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Case 1:10-cv-00061-GHD-JAD

Document 22

Filed 03/19/2010

Page 4 of 10

successfully establishes all four Canal Authority prongs, the decision of whether or not to grant or

deny a preliminary injunction remains discretionary with the court. Hull v. Quitman County Bd. Of

Educ., 1 F. 3d 1450, 1453 (5th Cir. 1993)(citing Roho, Inc. v. Marquis, 902 F. 2d 356, 358 (5th Cir.


Present Controversy

The present controversy involves attendance at a school prom by a female student who wants

to attend the prom with her female date dressed in male attire. The two students are admittedly gay

and wish to challenge the Itawamba Agricultural High School’s (IAHS) rule that does not allow

same sex couples to attend the prom as dates. That rule has been in effect for over twenty years and

was originally intended to serve as a means of minimizing consumption of alcohol at school social

events and functions by preventing male students from bringing to such school social functions

other male students who did not attend the school and thereby turn the event into a party. In the case

at bar, when the students were denied permission to attend, the matter became publicized nationally

and became a controversial, disruptive and divisive issue in the school and the community. The

matter was placed in the lap of the lay board, with advice from its attorneys, to determine how to

handle this controversy.

With each passing day, the matter has become more divisive and more disruptive in the

school and the community. The matter became so divisive and disruptive to the efficient operation

of the school that the Board of Education decided not to delay further discussion of withdrawing

District sponsorship of the event. To the extent that Plaintiff claims her First Amendment rights

have been violated by the Board of Education’s decision, a school may regulate speech where school

officials can “reasonably ... forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school

activities.” Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503, 514 (1969);

cf. Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260, 266 (1988).


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