Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Segregate Proms in Georgia

An Ed Week article here describes a town in Georgia that holds segregated proms, under the excuse that the proms are planned by the students themselves, and are not school functions.  The news story is that some students have decided to hold their own integrated prom. 

Whew!  This is so shocking.  It sounds like racism is still deeply embedded in this community, and the proms are just one manifestation.   I have a two comments and a question:

The school must sponsor a prom.  This will, of course, be open to all students who are allowed to attend school functions—which should be all students, unless they are bared from school events for disciplinary reasons. 

If students want to have private “proms” in their houses, fine.  But any dance held in a public place—a place that offers services to the general public—must not discriminate on the basis of race or any other protected category, as per the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 

Where has every adult in this town been for the last fifty years?  It doesn’t matter at all that the students themselves planned these segregated events.  They were planning these events and selling tickets in the schools, and holding them in places of public accommodation.  And the whole school administration, the PTA, law enforcement, and the rest of the town simply looked the other way?

Words fail.

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