Constance McMillen didn't believe her Mississippi school district would really call off her senior prom rather than allow her to show up with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. On Thursday, a day after the Itawamba County school board did just that, the 18-year-old lesbian high school senior reluctantly returned to campus to some unfriendly looks, she said. "Somebody said, 'Thanks for ruining my senior year.'" McMillen said.
The students at Itawamba Agricultural High School are blaming McMillen for the cancellation of their prom—not the school board that cancelled their prom, but McMillen. Another report:
The school board met Wednesday and announced it was canceling the prom after McMillen challenged the same-sex date ban.... Mississippi ACLU legal director Kristy Bennett said school officials are trying to make a villain out of McMillen. Bennett said McMillen attended school today, but was "a little stressed out."
"She left early and said that it is pretty tense. A lot of students won't look her in the eye," she said.
Today she's being glared at and ostracized. What's going to happen to McMillen tomorrow? And next week? And the week after that? What's going to happen to her as the date of the cancelled prom approaches?
This is from an open letter written by Superintendent Teresa McNeece that's posted to the Itawamba County School District website:
Our mission statement of "Striving to Provide a Quality Education to Every Child" is the sincere goal of each and every employee of this school district. Whether it is a bus driver, lunchroom worker, maintenance staff, teacher, administrator, secretary, aide, or volunteer, we all have that passion in our hearts to make sure each student can reach their potential while in the care of ICSD.
Unless a student is an uppity lesbian, of course, in which case Superintendent McNeece and the Itawamba School Board will do as much damage as they can to any student unlucky enough to be left in their dubious and conditional "care."
The Itawamba County School Board claims they cancelled prom to end this "distraction." Let's make sure that abusing vulnerable gay teenagers creates a much bigger distraction—and much bigger headaches—for the Itawamba Country school system than tolerance would have. Keep those emails, phone calls, and faxes coming: