A Mississippi judge ruled yesterday that Itawamba Agricultural High School violated a lesbian student’s rights by forbidding her from bringing her girlfriend to prom and wearing a tuxedo. Constance McMillen, 18, came out of the closet as gay in the 8th grade and asked school officials in December and February of this school year if she could bring her 16-year-old girlfriend to the April 2 prom. Itawamba not only said same-sex dates were not allowed, but a female student could not wear a tux. When the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi took up McMillen’s cause, the school just canceled prom entirely.U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson refused ACLU’s request to force Itawamba to hold the prom. But he did rule that by canceling prom, McMillen’s First Amendment right to express herself had been violated and he plans to hold a trial on the issue.
Parents have since organized a “private” prom that will be open to all students, which the judge said would suffice. McMillen told Yahoo News that she is not sure whether she will attend that prom or not — or if she’ll even be able to attend school with all the hostility being directed towards her.
No matter what happens, we’re proud of McMillen for taking a risk, standing up for herself, and fighting for what she believes. With all the crap stories you hear about teenagers these days, it’s gratifying to know that some kids are turning out fine. [Yahoo News]