Aniya Wolf had planned to go to her school’s prom, and her mother, Carolyn, told WHTM in Harrisburg, Pa., that the family had even purchased a new suit for Aniya to wear.
This sartorial choice wasn’t anything particularly new, Aniya and Carolyn told the ABC affiliate. Carolyn Wolf told the station that she thought her daughter was “beautiful” in a suit. Aniya Wolf said she has always been “more masculine.”
Wolf’s school, Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, took issue with her prom attire, though. “The dress code for the prom specified girls must wear formal dresses,” said a statement from the school, which was posted by WHTM. “It also stated that students who failed to follow the dress code would not be admitted.”
Wolf and her family said the school’s rules for the dance came as a last-minute surprise; they had previously signed a dress code that didn’t explicitly state dresses had to be worn — and then Wolf was presented with another dress code the day of the Bishop McDevitt dance, Wolf wrote on Facebook.
The Catholic school, however, said parents had been notified of the regulations months ago.
Whatever the case, Wolf’s plans for attending her own prom were stymied: The Associated Press reports that she was “thrown out” of the event. “Sadly, I was not admitted into the Prom,” she wrote on Facebook in early May. “I was forced to leave.”
But another high school then stepped in, and on Saturday night Wolf attended the prom for William Penn Senior High School, in York, Pa.
“We do embrace all,” Brandon Carter, the public school’s principal, told the York Daily Record.
Wolf wore a suit, as she had planned all along.
— Sean Simmers (@SeanSimmers) May 22, 2016
Bishop McDevitt High School did not immediately return a message from The Post on Monday.
“I love McDevitt. I love my school, I love the coaches, I love the teachers. They’re all great,” Aniya Wolf told WHTM. “They’ve never frowned upon me for the way I’ve dressed before in the past. But they did make me feel very discriminated against.”
Carter, the William Penn principal, said a social studies teacher raised the issue with him and asked if the invite could be extended, according to the Daily Record. “We’ve had many students that have worn whatever they felt comfortable in … it was just never an issue,” the social studies teacher, Maggie Mafnas, told the newspaper.
The disagreement over the Bishop McDevitt dress code caught the attention of Ashlyn Harris, Orlando Pride goalkeeper.
I went to work in my suit today to support Aniya Wolf. Also to prove a point to all the ignorant, intolerant people out there ***Cough Cough, Bishop McDevitt High School*** who think women shouldn't/ Can't wear suits because it's maybe not the so called 'Norm'. Well cheers to not being normal then! #BeYou
Rob McElhenney, creator of the cable sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” also took notice.
Aniya, I love your suit. Would u like to wear it on Sunny? https://t.co/jn01iLrZVe via abc27News
— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) May 12, 2016
Here’s the Daily Record, describing Wolf’s prom night:
Wolf was among the large number of teens who arrived in fashion — the very thing that Wolf has said got her barred from her own prom for wearing a suit. Those who were watching the procession of cars drop off students for the night clapped for her and took pictures with their cellphones. Wolf went inside to enjoy prom and did not speak with the media.
Thank you to William Penn High School. We had a great time! It was most definitely a memorable night. pic.twitter.com/fuvUKk4I20
— Aniya Wolf (@AniyaWolf) May 22, 2016