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Missouri School: Gay Teen Can Bring His Male Date to Prom

Earlier today I posted about Stacy Dawson, a gay Missouri teen who was told he couldn't attend his prom with a male date. Some good news to report. The district superintendent has said Dawson, or any gay teen, may bring a same-sex date, the line forbidding it has been removed from the rule book, and the school says it was not originally put there to ban gay students, NBC News reports:

Dawson"I found out why the stipulation in the student handbook was originally put in there, and it's rather innocent, to be honest," Alvin McFerren, Scott County Central School District superintendent, said. "This was during a time 10-15 years ago that the previous administration was having issues with some of the students trying to come in on either the single rate or the couple rate. They implemented that to make sure they couldn't circumvent the rates that students were supposed to pay as they entered into our dances."

McFerren said Dawson will be allowed to go to prom with his boyfriend.

"It was never intended to be a discriminatory thing," he said. "We want an educational environment for all of our kids and we're not ever going to discriminate as to whether or not the board has the policy and we don't do that based on sexual orientation. Period."

Happy prom, everyone.

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Comments

  1. I like the "period." at the end of the statement. It doesn't matter too terribly much how we got here, we're here. Period. More things should end that way.

    Posted by: Steven HI | Feb 15, 2013 7:12:42 PM


  2. That was easy! Things are changing fast...

    Posted by: Matt N | Feb 15, 2013 7:26:11 PM


  3. That means students were cheating in the past by bringing a same sex date? The boys could have cheated more easily by bringing a girl than by bringing a boy which would amount to committing social suicide in those times.

    Posted by: simon | Feb 15, 2013 10:09:24 PM


  4. Wasn't it Napoleon who said that to limit casualties and more easily defeat the enemy you must leave him a path of retreat?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 15, 2013 10:58:11 PM


  5. Simon: it could have been the girls.

    Posted by: MITCH | Feb 15, 2013 11:17:24 PM


  6. David:
    Waterloo is a good reminder that we should never trust Napoleon. Just kidding :).

    Posted by: simon | Feb 16, 2013 3:49:07 AM


  7. The real question is why are there different prices for couples and for singles? As if coming to the prom single isn't humiliating enough, you have to pay more, too??

    @ Simon: I don't see how it's social suicide if you bring your best mate around and everyone knows it's because you're cheap. If they put a rule, I guess it happenned enough times.

    Posted by: G.I. Joe | Feb 16, 2013 4:18:02 AM


  8. Last night I posted that this seemed to me a positive statement of how things ought to be......and will be.
    It's great to hear these stories of equality......and it being no big deal.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 16, 2013 7:18:56 AM


  9. I for one do not believe that statement was there for any other purpose than deny same sex couple access, period. This is just some clever thinking by the bigots to not look so bad.

    Posted by: Speedieg | Feb 16, 2013 7:45:58 AM


  10. Speedieg......It may be used as an "excuse" in this case, although as a retired high school teacher, I can vouch for it to be a valid one that had been used in the high school in MI where I taught for 32 years, which implemented a rule similar to that for exactly the purpose the Super said it was written into the rule book. This isn't the first time singles pay higher rates than couples. The prime example is income taxes......

    Posted by: Madcitymike | Feb 16, 2013 8:37:20 AM


  11. When did schools start charging different rates based on if you are there with someone or not? Also, since when is bad dancing and finger food considered "an educational environment."

    Posted by: Philip | Feb 16, 2013 8:56:50 AM


  12. When did schools start charging different rates based on if you are there with someone or not? Also, since when is bad dancing and finger food considered "an educational environment."

    Posted by: Philip | Feb 16, 2013 8:56:51 AM


  13. I'm going to take this for what it is, a win for equality!

    Posted by: Graysloth | Feb 16, 2013 9:46:03 AM


  14. @SPEEDIEG--I'm inclined to agree, mainly because I remember when our school had a similar rule suddenly show up in the mid-1990s, supposedly because of concern about free riding students. At the time a lot of LGBT issues were slowly starting to filter into classroom discussions and the broader community, and it was a very small town in the middle of a rural conservative area. I knew that most large groups paired off as guy/girl couples and got the couple rate that way (which is what I did even), and that you just never saw pairs of girls or guys try to get in on the couple rate. The rule at the time seemed very obviously a preventive measure against having to deal with a gay couple.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 16, 2013 9:49:12 AM


  15. Nice try, and I'm willing to wink and nod and give them the chance to save face.

    If "there was never any intention" of using this to bar a same-sex couple, then it wouldn't have taken the threat of a lawsuit to get them to reconsider it.

    The response to a gay student asking about his date would have been, "Wait, does it really say that?" and figuring out a way to work around it, including saying "Of course we sold him the couples' ticket, and anyone else who wants to bring a same-sex date can contact us and we'll do the same, while we work out how to rephrase the rules."

    Regardless of what people's intention was when a rule or system was first set up, the moment you know it is discriminatory, every moment from that point on that you go without changing it IS intentionally discriminating.

    Posted by: Lymis | Feb 16, 2013 9:53:34 AM


  16. From the outset, if they had just charged single prom goers exactly half the rate that couples paid, there never would have been a need for the rule in the first place. Whenever equal people are treated unequally, it just causes problems. And that's not just a gay thing.

    Posted by: Chadd | Feb 16, 2013 12:20:36 PM


  17. From the outset, if they had just charged single prom goers exactly half the rate that couples paid, there never would have been a need for the rule in the first place. Whenever equal people are treated unequally, it just causes problems. And that's not just a gay thing.

    Posted by: Chadd | Feb 16, 2013 12:20:36 PM


  18. From the outset, if they had just charged single prom goers exactly half the rate that couples paid, there never would have been a need for the rule in the first place. Whenever equal people are treated unequally, it just causes problems. And that's not just a gay thing.

    Posted by: Chadd | Feb 16, 2013 12:20:40 PM


  19. @Speedieg: it was probably for the reason they stated if the rule was put in 15 years ago, when it would be much less likely than today that two gay kids would feel comfortable going to a school dance together (I presume this was for all dances).

    Possibly the boys were more comfortable going by themselves than the girls were, and the rule was simply intended to encourage more girls to go. If you had a two to one ratio of straight boys to straight girls, half of the straight boys would probably be standing there trying to impress their friends by making crude remarks about what they wanted to do with some of the girls.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 18, 2013 2:59:06 AM


  20. We need to follow up on this and make sure that the LGBTQ students at this school are actually being treated well. But yes, I'm glad that gay teens and specifically Stacy will be able to bring their dates to prom.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 18, 2013 3:23:53 AM


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