A Mississippi teenager who challenged her school district’s ban on same-sex prom dates is suing the district, claiming she suffered public humiliation because of its actions.
The lawsuit was filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen, Miss. The Itawamba County district and school officials are named as defendants.
Constance McMillen, 18, is a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton. In the lawsuit, her lawyers said Ms. McMillen has taken medical leave from classes and wants to transfer out of the school district. She and the ACLU challenged her school district’s rule that banned same-sex prom dates and a stipulation that only male students be allowed to wear tuxedos to the event. In response, the district canceled its prom.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for Ms. McMillen’s public humiliation and disparagement, as well as the mental-health, medical, and educational impact she says she has felt.
A version of this article appeared in the April 28, 2010 edition of Education Week as Miss. Student Sues District Over Prom-Date Dispute