UPDATE: McMillen goes to Itawamba County prom that is sparsely attended
by Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
6 days ago | 13697 views | 97 97 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Constance McMillen did attend her school’s prom Friday night, although many of her classmates partied at an alternate event in Itawamba County.

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.”

The Itawamba AHS prom came under scrutiny after the ACLU sent a letter to the Itawamba County School District demanding it change the school rule forbidding same-sex dates at the Itawamba AHS prom. The letter said the district must allow McMillen to attend the dance with her girlfriend and to wear a tuxedo or it could face legal action.

Eight days later, the district announced it would not hold a prom, sparking an international story that landed McMillen on the CBS Early Show, The Joy Behar Show and The Ellen Degeneres Show, among others.

At a hearing on a preliminary injunction filed by the ACLU, Senior U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson ruled that the district had violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights but that it shouldn’t be forced to sponsor a prom since a group of parents had already agreed to hold an event that would be “open to all IAHS students.”

Last Monday night, those parents announced they would no longer host that prom. On Tuesday afternoon, school district attorney Michele Floyd said a private prom would be held at the Fulton Country Club, although the exact sponsorship of that event remains a mystery.

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.

“We are disappointed at the sparse attendance, and we’re looking further into the situation,” Bennett said.

“Whatever we find will be brought to the court’s attention, whether it is in the damages trial, or whatever. There will still be a trial on the merits. The case didn’t end in the preliminary hearing.”

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.
comments (97)
« DavP wrote on Friday, Apr 09 at 10:43 PM »
Wahoo24, do you take me for an idiot? Your community orchestrated TWO dances for the sole purpose of excluding Constance. What do you think the chances are that Constance would be among only seven that attended the Country Club? Then you try rationalizing what you did by hiding behind some lame excuse about how the rest of the students were too delicate to handle being around Constance, whom you imply is 'garbage' and the face of what you deem as the ‘fiasco’. Therefore you just had to throw a second dance to save them from such unwanted emotions around her… Give me a break. I see how you’re attempting to deflect blame here, but Constance isn't at fault for this despite how much you'd love to put this off on someone else. Your community and school system and the parents involved are getting hammered by the world right now because they broke the law by discriminating against a young child. What is this, the worst part of the 1950's? How stupid are the adults there in that town? And then when it was all out in the open, instead of doing what’s right, your community failed again and again and again. Despite being given numerous chances. Do you really think that if Constance hadn’t contacted the ACLU, that someone else wouldn’t have? Then what? Would you still try and throw her under the bus because your school is guilty of discrimination AND canceling prom? What a complete joke. You can’t tack this as your community being misunderstood and that these events unfolded, miraculously culminating from one stupid, shortsighted idea to the next. Despite it being easy to believe you all could be so thick as to not realize the repercussions it might have for Itawamba to tell a student that she’s not allowed to go to prom because she’s a lesbian, or canceling prom instead of fixing the situation the school created by simply allowing her to go, or having ‘adults’ throw two parties instead of one where Constance is inexplicably one of only a handful of students that didn’t make it to the ‘real’ dance; and on and on and on. No one’s falling for it.

« tupeloeveryday wrote on Friday, Apr 09 at 08:07 PM »
VU is the most offensive poster ,and very racist . Repeatedly using racist slurs and other terms to describe people .

Repeatedly having to reply to every post ,its vu's way or the highway .

Homosexuality seems to be the only issue important to it (vu) nevermind the children and familys it destroys .

Nacy Pelosi s daughter thought MS was all white with no color ,where that d.a.. been ......

we have way more permanent blacks and mexicans than California has permanent anything else than white (elitists ) ......just goes to show you how uneducated and backwards they are, not southerners ..
« VictoriousUnion wrote on Friday, Apr 09 at 03:29 PM »
wahoo: Tell your backward, regressive community to stop circumventing justice. I hope this lawsuit successfully bankrupts your pathetic little school district. Maybe then you homophobic whackjobs will learn your lesson.
« wahoo24 wrote on Friday, Apr 09 at 10:06 AM »
VictoriousUnion,

You're probably the biggest idiot on this forum.

