Originally published on Advocate.com May 08 2004 12:00 AM ET
Officials for a central Texas high school said Friday they had suspended their policy of banning same-sex prom dates.
A civil liberties group had been asking the principal of Lago Vista High School to reconsider the policy after 16-year-old Sherrell Ingram, a student who helped organize the prom, noticed a sign detailing the rule against same-sex prom ticket purchases, just as her mother was about to buy tickets for her and a best friend. The girls have been best friends since the sixth grade. Ingram said she is not a lesbian but thinks the policy discriminates against her gay friends.
The People for the American Way Foundation said it planned to file a lawsuit if the school did not change its policy. “Sherrell and her mom are an example for all of us," said Judith Schaeffer of the group. "They saw an injustice and they took a stand. We couldn’t be more pleased for them and for the students of Lago Vista High. This is a victory for all the students and for common sense and tolerance."
Added Ingram's mother: "I'm delighted with this result. Now Sherrell can concentrate on other pressing issues, like finding a pair of shoes to match her prom dress."
In a letter sent on Friday, the lawyer for the school district wrote stated that while the district does not agree with PFAWF’s analysis of the legal issues, the district will "suspend the prom attendance guidelines for the remainder of this year until the district has an opportunity to further evaluate its role in the sponsorship of school social activities."