I will NEVER

You know, as a parent I know better than to utter this phrase. I’ve been proven wrong too many times.

But I can say with 100% confidence, without a shred of doubt, that I will NEVER be a parent who lets my child get away with hatred toward the disabled or those of different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, races or sexual orientation. And I can PROMISE that I will NEVER be a parent who models this sort of behavior and sanctions it, who throws so much EFFORT into teaching my child intolerance that I help to organize a private party that purposefully excludes a courageous young lesbian, her girlfriend and kids with disabilities on prom night.

A Missippi federal court ruled on March 23rd that Constance McMillen’s high school violated her first amendment rights when it cancelled the school’s prom instead of allowing her to bring her girlfriend and to wear a tux to the event. I was following the story fairly closely at that point (a fan of Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend to Prom on Facebook), and was so THRILLED to hear of her victory.

Tonight, I sit here disgusted, pounding at my keyboard with purpose after reading about the fake “prom” Constance and 2 learning disabled students were mislead into attending (a total of 7 attendees, according to Constance and another source) on Friday, April 2nd while the rest of the students attended a secret prom or private party put on by their PARENTS.

4.5.10 post on The Advocate

And though I know it had to be terribly disappointing for her to be stabbed in the back so blatantly, Constance is still a shining example of grace and dignity. I teared up when I read this quote from her interview with The Advocate:

Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”

Have we really not come so far? Will my efforts as a parent to teach my child  love and respect and equality for ALL people be only a drop in the bucket of such idiocy and poison? SHAME ON YOU, you people who call yourselves parents, you people who encourage this blatant discrimination. I WILL NEVER stand for this level of hatred to contaminate the world I dream of for my children.

I really want to know need to know I’m not alone here. Please, please comment below if you can also say with certainty that you will NEVER raise your children to think this treatment of any other person is ever acceptable. Please. Lurkers, new readers, old readers. Let’s make sure our voices are heard in support of equality for everyone.

As a sidenote, I spent over an hour scouring the internet for links to site. Not a single major news network is reporting on this at this time, but I can get all the coverage on Tiger Woods, Jesse James and their wandering dicks that a girl could ever dream of.

****EDITED TO ADD****

Thanks to Jenn for bringing this comment to my attention from

http://lafiga.firedoglake.com/2010/04/05/the-meanest-town-in-america-fake-prom-for-lesbian-student/

**Open Minded Readers Only**
I am a senior at IAHS, and I’ve known Constance for the last 6 years. Please hear our side of the story before you decide on our fate.
The party we had in Evergreen (the county neighborhood I live in) is 30 mins away from the school. we rented out the community center, hired vendors, decorated, and our parents ran the security/chaperone staff- but it wasn’t prom. Prom was at the country club where constance and 7 other students were. The reason the senior class boycotted the actual prom was not because we hate gays. We wanted a drama-free gathering to celebrate 3 great years and 1 lousy one together, and we wanted to lay low. We also wanted to do it without the main cause of the lousy. What people are failing to realize is that much of the fault of this whole stink lies with Constance, not her mistreatment by the school district, but her crazy-reckless need for attention. It sounds mean and horrible and like we planned it all specifically to embarrass Constance, but we didn’t. We let her have her prom with her girlfriend and her tuxedo and we went to party it up in the “boondocks” not because we wanted her rights violated, but so we could salvage what has turned into a total fiasco. As a whole we didn’t support her decision to throw the district under the bus, or her insinuations that we’re all just a bunch ‘a hicks driving around in beater pick up trucks spitting tobacco and burning crosses. IAHS is one of the top schools in the state and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud that we took a stand and just said you know what? forget it, we have just as much right as you do to have a party for ourselves. So we did, and now we’re getting flack because poor Connie’s ego got a bit of bruising. She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants. This time, we didn’t just let her.
Take it as you will, because I’m sure it sounds like we faked her out, but understand this- the decision NOT to attend prom had nothing to do with the school or with Constance’s sexual preferences; it had everything to do with proving we weren’t going to let her and the ACLU steamroll us into doing what Constance wanted. We flexed the muscle of the majority and we’ll suffer the consequences.

I just…wow… I have no words. Assuming this actually is an IAHS student, which I have no reason to believe different, my God. You showed them, didn’t you? Can’t wait to see how far that self entitlement takes you and the rest of your “drama-free” friends in life.

  • Chardonnay - Right there with you. NEVER will I allow that in my home!ReplyCancel

  • Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? - I can’t believe, they did that. What a bunch of asses.ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne - Ahem. Took me a minute to post a comment as I felt the need to step away and yarf in my wastebasket.

    Shame on a whole lot of people. No, I would never stand for it. And you know what? There’s hope. My teenagers (16, 14, and 12) know a hell of a lot better than that. I’ve SEEN them behave better than that; my boys have interrupted bully behavior at the neighborhood park many times.

    Egad, what gets into people? I mean, seriously. They probably call themselves “adults.”ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie C. - I will NEVER have that kind of hate around my home either!ReplyCancel

  • Taylor - I am signing your pledge – I will NEVER. Raising children to EMBRACE (not just accept) people of all kinds was something I talked to MH about long before even thinking about marriage. It would have been a deal breaker if he did not wholeheartedly agree.ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Hear, hear.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Couldn’t agree with you more. It is appalling to me that people would behave in this way. I will NEVER teach my children that this is ever acceptable.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - This story completely disgusted me and I can with 100% certainty say that I will NEVER raise my child to believe that hate is acceptable.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Chaney - Never. Not ever. Thank you for posting/tweeting/FBing this. I’m shocked no one else has.ReplyCancel

  • Niki (Strawbrykiwi) - It’s so sad and disheartening that the big media outlets don’t seem to care. Twitter on the other hand seems to have a lot to say as do many bloggers. I am no where near having kids but I dont want to teach them to hate.ReplyCancel

  • BloggerFather - Tell you the truth, living in Baltimore, a fairly progressive city, I often forget what life is like for normal people who live among the crazies. Bigotry and Hatred are easy enough to justify when you’re alone, but when you’re a part of a hateful society you don’t even give it a second thought.ReplyCancel

  • Shan - I refuse to condone that form of hatred in my household.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - That is just horrible. I felt so sad reading that article. I fully agree with you and that kind of hatred will never surround my home.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - I can’t imagine this ever being okay. And there will never be a time where I will accept intolerance toward any other human being in my house. Especially because my son comes from parents with mixed backgrounds, and we have friends of all races, religions, and sexual identities.

    I identify with Constance and have been following her story. My stomach sunk when I read of her experience. No one should ever have to go through that. I can’t believe there are so many students AND parents who would allow this to happen. I am just absolutely disgusted. Thank you for speaking out about this.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - AMEN!! Regardless of how you feel about gay marriage or any other issue out there, there is NO REASON for this. NO REASON. It is unacceptable and I really hope it’s not a representation of Americans in general; hopefully it’s just a small, ignorant, idiotic, tiny sliver of the population that would do such a thing to a kid.ReplyCancel

  • Molly in MN - WTF is wrong with people?! seriously planning a “secret” prom?! You would think the parents were still in high school with this kind of behavior – what happened to teaching our children MORALS?! It’s no wonder that there are these 20-something freaks walking around disrespecting everything and anything they cross…ugh, this is such a sore spot for me (maybe I’ve just gotten “old?”)

    I will NEVER NEVER NEVER condone any kind of this behavior! Just because you don’t agree with someone’s lifestyle, doesn’t give you the right to degrade them!

