A Catholic school in St. John, Indiana, denied First Communion to a young girl because she wanted to wear a suit to the event, according to The Washington Post.
The Post on Thursday reported that St. John the Evangelist School refused to let Cady Mansell, 9, participate in the ceremony while wearing a brand-new all-white suit. School officials told the Mansells that their daughter could only participate in First Communion with her classmates if she wore a dress or skirt.
The family responded by insisting Cady Mansell wear the outfit she had selected for the occasion as she had adored suits since she was 4-years-old. The debate ultimately resulted in the Mansells pulling their daughters out of the school and its related church.
Yahoo on Wednesday reported that Cady Mansell’s original First Communion is scheduled for this Sunday.
Chris Mansell, who is the girl’s mother, took her daughter shopping in early August before school started, where the child chose a white pantsuit from Nordstrom for the moment.
Cady Mansell on Thursday told The Post that she is “sad and mad” about her former school’s decision regarding her attire.
“We should all be equal and wear what we like,” she said of the suit, adding it “kind of sparkles in the sunlight.”
St. John the Evangelist School has a dress code mandating a white dress or skirt for girls and dark slacks and a white shirt for boys. A school official on Thursday told The Post that girls would not be allowed to wear an outfit that resembling one from the boys’ dress code.
“We have a dress code in place for our school,” she said, noting she did not make the decision to ban Cady Mansell’s suit. “We consistently enforce that.”
“Most people have dress codes at work,” they added, declining to list a rationale for forbidding Cady Mansell’s outfit besides it violating the rules. “They have dress codes for other things.”
“They’re in place for a reason: so that there’s a consistent, uniformly enforced dress code.”
The priest at St. John the Evangelist School told the Mansells that a deacon could administer their daughter’s First Communion privately. The Rev. Sammie Maletta, however, said Cady Mansell could not attend a ceremony with her classmates unless she wore a dress or skirt.
The Mansells are currently looking for a new church where Cady Mansell can receive her First Communion.
The new school they enrolled their daughter in late last month performed First Communion for its students at the end of third grade.
Cady Mansell was supposed to receive First Communion at the start of fourth grade at her previous school.