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Missouri school district to rescind prom policy that bans same-sex couples

Friday, February 15, 2013

SIKESTON, Mo. — An openly gay teen in the southeast Missouri town of Sikeston will be allowed to take his boyfriend to the prom, school district officials said Friday.

The news comes just one day after the Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday accused the Scott County Central School District of discrimination and gave the district until Feb. 25 to revise a school policy that prohibits same-sex couples from attending school dances together.

Stacy Dawson
Provided photo courtesy of Stacy Dawson.

Stacy Dawson, 17, challenged the policy in the student handbook that stated, “high school students will be permitted to invite one guest, girls invite boys and boys invite girls.”

“I’m doing this for anyone to bring anyone they want to prom,” Stacy told LGBTQ Nation prior to the ban being lifted. “I hope that my school and the school board members understand its a wrong policy.”

On his behalf, the SPLC sent the school district a demand letter Thursday, calling for an end to the “unconstitutional policy.”

On Friday, the school district told the Associated Press they were removing the offending line from their handbook, and that the policy was never meant to be exclusive in the first place.

“This was during a time 10-15 years ago that the previous administration was having issues with some of the students trying to come in on either the single rate or the couple rate. They implemented that to make sure they couldn’t circumvent the rates that students were supposed to pay as they entered into our dances,” said Alvin McFerren, Scott County Central School District superintendent.

McFerren said Dawson will be allowed to go to prom with his boyfriend, but as of 5 p.m. ET on Friday, the SPLC said it had not yet received any indication from the school district that the policy had been rescinded.

“We welcome the change that has been reported in the media and Superintendent McFerrens remarks that Stacy will be allowed to attend prom with his boyfriend, although we have not yet received written confirmation that the unlawful policy has been permanently rescinded and removed from the student handbook,” Alesdair Ittelson, staff attorney for the SPLC, told LGBTQ Nation.

“If it is indeed true that the policy has been permanently changed, it represents a big step forward for LGBT students in a part of the country that frequently lacks community support for students like Stacy. We applaud Stacy’s bravery in standing up for his rights,” she said.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. If they do not make it a BIG DEAL than no one else is likely to either accept oneor two or three christian assholes who know nothing aout GOD JESUS or the bible…

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:39pm
  2. Win.

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:42pm
  3. It is generally the gay community that is attacked; rarely are we the instigators of this type of behavior. What we demand, what we are entitled to, is American citizen rights, just like every other American citizen. No more, no less.

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:43pm
  4. so happy for Missouri!!! They are coming into ther 21st Century!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:54pm
  5. I am so proud of the young people who stand up for their right to equality. Another great example.

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:54pm
  6. YES! :)

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:03pm
  7. Win hugs z.

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:08pm
  8. In many, many MANY school districts, young gay couples have attended prom for years and no one cares. It’s only when they “forbid” it that we have to speak up and do something about it.

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:13pm
  9. Courageous kid.

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:27pm
  10. About time!! Hope they have fun! Someday they’ll tell their kids about this and they won’t believe it was such a big deal. :)

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:32pm
  11. “We applaud Stacy’s bravery in standing up for his rights,” she said.”

    Me too! Well won, Stacy!

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:32pm
  12. About time. My daughter just graduated from fort Leonard wood Missouri on valentines day as a mp. We were proud parents to bring her girlfriend with us to celebrate her very important special day If she is defending our country for all of our rights doesn’t that include hers too. And she also has an older brother serving overseas who is very proud of the woman his sister has become

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:43pm
  13. happy prom kids feel free to wear some glitter i would :)

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 5:20pm
  14. They only have a problem when we speak up about our sexuality. They don’t want openly out gays. They want everyone to shut up and pretend to be straight. Glad gays can now go openly.

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 5:42pm
  15. It’s about Fucking time!

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:16pm
  16. i saw this and smiled my face hurts now :D

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:38pm
  17. Soo cool!

    Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:41pm
  18. So sad these kids need to be “allowed”. It shouldn’t be in question.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 12:44am