    Karma…she’s a bitch and I hope she finds these people!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - oh my goodness. So horrid. so horrid. What were their parents teaching them by throwing their own prom. That hate is cool? That hate is OK? AwfulReplyCancel

  • TheFeministBreeder - Eh, you already know how I feel. But I just wanted to add that these are the SAME EXACT TYPES OF PEOPLE who sent me hate mail after the gender-neutral parenting show. These people who say we’re going straight to hell for letting our boys be whoever they want. These people who allow their kids to bully other kids until they hang themselves. It’s all hateful and intolerant and gross.ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - Amazing how some ppl STILL don’t get it!

    We all have blood that runs thru our viens and we all belong to the largest race in the world… the human race! its so sad that ppl still don’t understand! This is a great post and hopefully will help to open a few more eyes! thx for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Faith - I agree with Molly – WTF is up with the parents to plan a secret prom? They should know better and be better than that! That’s so so sad that something like that can still happen today. Plus when you add in that students with disabilities were also marginalized it just makes me sick.ReplyCancel

  • FutureMama - Wow… that is SO SAD! And the parents had so much.. if not everything to do with that. Come on people… don’t be afraid of those who aren’t like you!!ReplyCancel

  • Taryn - Yeah, that whole situation makes me sick. It’s amazing the kind of things people think are perfectly right to do to their fellow humans. It saddens me that so many people do things like this while calling themselves Christians and wondering what Jesus would do.ReplyCancel

  • bopeeplady - Unbelievable. I’m with you 100%. Where was the school board in all of this? They must be able to intervene if it’s a “school” event!! I am left thinking they were in agreement with the moronic behaviour of the other parents. Sad sad sad. My children are already being taught we are all Equal.ReplyCancel

    • Miranda - As a teacher, I can tell you that the school system is legally untouchable in this because their response to her request was simply to cancel the prom. Even though she won in court, forcing the district to reinstate the prom she attended, it’s the parents here whose actions are unconscionable. I don’t think for one minute that the school board had no idea what was going on, but the school board can’t control the actions of a group of private citizens to keep them from organizing this kind of hatred.ReplyCancel

  • Skywaitress - I hesitate to say never about almost everything but this is one this I can firmly say I will never allow in my home. Hate and ugliness like this is shameful. Children will be mean sometimes but the fact that it was encouraged by the parents of almost an entire school is appalling. It’s even worse that it’s not making headlines. Discrimination of any kind is wrong. When I have children they will be taught to be loving, kind and accepting of everyone, no matter how different they might seem.ReplyCancel

  • Jenni Williams - Like you I am not one to say, “I will never” because it pretty much means you WILL. I have even blogged about it. But in this case I agree. I will NEVER,NEVER,NEVER raise my children to think it is OK to hate anyone, based on race, religion, sexual orientation, mental capacity, handicap, or socioeconomic status. My children are in a position to see more sides than most people. They are bi-racial and we have a special needs son. Thank God we live in an area where most people don’t look twice toward bi-racial families. I don’t think I could live some where that did. I would have to leave. I am sickened tonight. I hope and pray we can raise a generation of people who let go of this hate and judgment.ReplyCancel

  • Danika Carter - I don’t know what’s worse, the parents who were so deceitful, mean and hatefilled or the media who dropped the story.

    Personally, I HATE the word “tolerance.” We should be doing more than tolerating people who are different from us. We should be embracing them, learning from them, finding common ground with them.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - You are absolutely right. Great point about “tolerance”.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - It is shocking to me that this could go on in 2010. There is no way I would tolerate that kind of attitude in my home from my children, their friends or anyone else.

    Unbelievable.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Never. I’m so disgusted right now I can’t form complete sentences. How f*cking juvenile of ADULTS. As “proof” I offer up that my father came over for dinner (white male, early 60’s) and asked if the parents of my goddaughter were worried about their 5 year-old daughter who chooses to dress in boy’s clothes. “Worried? Worried about what, dad?” “Um, nothing. You know, sexual, um, issues.” A major rant ensued where I told him my 2 year-old desperately wanted pink Hello Kitty rain boots and if they had them in his size he’d be walking around today in pink shoes. Should he be worried? And what if it turns out he’s gay? Then I ended dinner.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - The Huffington Post is carrying it tonight:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/constance-mcmillen-fake-p_n_525856.html

    I’m hoping since they picked it up other outlets will have it in the morning.ReplyCancel

  • Julia - I will never let my kids get away with treating another human being so despicably. They’ll learn it’s not even an option to consider. Playground teasing and bullying is inevitable at school – but this is so far beyond.

    While I live in a relatively open-minded area (I remember when it was cool to identify as “bi” in high school), I’m worried that these are the kind of parents that could be my peer group before I know it. Their kids could be classmates of mine. I hate the idea of my kids having the difficult task of standing up to them. Hopefully their acceptance of all walks of life will overpower (or at least cancel out) the intolerance of others.

    Clearly many think being gay is a choice. Until science proves them wrong (and even after, I’m sure), this sort of thing will happen. They feel she picked this lifestyle, so she’ll have to expect certain consequences. Whatever. But to include disabled students in this mess??? Atrocious. How could anyone EVER justify that? Without more details available, I’ll take Constance’s word for it that they had a good time. But as a mom, my heart *hurts* for what those students’ parents must have felt, seeing their children singled out so cruelly.ReplyCancel

  • Megyn - Disgusting, absolutely disgusting! When I first heard about this, I thought WTF?! This makes me extremely sad for the world our boys may be growing up in. I feel massively thankful to have gone to a high school that allowed homosexual students attend all events, and we even had a guy who wore dresses to school…and the admin. ensured that students didn’t bully him. Ugh…let’s hope those students don’t end up breeding…ReplyCancel

  • Renea - You are definitely not alone! I was raised to accept all people, no matter what – regardless of abilities or disabilities, race, color, religion, looks, social status, whatever – my mother was adamant on instilling in us that we are all created equal. And I, in turn, am trying my darnedest to instill that in my children as well.

    I must say though, it is HARD to do – when my 11 year old comes home from school with words like ‘gay’ and ‘retarded’, not knowing what their true meaning is, but instead thinking they’re just another word for ‘stupid’. Argh! I don’t know how many times I’ve had to sit him down and explain the meanings of certain words and why it’s so horrible to just blurt them out! I know in his mind, he’s not degrading anyone mentally challenged or homosexual (or whatever other word seems to be the word-of-the-week on bus) – but it would sure sound like it to someone overhearing it!

    The sad thing is that I know some of the older kids know darn well what they’re saying – but they’ve been raised to think that it’s ok to actually ‘hate’ someone. Makes me sick!

    I just can not believe that the school did nothing about this whole situation. And it’s even more sickening that the parents who organized this ‘secret’ prom actually thought it was an acceptable thing to do. In this day and age, there is no excuse for such ignorance and intolerance.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - That whole situation is disgusting. Those parents should be ashamed of themselves. I will never teach my child to hate like that, nor will I tolerate it.ReplyCancel

  • Shaylee - As a lesbian myself, my heart is heavy hearing about what Constance has had to go through. I didn’t come out until I was 19, well past the high school years, and yet I still lost many friends and had family members turn their backs on me because I finally was able to come to terms with my sexuality. Constance and every other teen that comes out during high school are amazing and stronger than I ever was.
    Those kinds of parents are what I loathe about society today….I don’t have children yet and it, again, makes my heart heavy to think of what my children will go through because they will have two moms…
    Thank you for speaking out and for being the opposite of what those nasty people in Mississippi are.ReplyCancel

  • Gappy - I’m British and hadn’t heard of this news story, but I’d like to add my voice to those above and say that I too think that the actions of that school and the parents were unacceptable.

