As I read the article about your recent decision to cancel prom for an entire school rather than treat all of your students with fairness and dignity, I was reminded of an old history lesson. There are old stories about towns in the South, when they were told they must allow black children equal access to their swimming pools, filled their pools in with cement. Rather than allow black children and white children to interact with each other, community leaders decided it was better to destroy their own facilities. I had thought that this backwards and bigoted mentality had gone the way of institutional segregation, as history has shamed the individuals who propagated it. I am sorry to hear that cutting off your bigoted nose to spite your hateful face is still a Southern custom. Just as I am sure many of the members of your community are very disappointed to realize that the first and last the world will ever hear of your community is a story about discrimination and prejudice.
St Louis, Missouri
To Superintendent McNeece and members of the Itawamba County School District:
Your decision to cancel prom rather than allow a student to attend with her girlfriend is difficult to interpret as anything other than spite and blatant bigotry. To satisfy your own prejudice, you have deprived your entire student body of an iconic high school event and singled out a particular minority student to take the blame for it. Your motives of preventing "distraction" are ridiculous considering the magnitude this fiasco as reached. A single same-sex couple at a dance cannot possibly be more distracting than the international attention and ridicule your decision has drawn.
I implore you to reconsider your cruel actions, and to let Constance McMillen have the prom she deserves.
Oregon State University
Dear Superintendent McNeece,
Your recent decision to cancel your high school’s senior prom rather than allow a single student to attend with the date of her choice is an absolute disgrace. As educators, you should be teaching lessons of tolerance and unity rather than ones of bigotry, fear, and exclusion.
Constance McMillen is doing nothing illegal, nothing dangerous, and to characterize her as “disruptive” to serve a discriminatory agenda is obscene. By pointing to her actions as the reason for depriving the entire senior class of their prom, something I’m sure every one of them has been looking forward to since freshman year, you’ve made her a target for hatred, bigotry, and possibly worse. You cite as part of your reason for canceling this event the "safety" of your students, but your actions have most certainly placed Ms. McMillen, as well as any other students who are struggling with their own sexual identity, in emotional and physical peril.
Thankfully, Ms. McMillen is a young woman of integrity and grace. Your petty actions have not cowed her, but strengthened her resolve to see this injustice put right. I am awed by her courage, and disgusted by
Ms. McMillen’s place in history is secured by her actions here. And so, Ms. McNeece, is yours.
The Itawamba County School District needs to hear from YOU:
Superintendent Teresa McNeece
phone (662) 862-2159 Ext. 14
Principal Trae Wiygul
Let's keep those phones ringing off the hook. And I would encourage you, if possible, to fax your letters in addition to emailing them. The school's fax number: you can send a fax to (662) 862-5494.
And please join the Facebook group "Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend to Prom."
And please make a tax-deductible donation to support Constance's ACLU LGBT Project team.