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05-24-06, 10:05 PM #1
Male student banned from prom for showing up in a dress
GARY, Ind. (STNG) -- The prom ticket was in hand: $85. The fuschia, slinky prom dress and strappy heels were ready.
The whole week of giddy anticipation and pampering -- more than $200 worth of a manicure, pedicure and hair set -- was set to culminate with the grand walk into the glam ball.
But when Kevin Logan, a gay student at Gary’s West Side High School, arrived last Friday at Avalon Manor in Hobart for his prom, he was banned by Principal Diane Rouse.
That ban, according to Indiana Civil Liberties Union legal director Ken Falk, violates the First Amendment. The Logan family is mulling both a complaint with the ICLU and possible litigation.
“When I tried to walk in, she asked me where am I going. She said, 'You’re not walking in here today,’ ” Logan, 18, said. “Ms. Rouse said I wasn’t allowed to have on a dress,” he said Tuesday as he and his mother, Donnetta Logan, were at West Side to seek a ticket refund.
“I already had approval to go to the prom. I do have constitutional rights. I asked her 'Why are you doing this to me? This is my prom. This is like the most important night of my life,’ ” Logan said.
Logan said while he wasn’t allowed in and left after police were called, his friends did come out to the parking lot to pose for pictures with him. “I was hurt. She took something from me I can’t get back. I have no formal pictures, no memories, nothing. You only have one prom,” the senior said.
In 1999, Falk helped an Indianapolis male teen win a court battle to wear a dress to prom. “All students have First Amendment rights of freedom of expression. Those rights can be overcome for the legitimate needs of the school. For example, you can’t protest. That runs the risk of disrupting instruction,” Falk said. “But the court found at a prom, those risks are lessened. It’s not a scholastic activity.”
Logan said he had spent years defining and exploring his sexuality. This year, he took a major step toward self-identity by dressing as a female every day this school year.
“I had a problem with her (Principal Rouse) the first day of school because I had a purse. A week before prom she told me female clothing would not be allowed,” Logan said.
Rouse directed questions to central administration. She refused to sit down for a talk with Donnetta and Kevin Logan, but told a counselor to make sure a receipt was given for the refund.
“I’m not surprised by this ignorance,” Donnetta Logan said. “I tell Kevin that in society there will be those who accept him and those who won’t.”
She and Kevin both believe Rouse might have been discriminating against his sexual orientation and cross-dressing. “I’m gay. I’m a drag queen,” Kevin said matter-of-factly.
Sylvester Rowan, assistant to Gary Schools Superintendent Mary Steele, said the decision to exclude Logan was based on “the dress code, not the student’s homosexuality. That’s his personal preference.”
Rowan said it is school policy that males can’t wear dresses. “The administration would have erred in judgment if it had allowed the male student the privilege of dressing as a female,” he said in a statement.
But West Side students reported that a girl was allowed to attend the prom in a tuxedo.
05-24-06, 11:22 PM #2
Sounds to me like the kid/family set the school up........
...and the school fell for it.
05-25-06, 08:57 AM #3
05-25-06, 10:14 AM #4Originally Posted by Reca\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
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"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
05-25-06, 11:07 AM #5Originally Posted by LawEnforcementForums
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