The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi last week filed a federal lawsuit after a Mississippi school district canceled an upcoming high school prom when a lesbian student asked to attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.
The ACLU is demanding that the Itawamba County school district change its policy and allow same-sex couples to attend the dance.
Last week, the district’s board dropped the prom because of what it called recent distractions, but without specifically mentioning the senior’s request, which was backed by the ACLU.
The student, 18-year-old Constance McMillen, said the move was made in retaliation for her efforts to bring her girlfriend, also a student, to the April 2 dance.
Banning same-sex prom dates violates Ms. McMillen’s constitutional rights, the ACLU argues.
The school board 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.” –AP
A version of this article appeared in the March 17, 2010 edition of Education Week as Lesbian Couple’s Attendance Bid Leads to Prom’s Cancellation