When parents and school administrators found out that McMillen, a lesbian, wanted to wear a tuxedo and bring her girlfriend to prom, someone went as far as to plan a decoy prom for McMillen (as well as some of the school's special needs students) while the rest of the student body gathered at a secret "real" prom.
It's hard to imagine that a school -- or parents -- would go so far, all because of two girls who want to attend prom together. Or was it the tuxedo?
Itawamba Agricultural High School has banned a few items from its dress code, including trench coats. But we didn't see anything about tuxedos being inappropriate at proms. Nor did we see anything about students not being free to bring the date of their choice to prom.
The school's own website states, "It is believed by the school that parents/legal guardians should recognize that the main purpose of public education is to provide an education for students that will allow them to become useful citizens in a global society." Surely those parents must realize that our global society includes people of other sexual orientations.
Regardless of whether the school and its community have realized any wrongdoing, millions of outraged Americans have come to McMillen's defense, including Lance Bass (a Mississippi native), Green Day, the American Humanist Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Cat Cora.
Thanks to donations from many of those people and groups, as well as people like you, a new prom will take place in Tupelo, Mississippi on May 8, 2010.
They're calling it a "Second Chance" prom, and all of the students at Itawamba are invited. "It was important to us that the students at IAHS receive an invitation to our prom. All students are welcomed," says Matthew Sheffield, Communications Director of the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition.
And as for that tuxedo... no one in the fashion circuit seems to think it's a faux pas. Anya Sarre, head stylist for "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" suggests, "a modern, fashion-forward version of a tuxedo" for McMillen to wear on the big night. Sarre points out that Zac Posen for Target makes a stylish tuxedo jacket, and recommends McMillen pair the black and white look with "some fun spring-colored shoes like turquoise or hot pink." After all, gay, straight, male, or female, everyone at prom wants to look great and have a night to remember.
With musical guest Hey Champ, celebrity DJ Quest Love, and additional star appearances promised, it's likely to be the biggest party Itawamba high school kids have ever seen. Not to mention that the night is all about second chances. So the question remains -- will any of McMillen's classmates attend?
More prom stories:
Teen makes prom dress out of gum wrappers
New prom dresses are showing a lot of skin
Celebrity prom photos