Mississippi School Denies Lesbian And Cancels Prom
According to Yahoo News, a high school in Mississippi cancelled its annual prom rather than allow 18 year old senior Constance McMillen to attend with her girlfriend who is also a student.
School board officials decided it was in their best interest to ruin prom for everyone rather than just Constance and her girlfriend. They have a right to cancel prom for any reason they deem pertinent or disruptive, but the lesson here seems to be that it is okay to discriminate against gays and lesbians now that racial discrimination is supposedly long gone.
The fact is they have no legal right to discriminate and it should not be occurring in a public school. The decision to cancel was a cowardly move that goes to show that this young woman has more courage and strength of mind than all the members of the school board combined.
The school board thought it fitting to cause and allow two young women to be ostracized because of its decision to cancel prom. They have no backbone or legal leg to stand on so they tried to weasel their way out of being forced to allow Ms. McMillen and girlfriend to attend. They are, in essence, discriminating against all of the students so they can get away with discriminating against one or two.
But that’s nothing new, right? This is Mississippi we’re talking about. The famously conservative yet poverty ridden, non-progressive state, where people still struggle to accept the fact that the south lost the Civil War. “Prom Night In Mississippi” should ring a few bells for any who had the displeasure of watching history repeat itself. It highlights actor Morgan Freeman’s efforts to integrate the Charleston, MS high school prom. You better believe there was a great amount of resistance from the parents and the school board. Not only was the prom integrated for the first time in decades, some white families still hosted a second, “white only” prom.
Some things change, but other things remain the same. See, you can pretend that you’re not racist just so you can appear to be Christian and god-fearing, but it’s a lot more difficult to pretend that you’re not homophobic while also trying to appear to be Christian and god-fearing.
I’m pretty sure I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this. Religion has once again made its way to the head of the school classroom where it doesn’t belong. I also learned that if you don’t want to allow someone to assert his or her rights, just punish everyone. Fair, right? It’s no wonder Mississippi and its one step behind neighbor Alabama consistently rank lowest among states in education nationwide. This cannot be a farce, but it’s not exactly an epidemic that’s only resigned to the southern half of the United States.
Prejudice and discrimination are prevalent in every state, city school and home. That’s where the fight begins. Perhaps Mississippi and Alabama should consider outsourcing school administrators and teachers as a way to alleviate the gross lack of intelligence and tolerance being spread like wild fire.
Thankfully, Constance has the backing of the ACLUon this issue. According to their website, they have filed a lawsuit against the high school today, asking the court to reinstate the prom for all students, and to allow Ms. McMillen to wear a tuxedo. The suit contends that the school trampled upon her first amendment rights by denying the use of a tuxedo and entry to the prom.
OXFORD, MS – The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today against a Mississippi High School that has canceled prom rather than let a lesbian high school student attend the prom with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo to the event. In papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the ACLU asks the court to reinstate the prom for all students at the school and charges Itawamba County School District officials are violating Constance McMillen’s First Amendment right to freedom of expression.
This isn’t the first time the ACLU has gone up against a flawed school system on behalf of an ostracized gay teen. What’s sad is the job of protector in the school setting should be that of the teachers and administrators. It’s too bad the school board has their heads stuck so far up their asses they don’t realize that they’ve cut off their nose to spite their face.