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(Raven, (L), and Janizia,(R)

Source: Courtesy of Jonathan B Adams, Communications Director, Lambda Legal

An Alabama High School has come under fire and accused of trying to deny a Black lesbian couple from attending their prom together.

According to CNN, the teens Janizia and Raven have been dating since last September and were planning on attending the prom with one another later this school year. Just last month, Janizia staged an epic “promposal” at Alexandria High School’s talent show. A delighted Raven nodded yes, as the audience clapped.

However, school officials may not let their prom dreams come true.

Lambda Legal, an organization that fights for the LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS, told HelloBeautiful that soon after the talent show, Janizia was given a suspension for the promposal and she now is concerned this will stop her from being able to go to the annual dance. She also believes her sexual orientation played a factor as well.

While the school’s principal Mack Holley denies that claim, Lambda Legal says the day after the talent show, Holly told the couple that the school was based on “Christian values.”

“The principal invoked ‘Christian values’ and disciplined Janizia, even though a marriage proposal made by a straight couple at a talent show in a previous year had resulted in no disciplinary action,” said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney and Students’ Rights Strategist Paul D. Castillo.

Not only that, but many people in the school knew the couple was gay and supported them.

“Janizia and Raven have been a couple since September, 2017. Most of their classmates and many teachers knew about it, and there had been no issue, In fact, when Janizia. made her ‘promposal’ to Raven at the school talent show, where Raven was performing, the students cheered.”

But Lambda isn’t done.

They sent a letter to the Calhoun County School District reminding them of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (schools cannot discriminate against students based on gender and sexual orientation). That, and they asking for the teen’s disciplinary record as a result of this incident to be wiped clean.

Not surprisingly, the school claims that they have done nothing discriminatory. In a statement they said:

“Students, parents, and the public may be assured that the Calhoun County Board of Education remains firmly committed to guaranteeing its students equal educational opportunities in all phases of school administration, including student discipline. Our investigation to date confirms that school officials have fully honored that commitment in this instance. The faculty and staff at Alexandria High School — and at all Calhoun County Schools — strive daily to provide a nurturing, fair, and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning for all students, and will continue to do so. Should any evidence come to light that suggests a departure from that standard in this or any other instance, appropriate remedial action will be promptly taken.”

In the end, Janizia just wants to be “treated like everyone else” and go to the prom with the girl that she likes.

“Since I began dating Raven, I have been looking forward to our prom night. We have been looking for the perfect dresses, and even though she is my girlfriend, I was excited to have a special way to ask her to go to the dance with me. I thought this would be a memory we would cherish forever, but I was humiliated by the way we were singled out and that I was disciplined. We just want to go to prom and be treated like everyone else.”

And lucky for her, her mother is 100-percent supportive.

“Janizia is an honor student, an athlete, and she is a lesbian. I’m proud of all of those things, and I am offended and hurt as a woman of faith that the Principal would try to use Christianity as a reason to treat my child different from any other child at school. My daughter and her girlfriend should be able to go to prom like any other student,” Jeanise Ross-Walton stressed.

The school has yet to let the couple know if they can attend the dance.

This is a developing story and we will provide updates as they become available. 

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