Constance McMillen Update: On, Off, On, Off, On!
First Itawamba Agricultural High School's prom was on—but Constance McMillen wanted to take her girlfriend, so the school board called it off. Then prom was on again—but it was going to be a privately organized prom at a local furniture mart and Constance and her girlfriend were not
invited. Then Constance sued to force the school board to un-cancel the official prom and school officials argued—under oath—that they had no choice but to cancel prom because the huge controversy that erupted after they canceled prom was such a distraction that they had to cancel prom in advance of the huge controversy that would erupt after they canceled prom. And there was no need for the school to un-cancel the official prom, school officials argued under oath, because some parents were hosting a private prom and Constance was definitely welcome to attend! The judge ruled the school violated Constance's rights when it barred her from prom but he declined to order the Itawamba County School Board to un-cancel the official prom because parents had organized a private prom and Constance was definitely welcome to attend! But when Constance tried to buy a ticket to the private prom she was told—surprise!—that the deadline for purchasing tickets had passed. Sorry! Then the organizers of the private prom started to worry that they might get sued, so... they canceled the private prom.
The prom that was on, then off, then on, then off... is on again.
The Itawamba Agricultural High School’s parent-sponsored prom is back on, and it will now be held at the Fulton Country Club, the club’s manager said... It had originally been set for the Tupelo Furniture Market but was canceled Monday night, multiple parents confirmed. Parents would not confirm for the Daily Journal or Itawamba County Times why the event was first cancelled. Lori Byrd, who served on the parent organizing committee that planned the canceled event, told The Clarion-Ledger newspaper it was called off because, "there are a lot of people involved and they don’t want to get sued."
Imagine how much less distracted everyone in Fulton would be if the school had simply allowed Constance to attend prom with her girlfriend in the first place—no lawsuits, no Facebook pages, no angry emails, no legal liability, no New York Times editorials, no Ellen.