Constance McMillen: Mississippi School Sued For Canceled Prom
Constance McMillen's School Sued For Violating Student's Rights
The Mississippi school that canceled graduation prom to prevent lesbian student Constance McMillen and her girlfriend from attending is now being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union. The human rights organization is alleging the administrators of Itawamba Agricultural High School are violating McMillen's First Amendment right to freedom of expression by not letting her bring same-sex date and wear a tuxedo to the prom.
The cancellation of the prom came unexpected to students at Itawamba Agricultural High School. The American Civil Liberties Union and McMillen are now fighting to reinstate the prom. But already McMillen says other students at the school are giving her "unfriendly looks" over the incident.
"Somebody said, 'Thanks for ruining my senior year.'" McMillen said.
“Itawamba school officials are trying to turn Constance into the villain who called the whole thing off, and that just isn’t what happened. She’s fighting for everyone to be able to enjoy the prom,” said Kristy Bennett, Legal Director of the ACLU of Mississippi.
In the past, ACLU has been successful in standing up for the rights of gay students to bring same-sex dates to proms. In 2009, ACLU managed to overturn the decision made by one of Alabama schools to bar student Cynthia Stewart from inviting same-sex partner to the prom. Franklin Country School System officials have reversed their decision, allowing Stewart to bring her girlfriend to the event.