NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Nashville community is stepping up to throw the ultimate prom for a Nashville Christian School student who was allegedly not allowed to attend their senior prom for choosing to wear a suit instead of a dress.

“It was brave of them to make the sign and stand out in the front of their prom and it was powerful,” Nashville business owner Derek Van Mol explained.

The post by B Hayes on Instagram showed the student in a black suit holding a sign that said, “They wouldn’t let me in because I’m in a suit,” moving the Van Mols to tears. 

“It made me cry. You want children to enjoy their childhood; these are supposed to be their best years of their life and to not be able to attend a dance because you are not wearing the correct clothes? I mean this is 2023. We need to do better, Nashville,” stated Marcie Allen Van Mol. 

As small business owners, the parents of two teens used their platform to shift their anger and sadness into action.

“I said let’s show the world how Nashville shows up and supports their community…It’s a pretty proud moment.”

Within 48 hours, numerous businesses and supporters were on board as the Van Mols offered to host the ultimate prom from B and 25 of their friends at their venue, AB Hillsboro Village.

“We are simply a venue and we are simply using our platform and our voices to help the children who don’t have their own platform and aren’t able to really share with the world how they feel. We are living in different times now and we need to open our hearts and be welcoming, inclusive of all people,” Marcie explained.

While the community plans to give B a night to remember, it’s the message of love and light that the Van Mols hope resonates.

“I hope it’s a domino effect. I hope that cities across the state and the country and the world see that one act of kindness can change someone’s life. We are Nashville natives and we are not going anywhere and we are not going to tolerate this kind of discrimination. Not on our watch.”

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An East Nashville business owner started a GoFundMe to help the Van Mols with the prom. Actress Candace King, who lives in Nashville, donated $5,000 to launch the campaign that’s raised more than $25,000.

The extra funds will go to B’s charities of choice – Oasis Center and Inclusion Tennessee.