You are hereGays Stay Home! Prom Is For The Straight Kids?
Gays Stay Home! Prom Is For The Straight Kids?
Students at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi will have no prom this year. The school district has decided to cancel the entire prom, citing that the media coverage surrounding their denial of one students request to wear a tuxedo and attend the prom with her lesbian girlfriend has become a distraction to the educational process in their district. The media coverage has become a distraction. Now the high school is facing a lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which argues the school is in violation of the student's First Amendment rights. One student's sexuality has become national news. The seniors at Itawamba Agricultural High School will have no senior prom. Apparently, only men are allowed to wear tuxedos. And seeing two lesbians together in formal wear is too much for the conservative, deep south to digest. Am I the only one that thinks this sounds ridiculous?
So where are you, America? Sure, this story is a top feature on al the major news sites. Yeah, I heard about it on my National Public Radio affiliate. But where are you, America? Where are the protesters? Where are the picketers? Where are the other students and parents of Itawamba Agricultural High School? Why aren't you outraged? Where is the non-violent civil disobedience Martin Luther King, Jr. founded the Civil Rights movement on? If this girl was banned from her prom because she was Hispanic or African American, would you be more moved to action? If she were discriminated against because she had no arms or had to attend prom in a wheelchair, would that incite you to speak up? Sure, we can file all the lawsuits we want, but the silent voice of a people speaks louder than any judicial ruling.
Let it be remembered that this "case" is about more than protecting First Amendment rights. It's about showing the world who we are as a people and what we're willing to stand for. It's about showing our kids that their differences are what makes them special and that we won't condemn them for having the courage to express those differences.
I am ashamed by the behavior of this Mississippi high school and feel sadness for its students. I think to turn something as innocent and memorable as a senior prom into a media circus and a moral pitfall is un-American.
READ Cynthia's Follow-up: God Is My Shepherd, I Shall Hate In His Name