I read where you said that blacks and learning disabled kids were "banned" from the prom. There were several black kids and learning disabled kids at the dance in Evergreen, and everyone who attended had a blast. Believe it or not, it wasn't a prom exclusively for straight white supremacists. Everyone knew about the prom at the country club, and everyone knew about the dance at the Evergreen community center. It was up to the kids where they wanted to go, and it was obvious that the kids wanted to enjoy a special night in their high school careers instead of be caught up in the middle of this garbage. The students aren't hating on her because she's gay, they just don't want to be part of this fiasco any longer, and I think it showed by the lack of attendance at the country club prom that she was at. All you people who get on here and criticize our town, county, and students are the ones who are being judgmental bigots. I live here and I know what all is going on, and it's obvious most of you people are just spouting off and have no idea what is really happening here. Especially VictoriousUnion...shut your mouth and stop labeling our school with false accusations. Some of you morons need to get a life, or at least gather facts and not hear-say before you transfer your ignorant thoughts to a keyboard.
« footwork61 wrote on Wednesday, Apr 07 at 10:50 AM »
See how these Christians love one another!
« mtbagg02 wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 08:33 PM »
To call the people who did this to Constance, who only wanted to be treated like everyone else, white trash is to slander white trash.
« lady_in_black wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 02:30 PM »
I think that Constance and the ACLU should sue the Itawamba County School system for the grevous and underhanded things that they have done to Constance. This way maybe the School system will think twice about condeming somebody for no reason. I have to commend Constance for having the guts to stand up for what she believes is right. YOU GO GIRL!!!

As for the people of Fulton, you are the ones to blame for all of this.
« Shewolf68 wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 02:21 PM »
and americsgone...with all your gay bashing...no doubt you have a hankering for a meat flute to play! A true sign of latent homosexuality. You hate what you know yourself to be...deal with it! Just like Ted Haggard...suck on that!
« Shewolf68 wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 02:18 PM »
hey americasgone ...it was worth signing up on this site just to replay what a back-woods ignorant cracker you obviously are! Be proud of your dying ideals. the new ideals of judging people by their character and not who they sleep with or color of their skin will win out as they have and will continue. So go ahead and you and other aged, dough-faced, biscuit eating, diaper wearers can complain all you want about your "lost America" but we aren't coming for you but you directly and your mindset will be mowed down nevertheless. Your kids and their kids will look back @ your ignorance and think how dumb and judgmental you and your generation were.

btw...the south is the diabetic foot that needs to be amputated or maybe even rehabilitated...the jurys still out on that one.

I hope your white daughter/sister/cousin/ex wife starts to date a non white of any kind....hear the mower blades???

Besides..your America ran this America into the ground...not your black busboy or the hispanic gardener...men that look and have the same ideals as you. Like Bush, Rove and Cheney...Nice job they did right?

Now go eat a biscuit and drink that sweet tea...so when you don't have ins. you can cut your diabetic toe off with a hacksaw in your neighborhood barbershop...surely the guys will hold you down while it gets done...it does take a village!

« alanmt wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 10:00 AM »
hahahaha They sure showed her!

By which I mean to say that the school district, students and their parents showed Constance, the federal Judge, and all of America who is watching that they have no respect for the American Constitutional principle of equality and no common decency whatsoever. And they did it using the exact same tactics used only a few years ago to exclude black people from participation at prom. I am sure that their grandparents would be proud of the way they showed those uppity outsiders that they ain't following no northern jews and govmint judges.

To Superintendent McNeese and the School Board, and to the parents who hosted the secret bigot prom and the students who went to it:

America sees you. And America has judged you.

You aren't the heroes here. You aren't the nice people. Your aren't the victims.

You are the bullies. You are the mean people. You are the filthy indecent bigots who don't deserve to be called American. Shame on you. You will carry your shame over this with you throughout your life.

And don't try to justify yourself with your religion. Christ would have nothing to do with your heartless cruelty. He would be appalled at what you have done in his name.

