Edwards, 18, told the Jackson Sun that school officials wouldn't let her into the event because her outfit was offensive and inappropriate.
The dress was red, white and blue, which happen to be the official Gibson High School colors. The design on the knee-length, sequined dress featured two blue stripes with white stars, which crossed to form an X shape at Edwards' right hip.
Edwards was aware of the dress's connotations; a teacher had warned her against wearing the sparkly number as early as February. Edwards disagreed, and said she did not think anyone would be offended. She added that she had worn Rebel flags before while on campus.
We asked why they thought that, but they kept saying the same thing over and over, Edwards said on the Monday following prom weekend. We kept asking people walking inside -- black and white -- and everyone said they loved it. Two black women even went off on the principal. They were upset with the principal. No one was upset with me.
But the district superintendent told the Jackson Sun that race has been something of an issue at the high school, and it was wise of school officials to avoid potential conflicts during the prom.
Students have legal rights, and we don't infringe upon those, he said. But we have to follow legal precedents, and if there is a reason to believe something could happen, we don't wait until after the fact to do something.
Edwards was given the option to change her outfit and return to the prom, but she chose not to. The dress had been custom-made for $150, she said, to represent her Southern roots.
I didn't ask for approval because I didn't think I needed to. ... But I asked a bunch of people before I had the dress made and they all loved the idea, she said.