Judge hears lesbian teen’s suit to force prom

Critter

Registered Member
#1
(Aberdeen, Miss.) Mississippi officials who canceled a prom after a lesbian student asked to bring her girlfriend told a federal judge Monday that there were issues with the event even before that.


The American Civil Liberties Union is suing in U.S. District Court to force the Itawamba County school district to sponsor the prom and allow Constance McMillen to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.

Schools Superintendent Teresa McNeece and school board Chairman Eddie Hood testified that they had discussed not sponsoring the prom even before McMillen challenged a rule that prohibits same-sex dates. They said they had concerns about liability problems, including possible use of alcohol and drugs at a school-sponsored event.


But they also said they decided to call off the April 2 prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School because McMillen’s challenge to the rules had caused disruptions.
“We were being hounded every day. Our students were being hounded,” McNeece said. “We were having a tough time of any bell-to-bell instruction.”


On cross-examination, school officials did not give specific examples of classroom disruptions. (wonder why)

McMillen first approached school officials about bringing her girlfriend in December, and again shortly before a Feb. 5 memo about prom rules was circulated to students. Same-sex prom dates had been banned in the past, but she had hoped school officials would grant her request.
She was told two girls could not attend the prom together and she would not be allowed to wear a tuxedo. The ACLU issued a letter earlier this month demanding that she be allowed to bring her girlfriend and wear what she wanted.


District officials responded by canceling the event, saying they felt it was the best decision “after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of our students.”

ACLU attorney Kristy Bennett said in court Monday that the district violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights and that it was the decision to cancel the prom – not McMillen’s request to bring her girlfriend – that caused the disruptions school officials described.
Any disruption came after the actual cancellation of the prom,” Bennett said.

In closing arguments, Bennett said the district “shouldn’t be able to censor Ms. McMillen’s speech simply by canceling the prom.”
Ben Griffith, an attorney representing the school district, said holding or attending a prom is not a constitutional right.


District officials “took a step they considered to be necessary,” he said.
McMillen testified the district’s decision led to hostility toward her on campus. She said she left school early the day after the district’s decision and didn’t go at all the next day.
“There were so many dirty looks,” McMillen said. “A lot of people didn’t like me very much.”


The 715-student high school is located in Fulton, a town of about 4,000 in rural north Mississippi. The entire county school district has 3,588 students.
Principal Trae Wiygul said he had been “bombarded” with e-mails, most from people criticizing the district’s decision.
“I’ve been called every name known to man,” Wiygul said. “I’ve been called a bigot and homophobic.” (am i suppose to care for this you are discriminating which is Agassiz the law you bought on yourself moron)




U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson, who is hearing the case, did not say when he would rule, but said he wants to do it quickly because “time is of the essence.”
Parents are now organizing a prom. School officials said it is open to the public, but McMillen said she had not been told about it.


The ACLU and gay rights groups have raised private funds for a May 8 prom in Tupelo that’s open to everyone but geared toward gay students. Bennett said planning for the “second-chance” prom was underway before McMillen’s case began, but “the outpouring for Constance enables this to be a much bigger event.”
The school seem not to having any argument the beer and drugs is old and not an excuse to cancel prom don't tell me they didn't even have problem before. they have its just an excuse to save there butt. and admit to cancel the prom base on her challenging the rule seem the school just got deeper into the mess.


Judge hears lesbian teen's suit to force prom | News Story on 365gay.com
 
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NINnerd

Survived a M&G with Trent
#5
This is just another example of how homosexuality is the new inter-racial dating. 50 years ago, if this were a black person and a white person wanting to go to prom together, we'd be going through the same thing. Of course nowadays, it's almost unimaginable that a school could get away with that. It's the same thing here. In 50 years, the younger generations will just shake their heads at this (as they should).
 

BigBob

Registered Member
#6
I do hope they rule in her favor. I'm sure this school would do the same thing if a guy wanted to wear pink (which I did homecoming junior year.).

This is just another example of how homosexuality is the new inter-racial dating. 50 years ago, if this were a black person and a white person wanting to go to prom together, we'd be going through the same thing. Of course nowadays, it's almost unimaginable that a school could get away with that. It's the same thing here. In 50 years, the younger generations will just shake their heads at this (as they should).
Makes you wonder what they'll be fussing about in 50 years.
 

Diederick

Registered Member
#8
I agree, America (among many other nations), is an example in many ways - but concerning GLBT rights, the US has a lot to learn.

The worst thing about these issues, is that the reasons behind these problems are always completely stupid.
 

Envy

Band Nerd ♫
#9
The worst thing about these issues, is that the reasons behind these problems are always completely stupid.
Yeah, I don't really understand how homosexual rights are really that big of a deal to get for us. Issues that actually have rational reasons behind both sides get legalized easily, but something that is so simple as this has so many problems.

Anyway, I just saw on my local news site that it was ruled that it was a violation of her rights, but they will not force the school to hold the prom.
 
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Critter

Registered Member
#10
I don't like how many people wrote this sound like she lost but both won in a way.

"BERDEEN, Miss. — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Itawamba County, Miss., school board violated the rights of a lesbian student by canceling the prom when the student challenged a ban on same-sex dates, but the judge stopped short of ordering the district to reinstate the April 2 prom. U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson said he denied the injunction request because a private prom parents are planning will serve the same purpose as the school prom and because "requiring defendants to step back into a sponsorship role at this late date would only confuse and confound the community on the issue."


Its still a win for her, the only problem i have is the only reason he seem to not want to reinstate it is the fact the private prom is going to be held. that makes no sense to me.


so both of them lost in a way and both won in a way.

Yea pretty much doing the same thing banning the girl and same sex couple. you a very bright judge.



I am not surprise by ruling but i also think any student who paid for this prom deserves there money back.

McMillen said she was saddened that the judge did not reinstate the school-sponsored prom, but she understood his reasoning since the private prom is scheduled for the same day in Tupelo.
"It would be hard for him to move it," she said. "A lot of people would be inconvenienced."
Davidson ruled the school board violated McMillen's rights. "The Court finds this expression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment," Davidson wrote in his opinion.



Parents of students at the Fulton, Miss., high school are organizing the private prom, and school officials testified all junior and senior students would be allowed to attend. It wasn't clear from the testimony whether gay couples would be welcome.
Another prom is being organized by the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, an advocacy group for gay and lesbian students.
McMillen said she is considering attending the private prom, once she knows a little more about it. "If I feel like I will be welcome to go, I want to go," she said.
I am pleased to a point

Judge rules against lesbian teen in prom case - USATODAY.com
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This is just another example of how homosexuality is the new inter-racial dating. 50 years ago, if this were a black person and a white person wanting to go to prom together, we'd be going through the same thing. Of course nowadays, it's almost unimaginable that a school could get away with that. It's the same thing here. In 50 years, the younger generations will just shake their heads at this (as they should).
Well lets just hope congress will do something soon about this stuff shortly, and the next thing will be... who knows aliens can't be on the earth?
 
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