Savidge says her daughter, Sophie Savidge, was dressed up and ready to go into Mason Classical Academy’s prom.

“She was excited. We took a couple pictures,” her mother said.

But Holly Savidge says a school administrator pulled her daughter aside “because she was in a suit and not a dress because she is female and not male.” The school has strict guidelines for formal attire. For female students, only an evening gown, cocktail dress or one-piece attire are allowed.

Sophie Savidge was told she could return to the dance if she changed clothes, but she decided not to do that.

“The main thing I like about school dances is being able to hang out with my friends and have a fun time. I think wearing a dress would have distracted me from that, and it would have dampened how much fun I had,” she said.

Instead, the teen and her mom opted for a more casual time.

“We went and got ice cream and talked about it, and she cried about it,” Holly Savidge said.

Sophie Savidge is a junior and has been at the school since second grade. Her mom thinks they need to keep up with the times.

“We realize this isn’t going to change anything for Sophie, but we’d like it to change for kids in the future. They shouldn’t have to feel humiliated for being who they are,” Holly Savidge said.

As a do-over for prom, Sophie Savidge will be attending a fancy dinner with her friends over the weekend. She said she hopes the school will relax its dress code for special events in the future. She also said she wants other girls who feel more comfortable in pants to keep being who they are.

The incident has the family considering other options for Sophie's senior year. They’re looking at dual enrollment or virtual school.

Mason Classical Academy released the following statement about the incident: “Mason Classical Academy has clear dress code guidelines for all dances. The dress codes are clearly presented and outlined to all students and parents. Any student who shows up to an MCA dance and does not abide by the dress code is given the opportunity to return to the dance in the proper attire. All students are treated equally at MCA and are welcome and encouraged to attend these voluntary events.”