    What did they think they were teaching their children by doing that?ReplyCancel

  • Fran - You are definitely not alone! The behavior of those parents is deplorable and I feel sorry for the children that are being raised that way. Their parents are doing them a real disservice.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Unfortunately, it’s a small town. I still have members of my family that make gay/racial/fat jokes at the dinner table. I cringe. But try telling them any different. They live in a small town. KKK is nearby. Rolls eyes. We have FAMILY members that are gay, not that sit at the table while they are making jokes of course, but it is SO hard to just sit there and say nothing to keep the peace. I’m already the odd duck out, so I try not to say anything unless asked a direct question, in which case it’s something along the lines of God made them that way or the joke was really funny except the black part. They don’t ‘get’ that joking about it makes them sound like idiots, whether they truly discriminate or not. So, no, we won’t EVER do that. Jeez.ReplyCancel

    • Faith - I hear you on this. My family is the same way. They’ve learned to keep it quiet around me, but my DH still struggles with when to tell them to shut up.ReplyCancel

  • Miranda - Oh, Jill. You’ve got a supporter in me. All children, ESPECIALLY children, deserve tolerance and equal opportunities. And LOVE. And I, for one, will be teaching my child to love everyone, and to tolerate everyone, because that’s the same thing I’d want done for him.

    I think I’ll be posting about this later on my own blog, and I’ll be sure to link back.ReplyCancel

  • Monica - I will NEVER. Nope, never. Nuh uh.ReplyCancel

  • Micaeb - I am with you! That is exactly why I’d like to one day get out of this area we live in and move somewhere a little more “accepting”. I try to model treating all people equal, but it’s all around us here (unfortunately, sometimes from our own families).ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - I had so many different emotions reading that article. In the end, I honestly just cried. I cried for every child, every person out there that has experienced this type of hatred towards them. It breaks my heart that in a world where we spend so much time caring about the “stuff”, that we can hurt fellow human beings so deeply. It breaks my heart, and I mourn the loss of what great people all those haters could have been, had they only been taught respect instead of prejudice.ReplyCancel

  • Kim M - I will NEVER. Nor will I let anyone get away with hateful comments anywhere near my child.ReplyCancel

  • Joanna - Ugh, it just makes me sick. I will never allow that kind of hatred and intolerance in my house.

    My mom always tells me this heartbreakin story about how one of her best friends in High School came out and immediately got kicked out of his house. My mom’s parents (my grandparents that passed away before my parents were every married) took him in. They fed him and clothed him and gave him a roof over his head for months until he worked things out to go back home.

    My grandparent’s embraced someone who was “different” in a time where it was not even close to acceptable.

    I will never let them down.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Right there with you. It is of utmost importance to me to teach my son tolerance and acceptance towards all people, regardless of their race, creed, sexuality, mental/physical capabilities, etc. This story really disturbed me. It is so difficult for me to believe that so many parents would not only allow this sort of discrimination to go on, but that they’d band together to organize it. Disgusting.ReplyCancel

  • Stacie - it makes me so sad that parents are such instigators of hate and judgment. at the present time, my little girl loves all people, wherever and whenever we meet them. and it is my prayer and my goal as a parent to see that that is never squashed.
    and for all the kids who attended the “secret” prom, the chances are great that at least some of them have some kind of “secret” themselves that they have already learned their families and friends will find unacceptable. how sad for them too, when the hate the parents breed turns inward.ReplyCancel

  • Tami - Never. This is horrendous, and I hope those parents and their children see the disgusting thing they have done.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - 100% with you. Never.ReplyCancel

  • Mary-Tyler - I am so angry I can’t collect my thoughts enough to convey my displeasure. I wish there was something that I could do to help her, to let her know that not everyone is like that. I hope that my child will never know this level of bigotry.ReplyCancel

  • Darlene - Jill, I am so proud of you for using your blog to denounce these parents. I hope that so many people respond and join your pledge to never treat others this way and that they share your blog with enough of their friends that it catches the attention of the media some how. I’m with you, I am so tired of hearing people defend and otherwise cover Tiger Woods, Jesse James, ect but to not bring this to light, to in any way let these parents begin to get away with this is horrible. What a brave and beautiful young woman Constance is. What a lesson she has given in grace and strength. No matter what your moral and religious views are the very basic rule of human decency is so simple, “treat others as you wish to be treated” you don’t have to agree, you don’t have to condone, you don’t have to try some one else’s way of life, just “treat others the way you wish to be treated”ReplyCancel

  • Kayla - Right there with you. Absolutely disgusting.ReplyCancel

  • Lucy - Hear, hear. It’s just sickening. We’re lucky to live in a diverse area that makes this type of story seem more foreign than some of the international news coverage we hear, but I sometimes worry that makes us less vigilant about intolerance and hatred of this type than we might be in a less accepting area.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - Never, ever, EVER will I teach/promote/tolerate discrimination of ANY kind.

    I am outraged and heartbroken for Constance and the other students outcast by their own classmates and their parents.ReplyCancel

  • march - It is for this same reason that I do not allow my sons to participate in the Boy Scouts. I can not participate in an organization that excludes a specific portion of our population because of fear.ReplyCancel

  • Toni - I cannot believe parents would encourage this. Unbelievable. I will never teach or promote this type of behavior.ReplyCancel

  • coffeewithjulie - I’m with you. NEVER.ReplyCancel

  • smurfetteinred - Bravo.

    This story is appalling on so many levels.ReplyCancel

  • Elena - As a homeschooler, I have a different take on it. I think schools need to get out of the prom business as well as the sports business. Schools need to concentrate on education and if the parents or other organizations want to handle social events or sports teams, they should do them.

    Maybe inadvertently, this will be the first step in that direction for school districts.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I’ve also been following this story but didn’t hear about the fake prom the parents threw. It’s disgusting plain and simple. People can talk about the great strides we as a country have made against discrimination since we elected a black president but we haven’t taken two steps towards anything resembling progress if things like this continue to happen and aren’t addressed. Thank you for shining a light on this update!ReplyCancel

  • Annie @ PhD in Parenting - That is absolutely awful. No matter what your opinion of same-sex relationships, the actions of these parents is just despicable.ReplyCancel

  • HeatherScent - Until I read your blog, I didn’t realize it was the PARENTS who put on this fake prom. This angers me in a way I can’t even describe. Yet at the same time it makes me so thankful that girls wearing tuxes and bring same-sex dates to a school dance are none-issues here in my country.

    I am so proud of Constance and what she has done. She has contributed far more to this world than any of those homophobic parents ever have, or will. And she will continue to be a positive influence on all the young women & men who are struggling to not be afraid to be who they really are.

    This is what I will teach my children: When it comes to love & acceptance, be lazy! People will go out of their way to hate or exclude someone — it’s just so much easier to love!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Jill, I’m so glad you wrote this. I’m so glad that you care enough to write about something with true value to your readers. It’s clear you wrote this to educate and inform, which is what our news outlets should be doing.

    Unfortunately, these outlets have become driven by money, and the people they care most to attract are too uncomfortable and too chickenshit to show their voices and support/question news that requires them to be more than gawking gossip mongers.

    I commend you for using your space and your time to step in where our “news” outlets are failing us. I hope your words spread far and wide.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - Wow. I had not heard this update. That is just shameful.

