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← Lesbian gets $35K settlement over canceled prom

Lesbian gets $35K settlement over canceled prom - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

...plus attorney fees. ZAP

I wish this settlement would have outlined the school district's wrongdoings (as in: we hereby admit to the following...). They seem to be denying they did anything wrong. I guess that's why people settle though.

I don't understand why she's using the money to attend a community college. She received a $30,000 scholarship from tonic.com on Ellen. If I had 65 Grand, I'd go somewhere else...and get the heck out of the South.

Oh, and the title of the article irks me. It could read "Constance M. wins lawsuit" or "School settles discrimination case". Maybe I'm being too sensitive here.

Wed, 21 Jul 2010 23:52:02 UTC | #491408

Lapithes's Avatar Comment 2 by Lapithes

That's great, really great, news but: fuck, look at the comments at the source! Is that real?

Wed, 21 Jul 2010 23:54:58 UTC | #491411

Long Johns Silver's Avatar Comment 3 by Long Johns Silver

Clearly the people responsible should have been punished...but taking $35,000 away from a rural school?

Updated: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 23:59:45 UTC | #491415

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 4 by mordacious1

LJS

Having dealt with school districts (with lawyer in tow) over various issues, I can tell you that they are very resistant to change unless you threaten their funds. I hope that there are other gay/lesbian students at the school who will be brave enough to force them to stick to a non-discrimination policy. I also think that if the district is going to discriminate, it should go into financial ruin rather than continue the discrimination. I'm sure the State would have to take over running the schools if this were to happen.

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 00:13:05 UTC | #491417

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Comment 5 by Daniel Schealler

Hmm... I know that in America, the legal system is very intensively based on finances. Still - it bothers me that the ACLU let the school settle their way out of admitting wrongdoing.

@Long Johns Silver

I know it might seem mercenary to take $35k from a rural school, where the budgets are likely tight enough already. However, the problem by all accounts seems to be largely a function of the organizational culture at the school. I base that on their constant claims of not having done anything wrong. It indicates they can't see that they did anything wrong in the first place, which is the trouble.

The organization clearly isn't capable of policing itself, so there's no point in punishing the individuals. All that can be done is put some strain on the organization as a whole, to discourage similar behavior in future. If they won't be inclusive for the right reasons, at least they can learn to be inclusive for the wrong reasons.

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 00:13:55 UTC | #491418

BanJoIvie's Avatar Comment 6 by BanJoIvie

Comment 3 by Long Johns Silver

Clearly the people responsible should have been punished...but taking $35,000 away from a rural school?

The district's insurance policy will pay the damages and they had it within their power on numerous occasions to avoid this outcome. They simply flouted the judge's previous ruling and even now deny they did anything wrong. Their agreement in this case though will really hold their feet to the fire in future. Besides, from the apparent state of 'education' at Constance's former school (amply evidenced during the many stages of the unfolding of this story) I'd suspect that $35K to this district would be just sending good money after bad. Hopefully Constance will put it to better use than these clowns.

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 00:30:57 UTC | #491421

jackal's Avatar Comment 7 by jackal

I've seen comments complaining about the money before, so to preempt further complaint: 1. The school district's insurance paid the settlement 2. This is equally about punishing the school and preventing future malfeasance as it is about compensating Ms. McMillen. Not only did they discriminated against her, but the school also blamed canceling the prom on McMillen, which turned the majority of the student body against her. Considering the prevalence of anti-gay violence in the rural mid-west, that seemed extremely reckless to me. 3. The entire school district had to have conspired to hide the real prom from Ms. McMillen. They all deserve to pay.

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 01:09:37 UTC | #491437

stephenb1960's Avatar Comment 8 by stephenb1960

Comment 2 by uuaschbaer :

That's great, really great, news but: fuck, look at the comments at the source! Is that real?

I have to agree. Wading through the slime that passed as comments, my blood was alternating between boiling and freezing. Not only do people like this really exist, some of them have children and some of them have guns.

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 01:12:51 UTC | #491438

Daniel Schealler's Avatar Comment 9 by Daniel Schealler

Comment 7 by jackal :

I've seen comments complaining about the money before, so to preempt further complaint:

  • The school district's insurance paid the settlement

  • This is equally about punishing the school and preventing future malfeasance as it is about compensating Ms. McMillen. Not only did they discriminated against her, but the school also blamed canceling the prom on McMillen, which turned the majority of the student body against her. Considering the prevalence of anti-gay violence in the rural mid-west, that seemed extremely reckless to me.

  • The entire school district had to have conspired to hide the real prom from Ms. McMillen. They all deserve to pay.

  • Thanks, I didn't know about the insurance company footing the bill.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 02:10:26 UTC | #491449

    Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 10 by Carl Sai Baba

    "The School" didn't do anything. A school is a frigging building. This was done by actual people, and the people should be sued, not some abstract entity.

