By Shelia Byrd, Associated Press Writer • March 10, 2010
JACKSON, MISS. — A northern Mississippi school district decided Wednesday not to host a high school prom after a lesbian student demanded she be able to attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.
The Itawamba County school district’s policy requires that senior prom dates be of the opposite sex. The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi had given the district until Wednesday to change that policy and allow 18-year-old Constance McMillen to escort her girlfriend, who is also a student, to the dance on April 2.
Instead, the school board met and issued a statement announcing it wouldn’t host the event at Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.”
The statement didn’t mention McMillen or the ACLU. When asked by The Associated Press if McMillen’s demand led to the cancellation, school board attorney Michele Floyd said she could only reference the statement.
“It is our hope that private citizens will organize an event for the juniors and seniors,” district officials said in the statement. “However, at this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of the Itawamba County School District, after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of our students.”
The ACLU said a school policy banning same-sex prom dates violated McMillen’s constitutional rights. Read the full story HERE
NOTE TO IOWA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS:
Prom season is fast approaching. If you experience anything like Constance, please notify Iowa Pride Network or the ACLU of Iowa immediately!
Iowa Pride Network: 515-471-8062
ACLU of Iowa: 515-243-3576