Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Bible Belt school policy under attack

Posted by faithandthelaw on March 5, 2010

A battle is brewing in a North Mississippi community over the upcoming high school prom.  

The American Civil Liberties Union recently demanded that officials with the Itawamba County School District change the policy regarding same-sex prom dates.
 
That demand was made after Constance McMillan, a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School, was told by school administrators that she would not be allowed to attend the prom with her girlfriend, who is also a student at the school. McMillan, 18, was also informed she could not wear a tuxedo to the event.
 
The ACLU sent a letter to the district, threatening a lawsuit if a response was not received by March 10. According to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, the letter was also signed by representatives of the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Project and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition. The prom is scheduled for April 2.
 
Matt Staver, founder of Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, says school districts have the right to set policies for events such as the prom.
 
“Obviously individuals can come alone; they could even come with a friend,” says the attorney. “But when it becomes more sexual, as it relates to a prom — and [when] it becomes same sex — I think the school has the legitimate right, particularly within the law, that allows it to define the kind of event that it is going to sponsor.”
 
Staver says Liberty Counsel has offered its assistance to school officials, free of charge.

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