ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Constance McMillen Decoy Prom

Derrick Martin’s prom may have gone off without a hitch, but we all remember the despicable decoy prom that was set up for Constance McMillen to attend with her girlfriend while the rest of Itawamba Agricultural High School attended the real prom, right? Well, the ACLU ain’t having it — the civil rights organization has amended its previous lawsuit against the Itawamba School District.

Recall that the ACLU fought for Constance’s right to attend prom with her girlfriend, and while the judge agreed that the school did violate her rights, the timing of the meant that reinstating the original was somewhat impractical, so the judge let it remain canceled with the understanding that the private prom would function as the school prom. However, the judge did allow for a trial to be scheduled. So, with that in mind, the ACLU has amended the original complaint to include the decoy prom.

Says McMillen, “I really hoped that prom night would make all that I’ve been through worth it, then April 2 came and those hopes went out the window. All I ever wanted was to go to my school prom with my classmates and my date, like anyone else, and instead I was the target of a mean, nasty joke.”

More from the ACLU’s press release:

The amended complaint alleges that the district’s violation of the free speech rights of McMillen, an 18-year-old high school senior who sued her school for canceling the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend, have repeatedly caused McMillen to be humiliated and harassed.

. . . However, according to legal papers, at a meeting with school officials, parents then decided to cancel that private prom without notifying McMillen because they did not want to allow McMillen to attend, instead organizing a “decoy” prom for McMillen and her date and still another prom for the rest of the class.

“After the court ruled that IAHS acted illegally when it canceled the prom, we hoped that Constance would be able to attend the private prom without further incident,” said Christine P. Sun, Senior Counsel with the ACLU national LGBT Project, who represents McMillen along with the ACLU of Mississippi. “But instead there was a malicious plan to further ostracize and humiliate her. It is hard to conceive of adults behaving in such a cruel way.”

More to come, for sure.

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