Discrimination | Education | Gay Youth | Mississippi

Lesbian Student Says School's Decision to Cancel Prom is Retaliation for Her Petition to Bring Same-Sex Date

Some disturbing news from Mississippi. Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton has announced it's canceling its prom this year after the ACLU put pressure on it to accept the petition of one of its students to bring a same-sex date. The student, 18-year-old Constance McMillen, says the school's intention is to make other students angry at her, the Clarion Ledger reports:

Prom  "McMillen was alarmed when she heard of the board's decision to cancel the April 2 dance. 'Oh, my God. That's really messed up because the message they are sending is that if they have to let gay people go to prom that they are not going to have one,' she said. 'A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this, so in a way it's really retaliation.' School officials told McMillen last month that she could not bring her sophomore girlfriend to the prom and could not wear a tuxedo. The school then circulated a memo prohibiting same-sex dates. 'I asked my teacher about it, and she said, 'Well, you have to remember where you are,'' McMillen said. But Christine Sun, the ACLU's senior attorney for its gay rights project, said the ban on same-sex dates is a violation of McMillen's constitutional rights. 'We believe the law is pretty clear,' Sun said. 'The school just can't arbitrarily say you have to be an opposite (sex) date to (go to) the prom.' McMillen said she believes the district is trying to get around the issue by having a private group hold the dance to limit attendance."

Gay Student Alleges Retaliation in Nixed Prom [clarion ledger]

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  1. Schools email: dthomas@itawamba.k12.ms.us

    Posted by: Jason | Mar 11, 2010 9:47:27 AM

  2. Okay Gay Inc., take some of your "DONATE NOW" money and throw ALL the kids of this school the biggest, bestest prom ever. I bet that money goes a lot further than it would on Capitol Hill.

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Mar 11, 2010 10:42:51 AM

  3. It's akin to closing the pool rather than let "the wrong type of people" join in.

    Posted by: jtaskw | Mar 11, 2010 11:01:26 AM

  4. My email:

    Subject heading: Close the Entire School

    If as educators you are unable to follow the law, or to teach against bigotry and exclusion, then you should not only cancel the prom but close the entire school.

    What a despicable and shameful example you have set for young minds and hearts.

    Posted by: Rascal | Mar 11, 2010 11:11:23 AM


    Mission Statement

    The mission of IAHS is to involve school, families, and community in enabling students to be responsible and productive citizens of an ever changing world by providing academic and technological programs in a learning environment that is safe, orderly, empowering, and challenging.

    Posted by: Baby Jane | Mar 11, 2010 12:54:50 PM

  6. ACLU has started a Facebook page for folks who want to let Constance know they support her:


    Posted by: ACLU LGBT | Mar 11, 2010 1:04:04 PM

  7. Once again I feel like I should be apologizing for my entire state. Contrary to all outward appearances, we are not all hate-mongering bigots. Really we're not.

    Posted by: Helen Shaw Barnes | Mar 11, 2010 1:17:51 PM

  8. This young lady needs more than a Facebook page, folks. A majority of students who wanted to go to the now-canceled prom will be blaming her until graduation.

    Posted by: DR | Mar 11, 2010 2:10:03 PM

  9. Here you go:

    Itawamba County School District
    Teresa McNeece - Superintendent
    Email: tmcneece@itawamba.k12.ms.us
    Phone: (662)862-2159 Ext. 14

    Posted by: Ambrose | Mar 11, 2010 3:35:59 PM

  10. Because everyone knows the true purpose of senior prom is procreation.

    Posted by: HomoDM | Mar 11, 2010 4:37:39 PM

  11. This is truly sad, but not a surprise when there are still segregated proms in this country too, meaning only whites.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Mar 11, 2010 6:07:27 PM

  12. This girl is brave but I think she should have taken the money she was awarded and donated it to the prom fund or given it back to the school. All she wanted was just to be able to attend right? That money could have been used to buy prom supplies or make the prom way better than expected since it was almost canceled.

    Posted by: Sandy Swiss | Jul 22, 2010 11:03:44 AM

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