    The insurance company pays it? Where do you think insurance companies get their money? In case anyone is confused, insurance premiums are paid for with tax money, and we still get it in the end.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 03:07:21 UTC | #491459

    phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 11 by phasmagigas

    re the comments under the article, when just about any article appears which includes a homosexual topic the comments will quickly degenerate into a sort of cesspit of illogical thought, hate and ignorance, it is still shocking to me just how much insane hatred is thrown at gay people. the only saving grace is that those in opposition to the 'liberal biased religion of gays to bring down america' are quite plainly so ill educated and inept that only their sheer number could cause a problem.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 03:25:06 UTC | #491461

    mordacious1's Avatar Comment 12 by mordacious1

    RightWingAtheist

    I'm sure the district's premiums will go up. In my experience, this means that they will have to tighten the belt and cut back somewhere (this particular school district will probably fire the science teacher). They may get support from the community in this instance (and Constance might be the scapegoat), but if they lose a couple lawsuits people will start to ask questions. No new football uniforms this season, the money is going to fund LGBT students' education. Someone will lose his job. Sometimes change is a bitter (and expensive) pill to swallow, but it is better than no change.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 03:32:44 UTC | #491462

    mordacious1's Avatar Comment 13 by mordacious1

    phasmagigas

    Well, it's YahooNews. They tend to attract a very immature and ignorant crowd. I generally won't read the comment section under their articles (that includes YahooSports...).

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 03:50:51 UTC | #491467

    Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 14 by Oromasdes1978

    I think what bothers me the most about this incident is that the school and it's bigots will not have learned a damn thing about what it was they did wrong.

    Their mindset is as simple as it is stupid- she is a lesbian therefore she should not have gone to the prom, they do not for one moment understand the ramifications of their actions or why it was they got sued.

    I am very happy Miss McMillen won this, I am very proud of her for having the guts to stand up to bigots and make the fuss that she has, she deserved better from her school and I am so glad she went as public as she did with it. The school deserved to be sued and made accountable for what they did - this goes without saying. You cannot and should not make such a fuss over somebody's sexuality like that - the bigots had no right to do what they did and it makes me sick that people want to think that way.

    But back to my original point - what will these people who have just been sued do now about their attitude towards the LGBT kids who go to that school - I am perfectly sure they will not walk away from it analysing their actions and preparing to come to terms with their problem.

    No, quite the opposite, they will walk away from this more determined to make gay people feel utterly miserable because their faith is stronger than common sense. That is why this annoys me so much, they have not learned a damn thing about what they have done wrong - they just gave money to someone they hate without good reason.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 08:42:17 UTC | #491533

    TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 15 by TheRationalizer

    35K of tax payers' money, how nice for her.

    I'd have been happier with a disciplinary action against the people who prevented her from attending with her partner, and a precedent ruling that says it cannot happen again.

    I really dislike individuals getting large sums of money out of the public purse.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 10:01:47 UTC | #491540

    mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 16 by mjwemdee

    re: Comment 15 by TheRationalizer

    Sometimes it is quite appropriate for public money to go to individuals. What tariff would YOU have set? A nickel and a dime? Unfortunately social justice does not always come free, and I refer you to Comment #4 by mordacious.

    Good for Miss Macmillen, and good to see that her immediate impulse is to re-direct the money into her continuing education.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 11:06:34 UTC | #491544

    cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 17 by cheesedoff17

    @Mordacious.

    I disagree about the headline. Having "Lesbian wins" up there will shake up a lot of folks and make them realize that bigotry will have to be paid for.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 11:16:49 UTC | #491546

    Long Johns Silver's Avatar Comment 18 by Long Johns Silver

    If she had a serious accident, caused by incompetence, what sort of payment could she expect? If substantially higher than $35,000, that would be disturbing, because rural schools would be bankrupted whenever one of their staff screws up. Either way, it's unsettling when a single display of bigotry can cost $35,000 taxpayer money. Why not simply punish the individuals responsible?

    Ridiculously over-the-top moral exhibitionism, incidentally, is one of the forces perpetuating prejudice by adding fuel to the furnaces of nasty resentment. It might benefit people in high places when they show everyone how nice and liberal they are by awarding a lesbian $35,000, but in the long run such behaviour doesn't benefit society.

    Updated: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 11:24:15 UTC | #491547

    NH King's Avatar Comment 19 by NH King

    I don't understand why she's using the money to attend a community college. She received a $30,000 scholarship from tonic.com on Ellen. If I had 65 Grand, I'd go somewhere else...and get the heck out of the South.

    Her education so far is probably sub-par. A high school diploma from most of the Southern school districts does not even guarantee the holder knows what a verb is, or understands basic math functions. I am not bashing the South, I know this from experience having spent three years working with a community college in southern Georgia. High school in that area was a cross between football training camp and day care.

    Her choice to go to a community college is probably a good one, since community colleges tend to have programs in place to catch students up to their university peers. Unfortunately, the process of transferring to a 4 year institution is often so stressful that community college students, even the best and brightest of them, often stop at the 2 year level (the program I worked for was trying to overcome that obstacle for academically disadvantaged students). I hope she sees it through.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 11:55:37 UTC | #491555

    phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 20 by phasmagigas

    constance was due recompense in anycase as the government via the school had not given her equal protection under law and that (i think)automatically qualified her to some compensation.

    that a school board even has the audacity to act unconstitutionally like that is laughable, are they so inept as to not even realise that?...plainly so.

