Tag Archives: Itawamba Agricultural High School

Itawamba School District To Pay Constance McMillan $35,000,00 In Damages And Will Update It’s Sexual Orientation Policy

The Itawamba School District has agreed to update its anti-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and will pay McMillen $35,000 in damages for denying lesbian student Constance McMillen the right to attend her prom with her girlfriend

From the ACLU Press Release:

Itawamba County School District officials agreed to have a judgment entered against them in the case of a recent high school graduate who sued her school for canceling the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend. The agreement ends a precedent-setting lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 18-year-old Constance McMillen, who suffered humiliation and harassment after parents, students and school officials executed a cruel plan to put on a “decoy” prom for her while the rest of her classmates were at a private prom 30 miles away.

“I’m so glad this is all over. I won’t ever get my prom back, but it’s worth it if it changes things at my school,” said McMillen, who was harassed so badly by students blaming her for the prom cancellation that she had to transfer to another high school to finish her senior year. “I hope this means that in the future students at my school will be treated fairly. I know there are students and teachers who want to start a gay-straight alliance club, and they should be able to do that without being treated like I was by the school.” As set forth in documents filed in court today, school officials agreed to implement a policy banning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the first policy to do so at a public school in the state of Mississippi. The school also agreed to pay McMillen $35,000 in damages and pay for McMillen’s attorneys’ fees.

“Constance went through a great deal of harassment and humiliation simply for standing up for her rights, and she should be proud of what she has accomplished,” said Christine P. Sun, senior counsel with the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project. “Thanks to her bravery, we now not only have a federal court precedent that can be used to protect the rights of students all over the country to bring the date they want to their proms, but we also have the first school anti-discrimination policy of its kind in Mississippi.”

In addition to today’s legal judgment against the school, an earlier ruling in the case set an important precedent that will help prevent other students from suffering the kind of discrimination McMillen experienced. In March, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi issued a ruling in McMillen’s case that school officials violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights when it canceled the high school prom rather than let McMillen attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.

Thats great news for McMillan, but unfortunately it still seems like Itawamba County and Fulton Mississippi is STILL amongst the douchiest places in America and the South will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century as local media are painting it as a payoff and the school itself is admitting NO WRONGDOING.

But school district attorney Michelle Floyd issued a statement today saying the northeast Mississippi district is admitting no wrongdoing in the affair.

“The Itawamba County School District believes that Constance McMillen’s rights under the United States Constitution were not violated by any act, omission, policy, custom or practice of the district,” Floyd said in the statement.

Floyd also said the district’s insurance policy would pay the award. Christine Sun, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who represented McMillen in the lawsuit, said the claim is a “distinction without a difference.”

Head on over to to the Clarion Ledge page and read the comments.  You can almost hear dueling banjo’s in the background of some of the comments.

Itawamba County, Mississippi: The Douchiest Place In America – Sends Lesbian Constance McMillan And Special Ed Kids To Fake Prom

Constance McMillen went to the Itawamba Agricultural High School prom at the Fulton Country Club, but she was one of the few to attend the event. McMillen said she arrived at the dance an hour-and-a-half after it began and stayed for about 30 minutes. She said she saw six other students and several school officials while she was there. Meanwhile, many more Itawamba AHS students went to an event held at the community center in Evergreen, another community in Itawamba County. McMillen said she knew about that event but that when she asked another student if she was invited, the student told her, ‘the prom is at the country club.’ … ‘I took that as no,’ McMillen said. ‘If I wasn’t wanted there, I wasn’t going to go.'”

Kristy Bennett, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said her organization was still gathering details about what happened Friday night to determine whether they would ask Davidson for sanctions. At the least, Bennett said the details about Friday’s prom would be used in the organization’s damages suit against the district, which is still being developed.

Next to be contacted should be the teachers union since obviously the school itself was in on it and also college admissions committees should take note and see if they have any student who knowingly participated in such a fraud and such an overt act of discrimination. Most colleges and Universities strive towards respect for diversity, and these students have made their quality of character clear. I would even consider this action grounds for rescinding an offer of admission as incompatible with the ideals and expectations of my institution.  (But then again the closest these bigoted hick kids will get to college is probably “college ruled” notebooks in Aisle 3 of the Walmart where they will eventually work.)

In the words of Phil Ochs: “Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of”

And to the bigoted. hateful, and ignorant  kids, parents, and staff at the who were involved in this outrageous and disgusting evemt……..