    You are not alone!ReplyCancel

  • Howie - Never! The original story prompted me to write this blog:
    http://wp.me/pKEBd-4K
    People need to think about this when they’re trying to conceive. There’s a 1 in 10 chance your child will be gay. If you raise them to hate gay people, you’re raising them to hate themselves. We need to raise our kids to understand that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered – people are people. Gender identity and sexual preference are not built to some absolute rule. Never have been and hopefully never will be. After all, the world would be a right boring place if we were all the same.

    Okay, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Um…

    Never! Yep, that’s where I was going with this.ReplyCancel

  • Shauna - I am 100% with you. I hadn’t heard anything about this. Kudos to you for getting the word out but how sad that the mass media isn’t reporting it. =(ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - I’m with you! That is just appalling that parents would do that.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - It is shameful! Can’t believe the extent that some people will go to just to hurt others.

    And you’re right about major news networks. This is the first I have heard about the whole situation. Unbelieveable.ReplyCancel

  • kittnepie - UGH. Too right. i keep thinking about how this is just like old segregation days, with housewives screaming hatred at young children. SO wrong.ReplyCancel

  • Ailen - Wow. I’d been following the story, but had no idea about the fake prom sponsored by parents. NO. I will never instill those kinds of values on my son!ReplyCancel

  • solemom - Never!
    My son will be taught acceptance and love how to rejoice in differences, not discrimination, hatred and fear.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I am with you 100%. This is outraging and disgusting. Teenagers can be mean, but for parents to condone and encourage it? Ridiculous.ReplyCancel

  • Law Momma - Oh My God.

    I didn’t hear about that but how HORRIBLE. I don’t even understand what would prompt a parent to behave in that way. And honestly, were there NO children who thought “I could really be a stand up person and go to the Country Club tonight?” Because you can be damn sure my kid, if he/she were going to Prom, would have been at the Country Club. That SICKENS me.

    I’m with you, Jill. My kid will NOT be raised in that ignorant and trashy manner.ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne S - I’m with you Jill. It’s just so sad that people today can be so closed minded. What are these ‘parents’ thinking? What’s the big deal of having a girl wearing pants and dancing with another girl? Are they afraid that the gay-ness will rub off on their kid? It’s just disgusting. It’s also sad that a teenage girl is the one who is acting as an adult and the adults are acting like 2 year olds. Sad, sad, sad…ReplyCancel

  • Christie - You know I’m with you Jill. I’m so angry about this. So, so angry. I hope this makes Constance even stronger in her battle.ReplyCancel

  • MrsEAM - You are definitely not alone. I didn’t hear about the “secret” prom but that is just awful. What kind of twisted person do you have to be to do something like that? I am appalled at those parents.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - :::STANDING OVATION:::

    I read this earlier in the day and had the same thought. What those parents did was flat out disgusting. They should be appauled at their actions, I am.ReplyCancel

  • Christie - and I should add that I couldn’t care less about the dicks of Tiger Woods, Jesse James or any male other than my husbands.

    And I sincerely hope that the court system makes an example of all of the adults that were involved in this. Their children need to learn that you can not ignore a court order, and since their parents obviously believe that they are above the law. Maximum punishment for all of them.ReplyCancel

  • Librariana - Absolutely unacceptable, mean-spirited, and the very definition of evil. NEVER will I promote or allow such base and dishonorable behavior around me in young or old, without speaking up.

    Pass the word around on Twitter — if the regular media won’t pick this up, perhaps the outrage can be heard from there.ReplyCancel

  • Molly - Sign me up, please! I wrote a blog post before DS was even born that I think the most important thing you can teach a child is tolerance of EVERYONE!

    I think it’s sickening that the parents would act in such a manner.

    My parents made sure that we always included everyone. That’s just how I grew up. I still remember my mom making me invite my ENTIRE class to my birthday slumber party. One of the “popular” girls came up and asked why I had invited the “non-popular” girls. I still think of that moment from time to time. Because I know that EVERYONE ended up having a blast regardless of who was “popular”. I’m glad my parents taught me that lesson early.

    Yes, you can be sure that I will NEVER teach my children to be mean and hateful to anyone or any thing.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - I think this is my first “I will never,” but I will NEVER teach hatred to my beautiful son, who loves EVERYBODY he meets. That’s the way God made him, and I wouldn’t dare change that sweet disposition.ReplyCancel

  • Christina - I will never stand for this intolerance as a parent or as a human. I am sick that parents would do something like this and teach their children that it is okay. They should be ashamed. I intend to always do my best to model love and acceptance to my daughters – through my language and actions.ReplyCancel

  • leslieanne - I couldn’t agree more.

    What hope do those poor children have of becoming well rounded, tolerant, compassionate adults when they have parents who see nothing wrong in such appauling actions?

    They should be utterly ashamed of themselves.ReplyCancel

  • Julia Riley - I will never. Never. Never.ReplyCancel

  • Polly - I’m with you. While I’m disgusted by the behavior of these parents, I’m not surprised. But I’m thrilled that Constance continually rises above. Good for her!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - That is absolutely appalling. Those poor kids. I totally agree with you, regardless of my own beliefs or way of life, I would NEVER condone my child making fun of or berating another person. Period. Everyone deserves the same amount of respect and civil rights as the next person. I believe in being kind to every type of person, regardless of if you agree with them or their personal preferences. I cannot believe that adults would help humiliate and exclude kids this way. It’s ridiculous and they should be ashamed.ReplyCancel

  • Stella - I am seething with anger at those parents, but applaud your efforts in getting the word out about this. OMG – I hope that I never have to ‘teach’ my children tolerance of others, it should come naturally just as part of the way our family is!ReplyCancel

  • Sarcastica - Great post! I also will NEVER support or display that kind of hate, I don’t even HAVE that kind of hate. But, I won’t stand for ANYBODY – friend, family member, whomever – displaying that kind of hate around my child.

    I am SO ANGRY at those parents! My mom always said you need a license for everything else and the ONE THING that you really SHOULD need a license for (having kids), you don’t need one. Any nutbar can have a kid. SIGH.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - The whole thing makes me sick. I am astounded at the capacity of PARENTS to be cruel to someone else’s child.ReplyCancel

  • Kaitlin - I will never ever let my children behave that way. It is a disgusting thing those parents did and each and every one of them should be ashamed.ReplyCancel

  • Victoria - I am completely disgusted by this. Don’t worry I will NEVER tolerate hatred, discrimination, or nastiness towards anyone who may be deemed “different” by society.

    In this day and age it really saddens and pisses me off that stuff like this still happens.

    I hope our generation will raise the next generation to be better than that and I vow that I will!ReplyCancel

  • that’s not how *I* would do it : Sarcastica - […] I’m going to write about it, because it’s irritated me for far too long. And because of this, because I know the kind of parents who would support this – they are the same kind of […]ReplyCancel

  • Maureen - Dude, WORD. Just…WORD.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - I saw this last night and I too was disgusted that PARENTS would do this to a young lady. You don’t have to worry about me because I will NEVER tolerate hatred or discrimination from my daughter and any other children my husband and I will have. I can’t even type out how I am really feeling because I am so pissed that this happened. Thank you for writing about this and bringing it to everyone’s attention! These PARENTS should be ashamed of themselves and the message that they are teaching their children!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Thanks for posting this Jill, this kind of intolerance makes me sick to my stomach, and I’m so glad to hear that others feel the same way, I was beginning to think the world was being overtaken by these hate filled idiots. I will NEVER allow this behavior from my son, or anyone whom I call a friend.ReplyCancel

  • Upstatemomof3 - I will NEVER tolerate any kind of hate coming from my kids. I will NEVER promote any kind of hate in this world and therefor I will NEVER teach my children to hate – anyone, EVER. And yes, I too know better than to say I will NEVER – but in this case I can say it with 100% certainty.

