School Officials Allow Georgia Teen to Bring Boyfriend to Prom in Wake of Mississippi Dance Debacle

High School officials in rural Cochran, Georgia have given 18-year-old Derrick Martin permission to bring his boyfriend to prom, The Macon Telegraph reported today. Bleckley County High School administrators originally denied Martin’s request to bring his boyfriend to the April 17 dance, but changed their decision last week after the ACLU sued a Mississippi school for cancelling its prom because a lesbian student petitioned to bring her girlfriend to the event. “I didn’t expect them to say yes. It’s who I am. I have the same rights,” Martin told The Telegraph. “It’s my senior prom and I wanted to be able to prove not everyone would cancel prom.” Charlotte Pipkin, the superintendent of schools, said there are no rules stipulating whom a student may bring to the dance:
“Students are allowed to bring their date to prom. There’s nothing that says who the date is. I want this to be an enjoyable event, and I don’t want anything to take away from that.”
Martin still worries that he will face criticism because of his date and jokes that he plans to take insurance out on his tuxedo. Meanwhile, Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old lesbian student at Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Mississippi, appeared in court yesterday to testify in a lawsuit filed against the school district because of its decision to cancel prom after the teen petitioned to bring her girlfriend to the April 2 dance. School officials are now claiming that they had considered cancelling the prom before McMillen’s request because officials feared possible student use of alcohol and drugs at the event. GLAAD will continue to follow developments in this story. Updates can be found on