A quick 180 for gay rights.

Last year a male student wanted to bring his boyfriend to the prom at his public high school.  He was denied, and this year he tried again.

Stacy Dawson, a 17-year-old senior at Scott County Central High School in Sikeston, Mo., had been told last year that he couldn’t bring his boyfriend due to a line in the school’s handbook that said “students will be permitted to invite one guest, girls invite boys and boys invite girls.”

When Dawson questioned the policy, he was told by a school administrator that the school board would not consider revising it, according to The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization representing Dawson.

They wouldn’t even think about revising the policy!  This is just the equality of one of their students on the line.

However, you’d be amazed at how much a school board and administrator can change their mind in a mere 24 hours.

So on Thursday — Valentine’s Day — Dawson had The Southern Poverty Law Center send a letter to Scott County Central High and the school district threatening legal action.

One day later, the district had good news for Dawson: They were removing the offending line from their handbook, and said the line was never meant to be exclusive in the first place.

I hope all that letter said was “I’ll bet you’d consider revising it for us.”  It makes me think of a Mastercard commercial: for some administrators, obeying the law is enough.  For everything else, there’s consequences.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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