    Unfortunately, I know my children will face hate. I have seen it already. And it breaks my heart. It is so sad to see just how far we have NOT come.

    This was a disgrace. I am in awe of Constance’s courage and just plain awesomeness.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - I agree with everyone here on the NEVER!!

    This is a response from one of Constance’s classmates. It is #8 in the comments.

    http://lafiga.firedoglake.com/2010/04/05/the-meanest-town-in-america-fake-prom-for-lesbian-student/

    **Open Minded Readers Only**
    I am a senior at IAHS, and I’ve known Constance for the last 6 years. Please hear our side of the story before you decide on our fate.
    The party we had in Evergreen (the county neighborhood I live in) is 30 mins away from the school. we rented out the community center, hired vendors, decorated, and our parents ran the security/chaperone staff- but it wasn’t prom. Prom was at the country club where constance and 7 other students were. The reason the senior class boycotted the actual prom was not because we hate gays. We wanted a drama-free gathering to celebrate 3 great years and 1 lousy one together, and we wanted to lay low. We also wanted to do it without the main cause of the lousy. What people are failing to realize is that much of the fault of this whole stink lies with Constance, not her mistreatment by the school district, but her crazy-reckless need for attention. It sounds mean and horrible and like we planned it all specifically to embarrass Constance, but we didn’t. We let her have her prom with her girlfriend and her tuxedo and we went to party it up in the “boondocks” not because we wanted her rights violated, but so we could salvage what has turned into a total fiasco. As a whole we didn’t support her decision to throw the district under the bus, or her insinuations that we’re all just a bunch ‘a hicks driving around in beater pick up trucks spitting tobacco and burning crosses. IAHS is one of the top schools in the state and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud that we took a stand and just said you know what? forget it, we have just as much right as you do to have a party for ourselves. So we did, and now we’re getting flack because poor Connie’s ego got a bit of bruising. She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants. This time, we didn’t just let her.
    Take it as you will, because I’m sure it sounds like we faked her out, but understand this- the decision NOT to attend prom had nothing to do with the school or with Constance’s sexual preferences; it had everything to do with proving we weren’t going to let her and the ACLU steamroll us into doing what Constance wanted. We flexed the muscle of the majority and we’ll suffer the consequences.ReplyCancel

  • Brett - Never in a million years would I teach such hatred. It bewilders me that anyone could justify these actions.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - So you would “never, ever” allow this kind of intolerance, eh? Hmm… isn’t that rather intolerant of you? I’m not saying I agree with what those parents did. I’m just saying that the biggest problem with those who preach “tolerance” is that they are extremely INtolerant toward those to whom it is politically correct to be so (i.e. anyone who disagrees with them). What hypocrisy!ReplyCancel

    • Lisa - Are you saying that we should tolerate violence? We should tolerate hate speech? We should tolerate cruelty?

      I’m not sure if you just don’t comprehend or what.

      We are talking about tolerating other people living their lives as they see fit. Not tolerating people abusing others. This isn’t about people not agreeing, but their actions.ReplyCancel

      • Michelle - No, I completely comprehend. What I am saying is, for the very reasons you just posted, it is impossible to be completely tolerant. You are right, there are things we should not tolerate. In this case, what you wish to not tolerate is the parents who hurt this girl in a way she will never forget. What those parents will not tolerate is their children hanging out with someone whose lifestyle they think is wrong. There is no such thing as complete tolerance, only tolerance for the things you want to tolerate. At least admit that you are intolerant toward some things and stop being self-righteous because you tolerate things that others don’t. We all choose which things we will tolerate and which things we won’t. Therefore, everyone is intolerant to some degree. The question is, why is your type of intolerance better than other types of intolerance?ReplyCancel

  • thenextmartha - Sometimes society disgusts me like this situation. Other times when people like you stand up and speak on the side of love and understanding, I am hopeful. Love wins.ReplyCancel

  • Mariluh - I saw the story last night when you posted it on FB. And I shared it as well.

    It made me tear up.

    The magnitude of this is just painful. Just horrible and sickening. I hate to see that we still live in a world where “parents” would allow and promote such behavior.

    Thank you for this post.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Thinking about what happened to that poor girl just makes my stomach turn. I will NEVER teach my child this kind of intolerance.ReplyCancel

  • The Praying Mom - This is one thing that I can also say I will NEVER allow or do. This is disgusting. I may not agree with a person’s choices, but that doesn’t mean I can’t accept that person and show them love and kindness anyway. It’s so sad that people could act this way and think it’s alright. It’s disgusting that major news networks care more about the latest Hollywood affair than these injustices that speak so clearly about the current cultural mindset. With so many children being raise by parents like this I am afraid to see what these children will teach their own.ReplyCancel

  • becoming-mom - Every time I sort of start to believe that we’ve made strides as a society towards acceptance and civility (nevermind actual compassion and kindness!) I am jolted back into the reality that we live in a country where this intolerance is sadly the status quo. And who can blame these students for being narrow minded bigots when their parents so obviously have never taught them otherwise???? It MUST start with the parents, and to that I say I WILL NEVER raise Jasper to hate, fear or disparage anyone that is different than he is. Or to put it in the affirmative I WILL TEACH my son TOLERANCE and respect for others!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - You are not alone. We plan to instill in our daughter that that type of behavior is wrong and has no place in this world.ReplyCancel

  • Krista - I have a six month old daughter and every time I think of her as a teenager, I cringe, thinking about all the ways that she could be picked on or bullied. It is not right, just plain not right, that parents would encourage their children to mock or push out another child.

    When things like this “fake prom” thing happen it sickens me. When people stand up against it, it gives me hope that my child will grow up in a loving community, and an accepting world.

    Do these parents think they would feel the same way if it was their baby that was being ridiculed? I think not. You are right, shame on them.ReplyCancel

  • mae - It’s so disgusting, that parents would allow their children to be so exclusive out of fear. How sad.

    Regarding the “fellow student” comment that someone posted above, if their goal was to have a private party to celebrate the class’s year together and they did purposefully exclude Constance because she starts drama… WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY INVITE THE DISABLED KIDS?!?! Are they drama addicts as well? Or were they just not part of the class experience that they wanted to celebrate?

    Also, is the ACLU not also screaming about the exclusion of those individuals from the unofficial prom? Anyone? No I’m honestly curious, are they?

    Sickening. On several levels.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - This story breaks my heart. I hope to teach my daughter tolerance and acceptance for those around her. Good for Constance McMillen for being proud of who she is, an obviously well-rounded and graceful young woman.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - I am SO with you! It is disgusting what these parents did and continue to do as they raise their kids to think it’s okay.

    I will NEVER raise my children to think this is acceptable.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - I will NEVER teach my child that hatred and intolerance is okay. I will teach her that people come in all shapes, sizes, and sexual preferences, and that is a-okay. Shame on this school. Shame on the kids. Shame on the PARENTS for teaching their children that it is acceptable to exclude people of different sexual orientation and people with learning disabilities.

    And shame on that girl for writing that. As if anyone besides her large ‘clique’ will ever believe that rubbish. If she was only trying to exclude Constance and her girlfriend, WHY were five other kids included, especially kids with learning disabilities?

