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:
'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]