Indiana School Prom Should be Equal, Not Separate
February 11, 2013 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
Sullivan, Indiana is making headlines this week after a group of Sullivan High School students and community members banded together to exclude openly LGBT individuals from a "traditional" prom.
One student referred to a prom that would prohibit LGBT youth as a “good” prom, while a special education teacher in the area, Diana Medley, said she believes allowing LGBT kids to attend the high school’s prom is “offensive.”
A counter-protest group, called Support the Sullivan High School Prom for All Students, launched just a few hours ago has grown to over 5,000 likes on Facebook. The group stands in solidarity with their LGBT students, calling for a prom that is inclusive of all.
Last year, HRC released a groundbreaking youth survey that illustrates the obstacles LGBT youth face. The survey found that 42 percent of LGBT youth say they live in a community that isn’t accepting of LGBT people. Nearly one-third of youth say their biggest problems in life include not being accepted by their family, bullying at school and a fear of living openly. And 92 percent of youth say they hear negative messages from others about being LGBT.
HRC is calling on school administrators to deliver a clear statement against this discriminatory “separate but equal” prom movement.
Discrimination of any kind is a violation of school values, and should not be condoned. Take action now by sending a letter to Sullivan School Superindendent Chris Stitzle.