JOHNSTON COUNTY, NC -- A Johnston County, North Carolina, teen was shut out from the big dance all because he was wearing a kilt.
"I want to be proud of where I'm from," said 16-year-old David Leix.
So for Leix's prom he wore his late grandfather's kilt but was surprised when prom volunteers wouldn't let him in.
"They started going into, 'Well, even for dresses it's too short to be a dress,' I was being quiet, 'OK we're calling it a dress. That's not what it is,'" said Leix, who stressed how calling a kilt a dress is extremely offensive.
Leix and his date went to the Praise Prom. On its website, it's described as a Christian alternative prom for kids who are home-schooled. The dress code for the prom is also listed on the website. For guys, the dress code says pants are acceptable and that jeans, shorts and baggy pants are not.
Leix had no idea that something as formal as a kilt, which he has been wearing to formal events since childhood, would raise a red flag.
"I feel like his prom night was tarnished by the whole thing," said Hillary Leix, David's mother.
She and her son say he was denied access to the prom until he agreed to change. She says no one from the prom called her to tell her what had happened, instead fellow prom parents arranged for someone to buy David a pair of black pants. So after missing two hours of prom, he was allowed in while wearing those pants.
For next year, David said he doesn't plan to attend the Praise Prom, but hopes the memory of his ordeal will change things for someone else.
"I want to see it changed to where any ethnic thing, if it's a kilt or any other ethnicity where you're from, who you are should be able to be worn," said David.
ABC11 reached out to the person listed as the host of the Praise Prom on the website. We never heard back, but Mrs. Leix said she did hear back and was told the dress code would not change.
Kilt controversy nearly keeps North Carolina teen from attending his prom