    Updated: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 12:54:38 UTC | #491562

    aquilacane's Avatar Comment 21 by aquilacane

    School officials contend that their agreement to follow the non-discrimination policy merely reaffirms inclusiveness rules the district already had, said school board attorney Michele Floyd. She said the district's insurance company will pay McMillen.

    So, the district already had inclusiveness rules that required them to follow a non-discrimination policy. Sort of like a motorist having driving rules that requires them to follow a non-speeding policy. Insurance wouldn't cover a speeder who crashed and burned; not sure why insurance would cover a school that just planted one in the wall.

    I would have expected the insurance company to turn around and deny the payment on grounds that they violated their own policy and are therefore not eligible for insurance.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 13:34:24 UTC | #491571

    Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 22 by Dr. Strangegod

    The insurance company pays it? Where do you think insurance companies get their money? In case anyone is confused, insurance premiums are paid for with tax money, and we still get it in the end.

    Are you trying to say that the tax money that comes out of my paycheck tomorrow will somehow go to paying off this $35,000? Because that's an insane thing to say, even for you. Let's not distort reality to make political points. mordacious1 seems to have a better handle on the reality.

    mord, et al - After realizing the detrimental effects to my overall mood, I decided some months ago to never EVER read Yahoo News comments again. I never did before. I don't know why I started. Now it's kind of addictive like the pain of a loose tooth. I just keep wiggling it. But I highly suggest that no one ever read that crap.

    so ill educated and inept that only their sheer number could cause a problem.

    That is in fact exactly the problem when you live in a democracy where every vote, even from the ill educated and inept, counts equally. I have no solution.

    Updated: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 13:43:08 UTC | #491574

    John_Geeshu's Avatar Comment 23 by John_Geeshu

    Comment 1 by mordacious1 :

    Oh, and the title of the article irks me. It could read "Constance M. wins lawsuit" or "School settles discrimination case". Maybe I'm being too sensitive here.

    The headline is excellent. The use of lesbian really shocks and grabs interest, and it is factually correct. There's nothing offensive there and if this lawsuit is about treating people equally, we should get used to the use of "lesbian" and "gay" and such like in headlines and news articles.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:07:07 UTC | #491580

    Lapin Diabolique's Avatar Comment 24 by Lapin Diabolique

    Of two things I am certain.

    This mindless hatred of homosexuals will go the same way as the practice of slavery, and the bigots will only feel comfortable voicing their vitriol inside their hovels after a few shots of Jack Daniels.

    And in 100 years the Christians will claim that it was their wonderful religion that got rid of this inane prejudice.

    Cheers to you, Constance.

    You be one brave girl.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:33:53 UTC | #491586

    btheist's Avatar Comment 25 by btheist

    That's great, really great, news but: fuck, look at the comments at the source! Is that real?

    It amazes me how so many people are so brazenly crass in the relative anonymity of the Interweb. It also clearly demonstrates the relative IQ of the average Yahoo patron.

    How anyone who believes in freedom and democracy can believe what the school district did was right, is beyond me.

    Let's celebrate the victory and ignore the detractors like we learned to ignore the annoying zuzuzelas in the World Cup. All it is, is background noise.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:11:57 UTC | #491595

    Lifegiver's Avatar Comment 26 by Lifegiver

    So does everyone else that didn't get to go to the prom also get money? They canceled it for everyone so they should give out 30k to everyone that couldn't go. I'm glad she got paid but everyone else at the school also got screwed.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:34:51 UTC | #491598

    besleybean's Avatar Comment 27 by besleybean

    Yes, it did seem a bit drastic.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:39:52 UTC | #491600

    Wuht2Ask's Avatar Comment 28 by Wuht2Ask

    Comment Removed by Author

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:49:00 UTC | #491603

    jackal's Avatar Comment 29 by jackal

    Lifegiver, as the article states, the school put on a secret prom for the rest of the students, and sent McMillen and some special ed students to a decoy prom. The student body, parents and teachers all managed to keep McMillen from knowing about the real prom. The entire community worked to bring back segregation. The saddest part is that they don't think they did anything wrong.

    Thu, 22 Jul 2010 16:28:24 UTC | #491612

    Long Johns Silver's Avatar Comment 30 by Long Johns Silver

    Comment 28 by Wuht2Ask :

    Maybe it is good that Constance will receive 35K from wherever and soon. She will need it to pay for years of psychiatric help. Being a poster child for the opposing forces of the wonderful homosexual advocacy zealots and the horrible homosexualty as deviant pathology zealots can not lead to maximal mental or physical health, can it?

    Nonsense, I'm afraid to say. The bigots should have been punished (maybe fired), but if it were that serious a problem, she presumably wouldn't have come out in the first place (let alone tried to take a lesbian date to the prob and subsequently sued the school). Celibacy until university isn't really that big a deal, you know. Lots of kids can't even get a date at all, and have much more severe problems. I'm all for equal rights, but I'm not for treating homosexuals better than you treat everyone else.

    Updated: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 18:54:29 UTC | #491669