Some students at the Georgia high
school that OK'd 18-year-old Derrick Martin's request to bring his
boyfriend to the prom say they'll organize an alternate prom, local
ABC affiliate WGXA reported.
Bleckley County High School officials
approved Martin's January request to bring Richard Goodman, also 18,
to the prom dance last week. The school requires approval in advance
for bringing a prom date that is not a student enrolled in the
WGXA is reporting that several students
have decided they'll avoid the school's official April 17 prom in
favor of an alternate dance.
“It's not just his prom, it's my prom
too and everybody else's at the school,” Amber Duskin said.
“I'm going to speak out,” Amber's
father, Bobby Duskin, said. “Because I'm a father, and I'm proud
to be a father and I'm going to look out for my kids no matter what
and I'm going to stand up for them no matter what.”
An unidentified female suggested that
Martin's presence would somehow defile the annual dance.
“You sit here and you tell me that if
somebody walked up to you and you've already paid all your money to
go to a prom that you've waited 11 years to go to and it's a sacred
event and somebody walks in and says 'Oh, I'm gay, I'm going to do a
walk through with another guy.'”
An article on the gay news site San
Diego Gay & Lesbian News called the WGXA report “slanted”
in favor of the “concerned citizens.” Reporter Kimberley
Newman begins the piece with: “A gay high school student in
Bleckley County is defying the community's wishes and bringing his
boyfriend to the prom.” ABC
16 is a digital subchannel of the Macon-based Fox affiliate (Fox
24) owned by Frontier Radio Management.
The school's decision to allow Martin
to bring his boyfriend to the prom and the ensuing media attention
resulted in Martin's ouster from his house. He is reportedly staying
with a friend.
Support for the teen has swelled since
the story broke. The Facebook page “We
support Derrick Martin taking his boyfriend to the prom” has
attracted more than 5,000 fans. And offers ranging from renting
Martin and his boyfriend a limo to buying the pair dinner on prom
night have also flooded in.
Martin's story comes on the heels of a
Fulton, Mississippi high school decision to cancel its annual prom
dance rather than allow an openly lesbian student to bring her
With the help of the ACLU, 18-year-old
Constance McMillen is suing the school board. But while a federal
judge has sided with the teen, he
has also refused to force the school to hold its annual prom.
The case is expected to go to trial.
Bleckley County High School principal
Michelle Masters said there is no school policy that prohibits a
student from bringing a same-sex date to the annual dance but added
that its decision should not be viewed as an “endorsement of any
particular practice or lifestyle.”