    This is crap. Complete and utter hateful crap.ReplyCancel

  • Rebekah @ mom-in-a-million - I am SO with you on this! I think the best way of teaching the lesson of universal acceptance and universal kindness is by modeling that behavior for our kids. I’m forced to live mindfully and remember to do the things I want my son to do. While he’s small I have to be sure to teach him good manners and basic safety but as he grows I will have to show him that kindness is non-negotiable and tolerance is mandatory and the only reason to have a negative opinion about an individual is because that individual’s BEHAVIOR warrants it, not because of anything that individual is. I just hope that I can be as good a person as I want my son to be. I’m working at it daily.ReplyCancel

  • Karly - Never. Ever.ReplyCancel

  • Catriona - I may not support homosexuality because of my religon, but I do practice tolerance and therefore will teach that to my son.

    This post just goes to show, we weren’t there we don’t know everything that has happened before this fiasco…and you can’t always believe what you hear in the news.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - 1. How does this post go to show that?
      2. We haven’t heard anything in the news because the news is not covering it. Am I missing something?ReplyCancel

      • natalie - Nothing was in the news because the goverment tries their hardest to cover their backs! This does not go to show that we dont know everything that has happend. This shows that the state that America is in is a very sick minded state! Shouldnt we love each other for who we are and not hate each other because we are all so very different, should love be about Gender? Fair enough everyone has their own opinion but should we honestly hate each other because shallow minded people follow a book? No we shouldnt “in god we trust” Bull shit! God teaches people we shouldnt eat fish! Religions shouldn’t come into love and peace, we should treat one another as we would like to be treated! what ever happend to humanity?ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - I can honestly say i would Never! in all my days teach my children this kind of “love”. Many people teach their kids such descusting things, i’m happy to say that my own mother stands up for me being gay she sees me as being no different from anyone else. Just as we all think maybe just maybe we are taking a step forward into accepting that we are no different. People should not be judged for whom they love. And how dare the state push aside disabled people also as if we are all sick rats! We really should stand up to the state!ReplyCancel

  • Myriam - I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and am a fan on Facebook. I, like you, am appalled at the actions these parents took to teach their children hatred for others. I will NOT raise a child that way… he will learn to respect others and be a valuable member of society.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - I AM a mom who, along with my husband, has raised her two sons (ages 20 & 22) to be open minded, tolerant and respectful of EVERYONE. They are the first to help the underdog, to befriend the bullied, to do the right thing. What great people they have become! And we don’t lean on “Christianity” to be decent people. It’s really quite simple.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ann - The reponse from the student who attended the “drama-free gathering” of the rest of the high school students is an example of RATIONALIZATION.
    It is tragic that the students still DON’T GET IT–and blame Connie for everything that happened…it is TIME FOR YOU TO LOOK AT THE FACE IN THE MIRROR AND SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer - I agree. And would like to add that if “drama starting” women back in the day hadn’t been so “attention seeking” and “histrionic” most of us probably wouldn’t be able to read this post, let alone silly things like own property or vote. Constance is a trailblazer and deserves infinite credit for waging this fight when many of us might just shrink away and play by the rules.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I will NEVER allow this to happen. I will just as soon keep my child home then allow her to attend a private party, excluding others from her class. This is unconscionable. This reminds me of this article I read a few years ago about how high schools in the South still have separate, private parent-sponsored proms for the uppity white student, while the blacks have the normal school-sponsored event. Disgusting. Makes me sick.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - I am a mom of a gay son. He went through hell from kindergarten on for being different acting. First he wanted to play with the girls and thought the boy games were too “mean”. That started the “gay” & “faggot” comments (in kindergarten!) Later that year the beatings, stonings (yes, I’m serious), hitting, kicking, ripping clothes, etc. etc. The most hurtful of all was that he was excluded from so much. He was only invited to one birthday party in his life. By junior high I had to pull him out of school because kids started traveling across town just to hit him. All the teachers will tell you he never did a thing to provoke it and he was never flamboyant. Just himself.

    Please, teach your children kindness. Teach them the courage to go against the crowd and reach out to others. Whatever your religion, I don’t believe there is a God who creates people who are gay, and then condems them. My son was born this way. He had no choice. I saw that first hand. Thank you for teaching your children that we all deserve respect.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Nancy, I’m crying. I’m so sorry to read what your son had to go through, what you as a parent had to watch you son go through. I’m so sorry.ReplyCancel

      • donni thomas - nancy, i am so sorry that happened to your son. it’s disgusting that these children are learning hate from their parents at such young ages. i just wanted to let you know that you and your son are not alone, and there are parents out here that are teaching their children differently…teaching love, not hate, acceptance, not judgementalism. we may be a smaller group right now, but growing larger all the time. sending hugs to you and yours! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Upstatemomof3 - Nancy,

      I am so so sorry for what your son went through. That is so terrible. No one should ever have to go through that. I am just so sorry.ReplyCancel

  • donni thomas - my children are significantly beyond the baby age, but i saw the link to this on facebook and had to check it out. i have raised and will continue to raise my children to celebrate differences instead of judging them. i have three kids…a daughter about to turn 18 next month, and two sons…a 13 and 11 year old. i have taught them from an incredibly early age to never judge anyone based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, weight, etc, etc. HATE IS NOT A FAMILY VALUE. as a result, i have wonderful children who stand up for themselves and others anytime there is another person trying to spread hate and judgementalism. this is saying something considering we live right smack in the middle of the bible belt, in a rural area where homophobia is not only taught by many parents, but encouraged. i am a firm believer that if we teach our children the right kinds of values, eventually the bigots of this world will become the minority themselves, and their agendas of hate and intolerance will no longer be given the acceptance it is today. i applaud each and every once of you that has pledged to do the same things i have tried so hard to do. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • FAS - I am disgusted by this story and the response from the high school student. She should be embarrassed by her actions and her excuses.ReplyCancel

  • melissa patterson - i want to cry for all of them. not only for constance, but for the other students as well. as a special ed teacher, i would be furious if any of my students were EVER treated like that! and for the parents to support this? how dare they? my son is 2 1/2, and has recently picked up the word “hate.” we’re trying to make him understand how that word hurts people and makes them sad. some very close friends of mine are gay or lesbian, and my son doesn’t know the difference. he knows that they are people that love him, and that’s all that is important! i will NEVER teach him that homosexuality is anything to be afraid of! people should never be treated differently because of how they were born. it’s just like teasing because of skin color. people are people no matter their color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, weight, etc. if there is only one thing i teach him (though i know there will be more), that’s what it will be!ReplyCancel

  • Suzi - This story makes me sick! I promise I am with you and will NEVER allow my children to treat others like this. As a parent I would have told my daughter her options were the school prom or no prom… the parents are only fueling the fire.ReplyCancel

  • desaline - This story is so depressing. In our school district, they recently started an anti-bullying program that was intended to teach respect for all types of people, and a bunch of parents protested because it specifically mentions gay and lesbian students and families. Because teaching kids to be respectful towards THEM would just be so awful, right?
    I will never be able to understand how people become so filled with hatred and small-minded..and so willing to pass those values on to their children.ReplyCancel

  • MrsTiara - My children will ALWAYS be raised to respect others, regardless of ability, orientation, religion, race, size, nationality, choice of team to root for and anything else that makes us unique individuals. I went to hs in a backwoods part of the country and had to endure daily taunts and ridicule for my differences, I will make sure that my kids will NEVER do anything like that to anyone else!!!ReplyCancel

  • FamilySizedFun - I will NEVER teach my children to judge something they know nothing about. Never teach them to jump on one bandwagon or another, because HATE is HATE even when you HATE the HATERS.
    nobody ever wins in a situation like this
    even hating intolerance is intolerableReplyCancel

    • Patti - I think their is a huge difference between Hating the Haters as you say, and being appalled at the actions that happened. Saying I WILL NEVER does not mean you are going to Hate the Haters, but it does mean that you don’t support their mind set, and never will.

