Mississippi Teen Constance McMillen Awarded $35K Settlement Over Canceled Prom

By GLAAD |
July 21, 2010

Itawamba County School District on Tuesday agreed to pay Constance McMillen $35,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit the ACLU filed on her behalf.

In March, McMillen’s town’s school district decided to cancel its high school prom instead of letting her come in a tuxedo and bring a date of the same gender. Although the U.S. District judge for the case did not force the district to hold the prom, he did hold it accountable for violating the girl’s rights. But despite the fact that McMillen finally secured a victory with her monetary settlement, some people in her Fulton, Mississippi hometown criticized her equality efforts.

"I knew it was a good cause, but sometimes it really got to me. I knew it would change things for others in the future and I kept going and I kept pushing," McMillen said in an interview with the Washington Post.

Under the settlement the school district agreed to adopt a policy that does not allow discrimination in any school based or extracurricular activities because of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

McMillen, who has received extensive media attention after taking a stand against her school district, not only served as a grand marshal for New York’s LGBT Pride March, but also visited the White House. She even attended this year's Los Angeles GLAAD Media Awards , presenting the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Wanda Sykes.  We've kept up with her story from the beginning here on GLAAD Blog and we continue to thank her for her immense courage in speaking out and prompting change.