A nine-year-old girl in Indiana was left heartbroken after being banned from her first communion for wanting to wear a pantsuit.
Cady Mansell had planned to take her first communion along with her friends and classmates at St. John the Evangelist Parish but was told she wouldn’t be allowed to wear her dream outfit- a white pantsuit.
Her mother Chris posted a heartfelt message in Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, with the post gaining over 20,000 comments.
Chris wrote: “[Cady] has a love for suits and wears them often. Since there wasn’t initially a dress code given for the event, we assumed she could wear a suit.”
“We went all out and made a weekend out of finding her the perfect outfit… one that makes her feel beautiful and confident.”
The all-white suit had been specially purchased and tailored to fit Cady for her first communion, requiring expensive alterations.
However after the school learned of her outfit choice, a dress code was then sent to parents a week before the ceremony.
This new dress code specifically said that girls must wear dresses for the communion.
Chris Mansell was a teacher’s aide at the school and was asked to attend a private meeting with the principal.
In this meeting, Chris was told that Cady could wear the suit, but could only if she had her communion alone after the main ceremony.
Speaking to Yahoo, Chris said: “I thought even more than that, that’s ridiculous. Why would I be ashamed of my daughter? That’s really the message they’re conveying.”
The day after this meeting, Cady attended a practice communion ceremony with her father where he was told by the pastor: “You’re raising your daughter wrong. You’re doing her a disservice by not making her wear the dress.”
In response to this, the family have moved schools and churches, moving the family to a more open-minded school where Cady is allowed to express herself.
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Chris said: “We lost our school and my job and all of our friends but one who stood by us. It turned into a scandal.”
However, since Chris’ initial post, the family have been overwhelmed with support.
Cady’s mother responded to the attention Cady’s story has garnered in a Facebook post, saying: “First of all Cady is jazzed to be internet famous, if even for one day.
“I read her a few beautiful messages from people all over the country and she is floored that strangers would be so interested in her journey and love her so much.”
As of writing, the school and church have yet to comment.