We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
With spring upon us, many high school teens across our land turn their thoughts to that annual rite of passage, the senior prom. If you are gay and attend Agriculture High-school in Itawamba County, Mississippi, however, you won’t be welcome. This follows a recent decision by the local school board that had the school district cancel the planned senior prom rather than allow an 18-year-old lesbian student attend wearing a tuxedo and accompanied by her girlfriend.
The story of Constance McMillen has been reported in a number of media outlets including CBS news and tells of the flap caused by McMillen’s intention of attending her senior prom. McMillen simply desired to escort her girlfriend to the prom and dress up for the occasion, just as other teens have done to celebrate the tradition.
According to CBS news, a Feb. 5 memo to students laid out the criteria for bringing a date to the prom, and one requirement was that the person must be of the opposite sex. Enter the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU told board members the restriction violated the students’ rights and not allowing McMillen to wear a tux violated her expression rights. Rather than fight the challenge put forth, the school board had the district cancel the senior prom citing “distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.”
Just what part of the educational process are they concerned about? Is it the notion that people wear tuxedos to formal events? Perhaps it is the part of the educational process that confuses civil rights with the idea that these are exercised only when convenient or only for people who think and act like “us.”
Clearly the student body is getting quite an education and one that couldn’t be more distracting from a call for tolerance and understanding in a community that suffered greatly from such omissions mere decades ago during the racially charged civil rights era when it was sheets and hoods, not tuxedos that were cause for concern.
The school board’s decision means that the values and moral judgment of a few will impact the entire senior class, robbing them of their only chance for what would ordinarily be a celebratory and joyful event.
McMillen has stood tall during the entire ordeal and gained inspiration from the knowledge that her actions will help people “later on.” She said upon return to class this week, she was singled out by classmates for “ruining the senior year” for many.
No Ms. McMillen, your classmates can thank the school board for that.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
I am plagued with strange compulsions. Some have been with me as far back as I can recall and I have added several through the years. Compulsions rarely make sense to others, but I often find that those folks who scoff at my compulsions usually have their own rituals that seem perfectly reasonable to them. I find it particularly galling when someone who jumps over sidewalk cracks or changes direction to avoid crossing with a black cat makes fun of my rituals. One compulsion is ordered reading. I do not like to stray from first to last order. I read the Read on →
As part of my winter endeavors, I have ventured off with Dante on a journey through The Divine Comedy. So far, so good, but as my wife often asks, “Why?” I am not a religious person, at least in the conventional way, so why indeed am I stumbling along in a fourteenth-century conceit of a man’s mid-life crisis? As it turns out, I am following a Georgetown University on-line class which is serving as my guide, my own Virgil. As we finished The Inferno this week, our professor posed the question that Dante was ultimately trying to answer, “Who Am I?” Entering into Dant Read on →
Back in 1937 when Gene Talmadge was finishing his second two-year term as governor of Georgia, he took a big step. For Miss Mitt (his wife), he built a new home on U.S. Highway 341, between McRae and Lumber City, in his home county of Telfair. In today's world, this residence looks much like a Southern 5-4-and-a-door, with two-story white columns, red brick, and set about 100 yards back from the highway in a grove of pine trees. But it wasn't built in today's world, but constructed 77 years ago when most people in Telfair County probably didn't have running water in Read on →
In the summer of 1968 a man walked into Dad’s saw shop gushing about a guy making beaucoups of money. College was out for the summer and I needed a job. The next thing I know, Dad and I were sitting in Augusta’s Bell Auditorium waiting for pitchman, Glenn Turner, whose company, Koscot Cosmetics, needed door-to-door salesmen, the gullible preferred. From the back of the auditorium a chant took rise ... “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” and then men cut cartwheels down the aisles all the way to the stage. It was like the scene in the Blues Brothers where a rapturous Jake Elrod some Read on →