[Guest post by DRJ]
MSNBC updates the story about a Alabama high school student who sued because of a ban on same-sex couples attending the prom:
“Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teen suing her high school over a ban on same-sex couples attending the prom, thought the worst might be over when the school agreed to a private dance to be held off school property. But when she and her date arrived at the Fulton Country Club on Friday night, they found only seven other students.
“She didn’t stay very long because of the sparse attendance,” Kristy Bennett, her legal counsel, told msnbc.com.”
The ACLU is concerned it was a sham prom:
“We’ve heard there was another event out in the county,” said Bennett, legal director for the Mississippi branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“We’re still trying to get more information,” she said, citing a newspaper report last week in which one student was quoted as saying other parties were in the works.
The ACLU is representing McMillen in a lawsuit against the Itawamba County School District and Bennett said that at the very least the sparsely attended dance “will be brought to the court’s attention.”
In a statement, the ACLU said it was “looking further into whether it was a decoy or sham prom.
“It would be deeply troubling if that turns out to be the case since the fact that this prom was occurring was one reason the judge did not force the school district to reinstate its original event,” the ACLU added. “All Constance has ever wanted was to be treated with equality and dignity and to be able to be herself, and this latest event, if it is as it appears to be, is a sad and unfortunate insult added to too many previous injuries.”
If there were other parties (and there probably were), I’m not sure what the legal basis would be for a complaint if the parties are private, by invitation only, and weren’t school-sponsored. The court might be able to force the school district to host a prom but how can it force students to attend? A prom mandate?