Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Scott County Central School District Votes Unanimously to Repeal Same-Sex Prom Rule

Posted By on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Now all Stacy Dawson has to worry about is what to wear. - COURTESY SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER
  • Courtesy Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Now all Stacy Dawson has to worry about is what to wear.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has just issued a statement praising the Scott County Central School District in Sikeston for its decision to officially remove discriminatory language against same-sex couples from rules governing its high school prom.

The decision was sparked by Stacy Dawson, a 17-year-old senior who was the first to raise objections to troubling language he found in his school's student handbook.

"I think I'm the first to actually come out and say I want something done," Dawson told Daily RFT back in mid-February.

See more: -Missouri High School Faces Lawsuit Over Policy Banning Same-Sex Prom Dates

Dawson brought his concerns to a school counselor when he read the words "girls invite boys and boys invite girls" in the rules governing Scott County Central High School's prom. When he asked the counselor about it, she apparently inferred that this meant he would not be able to bring his boyfriend (who has already graduated from another school) to the April 20th dance.

Dawson reached out to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which sent a letter threatening legal action. The school's response in the media was immediate: Banning same-sex couples was never the intention of the language. Rather this was allegedly some arcane language written to deal with ticket sales.

"It was never intended to be a discriminatory thing," Superintendent Alvin McFerren told NBC News.

Dawson says he received an outpouring of support from both his peers and school administrators, but his SPLC lawyers said they would remain vigilant until they saw follow-through from the district. This week, the Scott County Central Board of Education made good on their word and repealed the policy with a unanimous 7-0 vote.

"We are happy that the school district has agreed to recognize and support the rights of all students including its LGBT students. All students, regardless of whether they are gay or straight, may now attend prom with the date of their choice," said Dawson's attorney Alesdair Ittelson in a statement. "Stacy is thrilled that he will be able to take his boyfriend to prom and share the experience with someone he cares for deeply."

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation