I’m always a little nervous when I think back on High School, because I was really unhappy then and sick a lot. I was certainly the kind of kid who would have been sent to a fake prom. I mean if I had gone to the prom, and if my classmates had ever dreamed of doing such a thing. Oh, and if in my Catholic school anyone would have ever dared bring a same-sex date.
Water under the bridge…
Today I wrote to Constance’s principal about the whole mess;
My letter’s below:
Dear Ms. McNeece,
I’m deeply saddened by the events that took place during your school’s recent prom(s). It is always difficult to acknowledge what extreme capacity for cruelty we, as human beings, have. It reminds me how much work we all still have to do.
The events of last weekend can not be altered. Most of your high school’s senior class–with the support of their parents–willfully shunned a small minority of students by their duplicitous act. What they did was perhaps within their legal rights, but clearly it was morally wrong. And not the kind of behavior that should be tolerated.
I am not writing asking you to punish or expel these students–I realize you can not expel an entire graduating class. I am writing in hopes that you will truly seize this moment to educate your students and your community. Perhaps you and your staff will find a gift in this horrific event. You have been given an opportunity to create change. A chance to engage in dialogue. You have this time now to talk to your students. Discover what fears they hold so deeply within themselves that would cause them to act with such disregard toward these few ostracized classmates. Explain to them that it is the acceptance of our differences–not the rejection– that makes us, as a society, flourish.
Right now great leadership is called for. I believe if you take charge and act you will transform this moment.
I have spent the last several years writing a novel about marriage equality called, “The Marrying Kind.” It will be published later this summer. The story is sweet and funny but also challenges us all to stand up against injustice. If you would find it helpful for me to plan a trip to come and talk to your students and staff about equality, I’d be honored to assist you.
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