A gay teen in Missouri has been told he can’t bring his same-sex date to the prom due to a long standing school policy.
Stacy Dawson, a senior at Scott County Central High School, said he’ll be “devastated” if he can’t attend the dance with his boyfriend.
The high school’s handbook explicitly bars students from taking dates of the same sex to school dances, reading, “High school students will be permitted to invite one guest, girls invite boys and boys invite girls.”
Dawson called prom “an important milestone in high school, and I would be devastated if I’m not allowed to attend prom with my boyfriend. It isn’t fair that a school can randomly disregard students’ rights because it doesn’t agree with who you want to take to prom.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has threatened the school district with a lawsuit if the officials don’t revise the policy by February 25. Staff attorney Alesdair Ittelson called the policy “blatantly discriminatory” and in “violation of [Dawson’s] constitutional rights.”
This issue comes on the heels of a similar scandal in Sullivan, Indiana in which a group of high school students and parents are attempting to establish a “traditional prom” which bans gay students from attending.
However, in Indiana, there is no policy in place like the one in Missouri, and officials at Sullivan High School say there’s nothing they can do from a legal standpoint to ban gay students from the dance.