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Harper Valley PTA meets Footloose – Homos in Tuxes Forbidden

March 11, 2010

I betcha you would be surprised to discover I wasn’t the Prom Queen in high school. Yeah, I know.  Shock, huh? It happens.  Not all high school dreams come true.  In my case I suspect it was because I didn’t actually attend the prom.  In the case of the prom queen hopefuls of Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi it is because the school district would rather cancel the prom than allow Constance McMillen, a lesbian student, to wear a tuxedo and  to bring her girlfriend as her date. (Pause for a rousing chorus of WTF?)

USA Today reports that the homophobic geniuses running the local school board have stated:

“Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events, the Itawamba County School District has decided to not host a prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School this year.”

Really? Rather than let one lesbian bring a date to a school function they are going to punish the entire student body? Gah.  This is the stuff that just spikes my “Grow The Fuck Up” meter. And y’all thought the folks at the Harper Valley PTA were uptight.

As if the social politics of high school aren’t already hellish for both gay and straight students, this move will only make senior year even more of a nightmare for McMillen.

“Oh, my God. That’s really messed up because the message they are sending is that if they have to let gay people go to prom that they are not going to have one,” she said. “A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this.”

School officials told McMillen last month that she could not bring her sophomore girlfriend to the prom nor could she wear a tuxedo. The school then circulated a memo that prohibited same-sex dates.  McMillen challenged this ruling and the ACLU, bless their liberal hearts, issued a sternly worded missive demanding that they change their policy, and gave them until Wednesday to make a decision.  Well, they did. And it was a colossally stupid one to boot.

In another portion of the foolish and narrowminded statement the board states:

“It is our hope that private citizens will organize an event for the juniors and seniors. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes anyone.”

One can only hope that the town of Fulton has an industrious Ren McCormack, an abandoned mill, and a copy of the soundtrack to Footloose.

To read the whole story, and to be as horrified as I am, visit USA Today.

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