I am embarrassed that people like you live in the same nation I do and call yourself Americans.
« VictoriousUnion wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 09:32 AM »
I will never understand why white "conservatives" are so obsessed with gay sex.
« VictoriousUnion wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 09:31 AM »
americasgone: Be proud that Osama bin Laden agrees with every sentiment you expressed.
« VictoriousUnion wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 09:30 AM »
domin8r: I know you think you're a genius for claiming the prom was "separated" from the school district weeks ago... fortunately, the record, evidence, and testimony soon to be elicited by subpoenaed witnesses will put your pathetic little claim to rest.
« VictoriousUnion wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 09:28 AM »
straightnonsense: "Established" law? Yet, you fail to cite a single case involving your "established" law?

Or, are you the same person who called it an "appellant court"?

Judge Davidson will find out all he needs to know when the subpoenas are handed down.
« anisaerah wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 06:54 AM »
"on the other hand, a church having females teaching is not considered an abomination by the Bible."

So I take it you don't eat pork or shellfish, or wear linen with wool?
« anisaerah wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 06:44 AM »
"Thank you IAHS for standing up for what you believe in. What ever happened to majority rules. The majiority of people in Mississippi dont approve of two men or fat chicks sucking on each other, what's wrong with that? "

Then why are there pictures that the bigoted students have uploaded that show girls 'grinding' at the real prom, the one constance and special needs students were barred from??
« SouthernAmerican wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 06:36 AM »
Thank you IAHS for standing up for what you believe in. What ever happened to majority rules. The majiority of people in Mississippi dont approve of two men or fat chicks sucking on each other, what's wrong with that?

Victouriousunion lives in New Albany, four houses down from me. Dont work, husband is on disibility and roofs houses on the side for cash. She sits at home on the computer all day trying to stir up trouble. She was run out of Peoria for having sex with a small goat in her back yard. Both her kids are a little retarded but they don't bother anyone because she keeps them outside with her goat.

now quit running my life.
« DavP wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 04:58 AM »
To those railing against Constance, you better take a big step back and look long and hard at what you are because it’s someplace between despicable and appalling. None of this is Constance's fault. If you want to blame someone you blame the faculty of Itawamba AHS. They were the ones that decided to treat a child of their school as a second rate citizen. If Itawamba AHS had decided to hold the original prom, and Constance was allowed to attend it with her date, there wouldn’t have been a separate event held in the community center in Evergreen. The truth is evident; until the school decided to drop prom altogether, thus laying the blame on Constance, there wasn’t going to be this mass exodus of compassion for a fellow student that we’re seeing now. You turned on her because you thought she was to blame for ruining prom, when the truth is, you couldn’t be more wrong. If anything I’ve said isn’t the unreserved truth, then tell me, how early did the planning begin amongst students to exclude Constance from prom before you made national headlines? When did students start saying, “You know what, prom just isn’t prom if that girl Constance comes. Let’s hold a separate party.” I’ll tell you; it didn’t happen. You didn’t care what happened with Constance one way or the other until it affected your ungenerous lives; and if you had a semblance of humanity you would feel ashamed for saying nothing and doing nothing to protect one of your classmates from discrimination, no matter how much you or your heinous education system you call school, loathes them. To the parents, faculty, and students that decided to pull this latest underhanded trick to further demonize and condemn the innocent, I have two words for you. Grow up. I find your actions and judgment nauseating and subhuman. And although your latest stint may be legal, it’s dirty, conniving, and childish. My only hope is that you’ll grow out of your ignorance and perhaps one way or another you may learn about ‘compassion’ when these events are said and over with. Better yet, maybe you’ll learn to come to the defense of someone who needs you when they’re being discriminated against rather than being a coward by pretending none of it matters because luckily, it’s not happening to you.
« lady_in_black wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 12:48 AM »
americasgone, I do believe that you protest a bit too much. If you keep this up then people might think that you are gay. Personally I don't have a problem with gays. It is not a choice that I would make for myself but I don't mind people who are. You actually give us Mississippi folks a bad rep.
« DeeNel wrote on Tuesday, Apr 06 at 12:35 AM »
>>So, THAT behavior, running to Toyota and saying all that, is any better than anybody else's behavior?

Actually, yes. Organizing a boycott against a town that segregated gays and developmentally disabled high school students is way, WAY WAY better than SEGREGATING GAYS AND DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.

Thanks for asking!