Remember Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teen whose school district canceled her prom rather than comply with a court order to let her bring her girlfriend? Whose classmates and their parents then organized a secret prom, and directed her to a fake one?
Today she got a taste of victory at last. The Fulton, Mississippi school district agreed to have a judgment entered against them in the case. Which is to say: they admitted they were wrong.
The school will adopt the first comprehensive non-discrimination policy in Mississippi, protecting the rights of students regardless of sexuality or gender expression. They’ll also pay Constance $35,000 in damages plus covering her attorney’s fees. That’s more than the median annual household income in Mississippi.
This is great news not just for Constance, who deserves some closure on this mess, but also for the ACLU. It’s an important legal victory for LGBT rights and non-discrimination in schools.
What’s next for the teen?
A vacation, one hopes. It’s been a big year for her. She hasn’t announced her next plans yet, but after speaking with President Obama about school safety, and touring the country attending proms and speaking out about LGBT rights, she surely has a lot of interesting options for what to do next.