The Advocate writes,
McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back - she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn't much to keep an eye on.
Making matters worse, McMillen's school may have ostracized disabled kids at the fake prom as well. The Advocate also says:
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]."
McMillen continues to sound preternaturally wise and clear-headed, in a situation that would test anyone's faith in humanity. And if the allegations of a real prom held somewhere else are true, her classmates sound unworthy to go to school with her. Of the rumors of an alternate prom for the straight and able-bodied students at Itawamba Agricultural High, Gawker initially wrote, "this could all be untrue scuttlebutt, but we find it hard to believe that all those kids really wouldn't go to their big dance just because one girl and her date were there, unless they had another place to party that same night." And indeed, Facebook photos soon revealed that other kids from McMillen's school were at some prom Friday night, and there were more than seven people in attendance.
According to the blog of a Mississippi lawyer, the teens may have had help planning their fake-out. Tom Freeland writes that after the cancellation of the school's prom, parents set up an alternate — but they didn't want McMillen to attend. So they pretended to cancel their prom, but really moved it to a secret location. Even worse, Freeland writes, "there's a rumor that school officials were directly involved in setting up the 'fake' prom." It's not clear if this is true, or what, if any, involvement adults had in sending McMillen to a decoy prom, but it seems unlikely that a group of teenagers could have both organized and funded a last-minute secret prom on their own.
The fact that anyone was willing to go to such lengths to exclude and belittle a teenager is pretty terrifying — it seems that denying McMillen the right to dance with everyone else was worth quite a lot of money and hassle to the people of Itawamba County School District. And unless there's some other explanation for the sparse attendance at McMillen's prom, and the grinning Facebook photos at the other one, McMillen's school must suffer from a deeply toxic atmosphere. McMillen actually seems relatively undaunted by her continued persecution, but the students who excluded her will have to live with the memory that they brutally tricked a classmate simply because of the gender of her date. They'll grow up believing that any deviation from a heterosexual (and able-bodied) standard is cause for elaborate ostracism. I don't envy them.
McMillen: I Was Sent To Fake Prom [Advocate]
Where's Constance? Photos From A Private Prom [La Figa]
Did A Mississippi School Stage A Fake Prom For A Lesbian And Her Date? [Gawker]
What Happened At Constance McMillen's Prom [NMissCommentor]