An integrated prom was successfully hosted in Southern Georgia despite no support from the school, which refused to endorse the event.
Students at Wilcox County High School in Southern Georgia successfully hosted an off-campus prom over the weekend- an event that was the first of its kind. Funds for the prom were raised via Facebook; the students were able to raise enough funds to rent out a hall and purchase decorations. The event went over without issue.
"This was amazing, this has been completely surreal. I am content and happy," one student told local station WGMT.
The students had previously been denied an integrated prom that was endorsed by the school. Instead, the school district refused to sponsor any prom at all, leaving it to the parents to raise funds. It was the parents who chose to keep the events segregated.
"How can we hang out in school and hang out in sports but not go to prom together? That doesn't make sense," one student said in an interview with an NBC local station.
The students managed to gain a following of over 30,000 on Facebook; DJs from Texas and Atlanta volunteered to play music at the event for free and two photographers, one from New York and one from Savannah, offered to take photos, according to The New York Times. But for some local residents, the whole ordeal has been exaggerated.
"This whole issue has been blown out of proportion," Wayne McGuinty, a local council member, told The Times. "Nobody had a problem with having two proms until it got all this publicity."
McGuinty also stated that he attended a segregated prom in the '70s and that typically, the event just reflected different styles in his case, rock music vs. country.
For the students, the integrated prom was a success.
"Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves!!!!" the seniors wrote on their Facebook page after the night was over.