The Human Rights Campaign has issued an official petition addressing the “traditional prom” group in Sullivan, Indiana that is seeking to ban LGBT students from attending the milestone dance.
Addressed to the Sullivan School Superintendent, Chris Stitzle, the letter condems the lack of action, “agaisnt this hateful language” that “leaves a void where there should be leadership and a mandate for equality.” The HRC is asking the Superintendent to make a clear statement saying that the attempt to establish a “traditional prom” is discriminatory and a violation of the school values.
“As educators, your responsibility is to demonstrate tolerance and inclusion — inside and outside the classroom,” reads the petition. “To do any less is to enable bullies and leave some students feeling ostracized or abandoned. The eyes of the whole country are on you. You have the opportunity to show us that Sullivan, Indiana stands on the right side of history — the side that cherishes all students and leaves none cast aside at the door.”
Previously, officials at Sullivan High School had said there was nothing they could do from a legal standpoint to prevent the group from establishing their own prom.
Anti-gay comments from local students and teachers have incited condemnation across the country. Diana Medley, a special education teacher at a nearby school who supports the tradition prom, has been particularly vocal, and said she believes that being gay is a choice. When asked whether she thought that gay people have a “purpose,” she said, “No, I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t … A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God.”
However, a pro-gay Facebook page called the “Support the Sullivan High School Prom for All Students,” has received over 19,000 likes so far.