Alex Blaze

School settles with Constance

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 21, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living

This seems to be the best result from the whole prom fake-out:

constance-mcmillen-2010.jpg"The agreement ends a precedent-setting lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 18-year-old Constance McMillen, who suffered humiliation and harassment after parents, students and school officials executed a cruel plan to put on a 'decoy' prom for her while the rest of her classmates were at a private prom 30 miles away," the release states.

"I'm so glad this is all over," McMillen said. "I won't ever get my prom back, but it's worth it if it changes things at my school." Added McMillen, "I hope this means that in the future students at my school will be treated fairly. I know there are students and teachers who want to start a gay-straight alliance club, and they should be able to do that without being treated like I was by the school."

"As set forth in documents filed in court today, school officials agreed to implement a policy banning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the first policy to do so at a public school in the state of Mississippi," the release read. "The school also agreed to pay McMillen $35,000 in damages and pay for McMillen's attorneys' fees."

Now, what are they planning to do to make things up to Juin Baize?

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I really wish they had disclosed the attorneys' fees. I'm curious if they were $5,000 or $100,000. Bets?

"Now, what are they planning to do to make things up to Juin Baize?"

Well, since he ran away instead of fighting, I am sure the answer is 'nothing'. And if he came back, I guess he'd be in the same shape as before, as the quote of the school's new non-discrimination policy only seemed to add sexual orientation, not gender identity.

And besides, I can't see someone transfeminine getting national support like Constance did, though someone transmasculine prolly would, and by the same orgs. So perhaps that is the next step, to find a transboy to challenge the school policy.

Alex, thank you for mentioning Juin (who actually had a much worse experience than Constance and was really the ultimate reason this entire shameful episode occurred). Juin was, until recently, with his boyfriend in Chicago. His boyfriend had to leave the city for work and Juin is back home in Florida, but isn't signed up for any school in fall (he's lost a lot of school time)... which makes me nervous because too many gender variant kids have had to drop out of high school for safety reasons and their lives have been accordingly impacted by it.

He had at first expressed an interest in going to Harvey Milk High School in NYC, and I put him in touch with some people from GLAAD who were going to try and help him, but it looks as if that isn't going to happen. As happy as I am for Constance and what an incredible friend she is, this saga isn't over.