By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
While a federal judge decides whether Itawamba County School District must host a prom, another organization announced plans to hold an event that would be friendly to gay students.
The Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition will hold its Second Chance Prom on May 8 at the Bancorp South Arena in Tupelo.
The event will be for all high school students in Mississippi, and it will be intended as a place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students to attend prom in a safe environment. Straight students would also be welcomed.
Details are still being worked out on the event.
The Safe Schools Coalition held its first Second Chance Prom last spring in Meridian. This year’s event was originally scheduled for Jackson, but it was moved to Tupelo after the Itawamba controversy erupted.
“We do like to move it around the state,” said Anna Davis, a member of the Queer Youth Advisory Board for the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition. “This posted a better opportunity for us to bring it to an area where students may have been affected more by what we deem as anti-GLBT prom policies.”
Meanwhile, junior and senior parents at Itawamba AHS are making plans to host a prom for the school’s students if it is not hosted by the district.
At Constance McMillen’s court hearing on Monday, Itawamba Schools Superintendent Teresa McNeece and school board Chairman Eddie Hood said they were aware that parents were planning to hold a prom for the school’s students at the Tupelo Furniture Market.
McMillen testified that she had not been told details about that event, but district officials said that information about the prom was being spread by word of mouth.