      I don’t see HATE in this thread, just acknowledgement that what happened was not right, and should not have happened. I also get the drift that you don’t seem too bothered by this whole thing. Sucks to be you.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - As a young lesbian and hopefully a future mother I hope everyday that things will change and that the majority will become more accepting and understanding of all differences in people. However, when I am not able to see that even with my family and my friends it is disheartening. It sucks to think about the future when I have a child and have to worry about where I live and what other kids or parents might do or say. I don’t want my child to suffer because other’s might not agree with who his/her mother loves. However, just as I have suffered prejudice and intolerance I know that my child probably will as well. My goal will be to teach my child tolerance and love even for the people that do not love him/ her back. Thank you so much Jill for posting this and bringing attention to a subject that many people would rather not address due to its infamatory nature.ReplyCancel

    • natalie - I know what you mean. I’m only seventeen and i’m gay and some day i would like to have kids. I have voiced this to family and friends and many people look at me as im crazy. I get the same old questions and the same old answers ‘Lesbians can’t have kids’ ‘How can two lesbians have children’ It worries to think of bringing children into a society like what we have. If only more people could teach their children on how to be a human and not a hating robot.ReplyCancel

      • Sarah - Isn’t it sad to face that kind of ignorance even in our own families? I am the only currently openly gay person in a family of well over 100 and although it was an incredibly difficult road for me I hope that my courage will make it easier for any cousins/relatives I may have in the future. I think I have helped people around me see things in a new light and although they haven’t changed as fast as I might like I know that baby steps in the right direction are better than none at all. I couldn;t agree with you more how nervous I am when I think of having kids but I won;t let anyone take that experience away from me. My mother thinks it is selfish for me to bring a child into a family without a ‘father.’ I tell her people make the family, not the gender!ReplyCancel

  • Ashleigh - I will NEVER let my children believe they are anything but completely equal to every other human being on this earth. My wife and I are planning on starting our own family in a few years and I shudder to think of the kind of treatment or discrimination our child(ren) may receive because he or she has lesbian mothers and no father.
    That reason by itself is no reason for us to not have a family. I refuse to allow a heteronormative society dictate whether or not I should have the child(ren) and family I have always wanted.
    If the story of the people who supported the terrible acts of injustice done to Constance made me worry about the people of the U.S.A., the supporters of Constance and the ACLU and all the hundreds of thousands of people who have commented and supported these causes have helped me realize that we really are moving in the right direction. Unfortunately there will always be people who lash out against things and people they don’t understand and fear.
    Thank you to everyone who is making this a better world to live in for me, my wife, and our unborn children.ReplyCancel

  • ktpupp - Wow, I am speechless. This kind of thinking sickens me to no end.

    Yes, I PROMISE THAT I WILL NEVER TEACH,TOLERATE OR CONDONE HATEFUL THINKING OR BEHAVIOR FROM MY DAUGHTER.

    She’s 17 yrs old and is the one who retweeted the link to this article to bring it to my attention. Thankfully, not all teens are entitled brats.ReplyCancel

  • Amber - I grew up with a brother with Cerebral Palsy. My brother is an amazing man, now with a bachelors degree, he is smart, strong, and loving. As a child I would come home and hold him as he cried from the torment of other children. He 3 years older than me and I would challenge his tormentors and stand up for him and with him, even as a little girl.

    I will never, never teach my child that he is better than anyone. We are equal. We are all beautiful and special.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Standing with you, fist up in the air. I guess I’ve been sticking my head in the sand b/c I truly thought we had come further than this in this country.ReplyCancel

  • Mary C. Gagnon - I hope I have NEVER (even accidentally) taught hate to ANYONE. I hope to NEVER do so in the future. But, if by chance, I ever find myself making an unintentional error and it could even be construed in that way, I hope I would have the good sense, bravery and compassion to acknowledge my error and NOT compound it! The actions of the other students and their parents only served to cement an image (correctly or incorrectly) in other peoples minds of them as being intolerant.ReplyCancel

  • Stubbydog - I’m completely floored by the student’s comments “explaining” their actions.

    “…proving we weren’t going to let her and the ACLU steamroll us into doing what Constance wanted.”

    …which was what again? Oh right, GO TO HER PROM. The bottom line is that the student body just proved to the entire country that they think the school board was RIGHT in telling a lesbian that she couldn’t go to prom with her girlfriend. I understand that there was hostility built up because of all the legal action and therefore they felt like “getting back at her”, but I can’t believe that not a single student in that school would agree that she should have been able to go to prom in the first place.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - The comments from the student at the end of the article are so close minded and selfish that it’s actually hard to wrap my head around.
    I’m in shock.
    I saw Constance on the Ellen show and she is a sweet and quiet student who was not looking for attention, she was looking for a chance to celebrate with her class and the fact that other students with special needs were not told about this “other” party just proves how HATEFUL this school system and it’s students and their parents truly are.
    It sickens me.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - teenagers can’t always think (correctly) for themselves, but the parents had to do a lot of the organizing and planning for this to happen.
    SHAME ON THEMReplyCancel

  • Erin - I’m 29 weeks pregnant with my first child, and stories like this make me sad and scared. What kind of world am I bringing my child into? The stories about cyber-bullying, teenagers commiting suicide, such hateful behaviour which seems rampant these days. I’m fearful for the day I have to send my child to school and away from the compassionate nurturing of home life. Is there even a such thing as a “good school” anymore? Do the parents even care?

    You are not alone – I will never condone hatred in our family. Reading these comments helps me to see at least there are others who feel the same way. It still saddens me, though, that things like Constance’s prom even happened. I want my child to be the one who has the strength and compassion to stand up and say NO, this is not right. I just hope he can be surrounded by enough like minded individuals that he would never need to…ReplyCancel

  • janessa - You’re not alone.

    I really can’t comment beyond that because the situation is just disgusting.ReplyCancel

  • coffeewithjulie - I’m with you. NEVER. And I’ve just pledged it on my blog as well. So shameful to see adults engaged in this … where are the role models?ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - I will NEVER allow my child to behave in such an exclusive, selfish, entitled, hateful manner, and my child will NEVER witness such behavior in me or my husband. I only hope that one day those students will grow the EFF up and realize how awfully they have conducted themselves.ReplyCancel

  • Bay - Phew. I had no knowledge of this. What a shame. The alternative prom is just unbelievable & selfish. I’m definitely in the “I’ll never” camp.
    <3 BayReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - You are NOT alone! And I don’t think any of us mothers and fathers who are devoted to teaching our children that ALL people matter, are just drops in the bucket. We matter. When my state (CA) was voting on prop 8 (which, of course, passed, taking the right of marriage away from my friends and colleagues in same sex relationships) I was newly pregnant, and I promised my little embryo that no matter what, he would be able to love and marry whomever he chose and that his family would love him and support him and FIGHT for him no matter what. CA lost that battle, but I fully intend to keep the promise I made to my son in the voting booth that day. Because even if he ends up with a woman, it’s still vital to me that he lives in a world where he’s free to love whomever he wants to, without other people’s arbitrary rules.

