CNN:Georgia High School Students Organize First Integrated Prom
A group of friends say they can do everything together, except attend the same prom. (Source: WGXA/CNN)
MACON, GA (WGXA/CNN/WALB) – Students at Wilcox County High School in south Georgia share classrooms and sports fields, but they don’t share the same dances. Some students are aiming to change that.
“We’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing, yeah it’s kind of embarrassing,” said a group of students who want to change the policy.
The group – Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace and Keela Bloodworth – said they do everything together, except prom night.
“We are all friends, that’s just kind of not right that we can’t go to prom together,” Sinnot said.
In a world full of color, Wilcox County High School still sees things in black and white. White and black students have different prom and homecoming dances.
“There’s a white prom and then we have our integrated prom,” said Bloodworth.
If any race other than Caucasian tries to attend the white prom, Bloodworth said they “would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises.”
That was the case just last year as a biracial student was turned away by police.
It’s been that way for as long as anyone can remember, and it doesn’t stop at prom – homecoming is also segregated.
While still having two separate dances, the school decided to elect only one pair for king and queen for the first time this school year, and one of the integrated prom organizing students, Wallace, won.
“I felt like there had to be a change because for me to be a black person and the king to be a white person, I felt like, you know why can’t we come together,” Wallace asked.
But nothing changed. Wallace wasn’t invited to the white homecoming. In fact, the king and queen took separate pictures for the school yearbook.
“When people around here are set in their ways, they are not too adamant to change,” Rucker said.
Wilcox County High School does not have an official, school-sponsored prom, or even a stance on the issue. This means that the private proms sponsored by students, and their parents, are legal.
So the girls are taking matters into their own hands.
“If we don’t change it, nobody else will,” Bloodworth said.
They’re organizing a prom for everyone to attend, but everyone is not fond of the idea.
“I actually put up posters for the integrated prom and we’ve had people ripping them down at the school,” Bloodworth said.
The group will continue to fight for progress, even though there doesn’t seem to be much motivation to change.
The senior class is raising money to pay for the integrated prom, without the help of school officials. It will be held April 27.
The students said the school offered a resolution to permit an integrated prom for all students to attend, but not stop the segregated, private dances.
Copyright 2013 WGXA via CNN. All rights reserved. WALB contributed to this report.
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