Students at a Wilcox County high school confess that they are totally embarrassed that in the year 2013, their school is still holding segregated proms and homecoming dances.
“You have some people who still have a past state of mind,” one student told 41 NBC.
“It embarrasses me to say that I’m a part of a county that does this,” adds another.
How is this still happening, you ask? Well, according to 41 NBC, when the Wilcox County high school integrated thirty years ago, the school stopped sponsoring the annual prom event and parent committees took over, hosting two separate proms, with one being for Black students and the other for White. The practice still continues to this day.
“If you’re an African-American and you show up to the White prom, you’ll problem be asked to leave,” said Ethan Roundtree, a student with hopes of bringing an end to the school’s outdated way of doing things.
Roundtree isn’t alone in his efforts. He has a crew of students behind him and together they’ve been raising money to host the school’s first ever integrated prom.
“We live in rural south Georgia, where not too many things change. Well, as a group of adamant high school seniors, we want to make a difference in our community. For the first time in the history of our county, we plan to have an integrated prom,” she the mission statement on the group’s Facebook page.
“In some way, it will shape the history of Wilcox County and what will happen next,” says Roundtree.
Through spring break fundraising efforts, the student group was able to raise more than $1,000 on their own, though they admit that it was a tough sell, as some were not in favor of an integrated prom.
“When we put our flyers up, they got torn down,” revealed student organizer Mariesha Rucker.
Wilcox County School Superintendent Steve Smith reveals that he is well aware of the segregated dances and that parent organizations are well within their rights in hosting them. According to Gawker, the school agreed to have only one homecoming king and queen this year, as opposed to two. This would’ve been a major step for the learning institution, but considering that the White king and the Black queen weren’t allowed to pose for the yearbook photo together, I think most would agree that the district took one step forward, only to take two steps back. Student fundraising efforts, however, have not been in vain. The students will host their first ever integrated prom later this month.