We have since been notified that the school has changed the form. It now states that students are discouraged from inviting guests who are not their date due to limited resources.
We hope that this updated form does not result in any discrimination of any student. We will continue to monitor this situation.
This statement may be attributed to Joshua Tom, ACLU of Mississippi Staff Attorney:
“The ACLU of Mississippi has received a copy of the Tremont Attendance Center Junior and Senior Prom registration form, noting that all guests must be ‘of the opposite sex.’ We would like to remind the school district that such a rule violates the right to free expression guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In addition, a policy prohibiting same-sex couples from attending prom or school dances has equal protection implications.
“Just nine years ago, the ACLU of Mississippi, along with co-counsel, successfully sued Itawamba County School District for cancelling its prom rather than allow a student to bring a same-sex date [McMillen v. Itawamba County School District]. It is disappointing to find out that the same school district is again implementing the same discriminatory policies.
“We advise the school of its obligation to ensure all students, regardless of sexual orientation, are treated with dignity. We, therefore, urge the school district to comply with the law and rescind the aforementioned rule immediately.”