Sikeston reverses stance on gay student Stacy Dawson bringing boyfriend to prom

SIKESTON, Mo. - School officials in southeastern Missouri said they will change the policy that would restrict a male student from taking his boyfriend to the prom.

Senior Stacy Dawson was upset administrators in Sikeston told him he could not bring his boyfriend to the event, in accordance with the student handbook.

Dawson teamed up with a civil rights group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center told the district to change the policy or face a lawsuit.

"I want to say I'm incredibly happy," Dawson said, "that I can look forward to going to prom with the person that I really want to go to prom with, my boyfriend"

SPLC staff attorney Alesdair Ittelson said it's important that rural areas recognize students like Stacy deserve the same rights as their heterosexual peers.

"I hope it sends a message to other school districts that kids like Stacy are an important member of the community and that they deserve the same rights," Ittelson said.

The group's attorney says he will need to see the change in writing before they can acknowledge it. He wants to make sure the rule will not be in any future school handbooks.