School Prom, School Choice

School Prom, School Choice

Is prom night now a human right? Can schools be forced to have prom night?

In Mississippi, a teen who identifies herself as “lesbian” challenged school standards and dress code rules when she petitioned the school district to allow her to wear a tuxedo and escort her girlfriend to the school prom.  The school refused and responded by canceling the dance for all students rather than let the school prom become a platform for political shenanigans.

The girl, backed by her parents and GLSEN, are now suing the school district to force them to hold prom night:

“A lot of schools actually react rather than do the research and find out what the rights of these students are,” said Presgraves.

McMillen says she hopes her fight will make it easier for gay students at other schools facing discrimination.

“I want other kids to know that’s it not right for schools to do that,” she said on CBS’s “The Early Show.”

In 2002, a gay student sued his school district in Toronto to allow him to attend a prom with his boyfriend. A judge later forced the district to allow the couple to attend and stopped the district from canceling the prom.  —Associated Press

Forcing the school to hold prom night?  Do schools owe students prom night?  Or is prom night simply one activity among many offered by the school at their discretion?

Personally, I think the school did the right thing in this case.  If they couldn’t allow a breech of their standards for all students, then they shouldn’t allow it for one student.  In this political environment where upholding standards is merely another wall to be broken down, their choice to avoid the confrontation altogether by canceling the dance is an unfortunate, but equal response.

They aren’t telling her that only she can’t go, they’re telling her that no one can go if standards cannot be upheld.

Is equal treatment enough?  Apparently not.

Forcing the school to not only have prom, but to break their standards in order to do so goes against the freedom of the school and community to decide what standards their children will be subject to in their own community.

There is nothing keeping this girl and her parents from arranging an alternative prom.  People in our area do it all the time.  In many public schools the standards are already so low that parents don’t want their kids attending, and alternatives to proms are popping up all over as public school norms continue to degrade.

With all the alternatives out there, once again it’s obvious that for gay activists, acceptance is the goal— not equality.

—Beetle Blogger

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