Russell Not Russellville

From: _alanie@bellsouth.net_


In the case of the northern Kentucky high school student who was not allowed to attend her prom because of her politically incorrect dress:

Numerous people are commenting on the case. I am all for her. But in letters to the editor and other public contact, get the location correct.

She attended Russell High School.

I have seen quotes of Russellville High School, Russellville Independent High School, Russell Springs High School. She went to — and graduated from — Russell High School. Russell is near the meeting point of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia on the Ohio River, the so-called "Kenova" area (be careful, Kenova is a real town nearby). Russell, Kentucky is just west of Ashland (KY) and perhaps its most memorable claim

[prior to Miss Duty’s case] was being the site of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway’s Raceland Shops, a freight car construction and repair facility (the C&O is now merged into the CSX Transportation Company).

I forecast a victory for Miss Duty and her legal team. Recent court cases have shown a backing off of unbridled power of school administrators by the courts. The big key is that administrators have a right — if not a duty — to use their power to prevent situations that might provoke violence. That could be the appearance of a Klan rally in a town with great passions, where school administrators asked people to "cool it" for a few days. If you have a situation where there is racial hate, the appearance of a Confederate flag is not going to be offensive to real people. It might be used as an excuse by thugs to justify violence, much like the justified Rodney King arrest (but unjustified beating) by police did in the Los Angeles area. Over 90% of those arrested there had prior police records so they were looking for an excuse.

Violence and the threat of violence was not an issue in her denial to attend a prom in the dress. It was simply an overbearing school administrator whose personal opinions overwhelmed his common sense that people have a right to express their opinion. If she had a message of hate or bigotry on her dress it might be another issue. But the only thing wrong she did was appear in a fashionable non-offensive dress reflecting her heritage that he (or they) did not like.

What’s her principal going to do when some minority student says, "White people are offensive to me and they ought to be kicked out of school." As stupid as that sounds, administrators have been laying the groundwork for that to happen by rolling over on extremely unimportant issues like a Dixie Outfitters tee-shirt or a Confederate flag embroidered on a denim shirt. For those who say the image of a Confederate flag will provoke violence, I ask, "Who runs the schools, the administrators [principal and teachers] or the thugs?"

We are going to see if the Russell Independent School District has the courage to face up to the real issue (yielding to political correctness) instead of pouncing on a high school senior in a beautiful prom dress. Her case should have never happened.

Alton Lanier
Arlington, Tennessee