U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson has ruled that Itawamba Agricultural High School did violate the constitutional rights of Constance McMillen, 18, in canceling her class prom when she asked to attend with her girlfriend while wearing a tuxedo. However, the court declined to order that the school must hold the prom.
In the 12-page order below, Davidson ruled that “The court finds this expression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment.”
He declined the motion for an injunction to force the holding of the prom, noting “Defendants testified that a parent-sponsored prom, which is open to all IAHS students, has been planned and is scheduled for April 2, 2010. Though the details of the ‘private’ prom are unknown to the court, defendants have made representations, upon which this court relies, that all IAHS students, including the plaintiff, are welcome and encouraged to attend.”
What is astonishing to me is the lesson these teachers have given their students of intolerance and arbitrary uses of power — not to mention homophobia. It will be interesting if anyone is held responsible for such a breach of constitutional rights.
Here is the opinion: Prom opinion
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