School Gets First Integrated Prom But It's No Thanks to Racist Adults

promIt's been 2013 for four months now in most parts of the United States. In the Georgia town where students are launching the first ever "integrated prom," they're just now hitting the 1960s. Maybe by the time the prom actually happens (if it actually happens), they might be somewhere near this decade.

That is ... if the school will finally cancel the "white prom" that bars kids of other races from attending.

Yes, this is what the kids at Wilcox County High School in south Georgia are up against. Can I just say I'm so glad teens are generally willful and rebellious?


Their integrated prom has gotten the OK from the school, but the school officials won't help them fundraise to get it off the ground, and apparently the school still won't put an end to segregated dances.

It's the teens and teens alone who are doing this.

I wish I could run to Georgia and give every single one of them a giant hug and tell them how awesome they are. Because they are pretty darn incredible kids.

We love to complain that kids don't think things through and kids won't just sit down, shut up, and go with the flow. But let's face it: in one town in Georgia it's taking a bunch of teenagers to acknowledge that an accepted tradition is a bunch of racist BS that needs to go.

I hate to say it, but as an adult, I can admit I have lost some of my rebellious streak. The girl who skipped a National Honor Society meeting to shave her head senior year is gone, replaced by a woman who thinks more about what to make for dinner than how to change the world.

I'd like to think I would still act when I see injustice, but I wonder if some of the adults who have let the white proms continue for years are less evil than they are complacent. They don't have the energy to expend to change things.

It's not an excuse. But it's an explanation.

Too often, we adults are willing to let things slide because we just don't have the time to do something about them. Fortunately, kids have the time and the energy, and we if we raise them right, they will use them wisely.

Next time you want to shake your fist at a group of high schoolers who are refusing to follow the crowd, think about that. These are the world changers. These are the kids who refuse to be complacent.

They will bring us into the next decade and beyond ... and raise the next generation of teenagers. And by then, let's hope racism isn't something they are still battling. 

What do you think of the battle going on in Georgia right now? What would you say to these teens if you could?



Image via jkjen/Flickr

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