    Thank you for posting this. I feel like teaching our children tolerance, love and acceptance of all people is one of the MOST important tasks for a parent.

    and finally I just want to add: don’t let this incident get you down too much. Change IS happening. It’s all around us. There will always be ignorance and hate, but I really feel like the next generation will be better than ours… and so on. Keep the faith!ReplyCancel

  • Corey - Revolting. Notice that the comment that was added at the end makes no reference to the learning disabled students who were also not told of the alternate event. As if it were possible for me to think LESS of these people.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Nope, never. Not ever, NEVER.ReplyCancel

  • Niki (Strawbrykiwi) - Whatever happened it was poorly handled. Hatred being shown as the proper behavior is sad no matter who is at the receiving end. It bothers me that also that the “other unmentionables” were not invited to the country club party.

    However this plays out, people need to stop promoting hate and intolerance.ReplyCancel

  • Abbie - I normally just lurk, and laugh, at all of your wonderfully funny posts.

    This story, however, makes me so sad. I had to come out of the woodwork to let you know I agree with you. How terrible for Constance and what closed mindedness from the student replying. Sad. I will NEVER raise my daughter to hate others or exclude others for any reason.ReplyCancel

  • Stephani - I’m constantly amazed at just how disgusting some people are. I can’t believe how they don’t even think they did anything wrong! Despicable.ReplyCancel

  • Joann - I will NEVER…cease to be amazed by the insensitivity and cruelty of the teens I work with. I’m a high school teacher and I see incredibly vile, rude and downright crass comments and behavior. Their attitudes and actions are just as rude, crass and inappropriate as their parents often are. I’ve been in parent meetings where my life was threatened because I alerted a parent to the fact her son was flasing large sums of money in class, which I felt was dangerous and unsafe. I have had parents pick at their meth sores while in official school meetings. I’ve been screamed at by parents that defended their cheating students. Sudents feel it is their personal right to flaunt any Board of Education rule, right in front of teachers. They curse, make provocative gestures with their body, and constantly call anything unusual or different “so gay.” And they don’t mean happy. When I point out that statistically there are at least two lesbian/homosexual persons in the room at this moment, I’m derided. Cruelty and bullying is so pervasive (and tacitly “approved” of by parents) that it’s immpossible to stop it. Targets are anyone that is different — for any reason and the more week and vulnerable the more they go for the jugular. Teens are often heroic, they do good, they are not all a stereotype. I see parents defend their nasty spawn all too often. They created these beings, and are proud of their accomplishments. I find it no wonder that some young people are litterally bullying their peers to death. It is a cold, cruel world within the walls of a high school.ReplyCancel

  • Beth - I wish I could say I was surprised by the student’s defense of the situation, but I’m not. Having taught at southern universities for the last 20 years, I encounter this kind of rationalization all the time. It’s depressing but it is real. They truly believe that the “majority” should rule, that the ACLU is bad, and that people who don’t agree with them should leave the country.

    They don’t get that it’s not long until they’re not the majority anymore. And then they’re going to have to hope that the majority is far kinder to them than they have been.

    I can promise that my children will never shame, ridicule, or bully anyone.ReplyCancel

  • Craig - Your comments have my support. I pledge that my son and unborn kid will be raised to be accepting of everyone. I want them to know that, even if they disagree with the way someone else lives, that doesn’t give them any reason or right to treat them badly. And, hopefully I can raise them to understand that they ought to refrain from judging other people all together.ReplyCancel

  • Becki - This whole situation infuriates me from start to finish. I will NEVER allow my son (or future children) to treat another human being as anything but an equal. Thank you for your efforts to publicize this!ReplyCancel

  • Angela - It just puzzles me to no end how people justify this in any form. I can’t say I’m surprised, given the area. That comment, wow, just speechlessReplyCancel

  • Justine - This is part of the reason we have chosen to homeschool our children…I often make the mistake of thinking that most people are probably “just like me”, but I fear that I find, time and time again, that they are much like the HS student who wrote that ignorant, self-serving response.

    It really does take a village to raise a child, and I am choosing to create my village with the help of similar-minded (and hearted) friends, family and community members so that we will at least know that OUR children will be messengers of the values of love, compassion, and tolerance. It is my fondest hope that they carry that message into the world and touch as many lives as possible with it.

    I vow to never passively witness hatred or ignorance without trying to advocate for mediation, communication and education…and I promise my children will be even better at it than I am since they will not have a lifetime of negative thought-patterns to overcome like I have 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Moore - I totally agree with your statement: “I will NEVER be a parent who lets my child get away with hatred toward the disabled or those of different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, races or sexual orientation.”ReplyCancel

  • tara - you’re not alone. i’m in the never camp.ReplyCancel

  • Miri Yarkony - I’m wondering if any of these students, parents, educators or administrators who did not want the lesbians and disabled kids to ruin the party are at all involved in any kind of church or place of worship. I’m fairly certain that there are many Christians in this part of the United States of America and even though Christians don’t have a monopoly on or exclusive rights to LOVE, GRACE and HUMILITY, those are the qualities that I cherish in my Christian friends. It’s really sad that you went to the trouble of having a whole other separate party just so you could exclude the ‘lepers’. You came out of this one looking pretty shallow.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - We are 100% with you. We plan to raise our son and future children to be tolerant and respectful of ALL people, no matter their situation/background. Thank you for writing this!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Couldn’t agree more – my almost-two-year-old will be raised to respect EVERYONE. Thanks for writing this.ReplyCancel

  • Sean - I totally agree with you and hope to follow that idea in our house as well. Occasionally grandparents and others will get in the way, but I would hope that my wife and I would be the main motivators in his life. Thanks for the post.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - All of it makes me so stabby. I hope Constance can look past all this hate and realize that she is better than them. Plus I bet she didn’t look like a peacock threw up a rainbow in her outfit.ReplyCancel

  • Jacklyn - I will NEVER. You are not alone 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Nicole D - “I will NEVER”

    I completely agree with you.ReplyCancel

  • Jess - You aren’t alone. “I will NEVER”. When it’s so easy to teach a child tolerance, why would I ever choose to teach intolerance? I will teach my child tolerance, acceptance, and love.ReplyCancel

  • Sitting On The Breastfeeding Fence | Baby Rabies - […] I was busy yesterday urging others to fight hate and injustice, two of my best blogosphere friends Gina (thefeministbreeder.com) and Mandy (harpershappenings.com) […]ReplyCancel

  • Amber - I too have been following this story from the beginning. My husband and I were so excited when we read that they were allowing her and her date to go to the Prom. “Finally,” we thought, “they finally came to their senses.” But this is horrible, mean-spirited and cruel. The fact that parents would condone their children to do this, and even encourage it, is mind-boggling.
    I echo your sentiments. I WILL NEVER!
    Thank you for publishing this!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - I read that yesterday. I was livid. Like, listening to Ann Coulter livid. If you get a chance though, check out the comments by moralsandethics on the thread. They are increduble eloquent, and really nail some of the major fallacies.

    Also interesting: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XSAfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qacEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6862,5131613

    It’s unfortunate that it still goes on, but it gives me hope that changes can be made.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - I will never, either. I’m 100% with you! I will teach my son tolerance.ReplyCancel

  • Bean - I completely agree. I find the whole thing sad and disgusting. Thanks for getting the word out.ReplyCancel

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