School settles with Constance McMillen for $35K

Constance McMillen, the lesbian student who filed a lawsuit when her senior prom plans were thwarted, accepted a $35,000 settlement Tuesday from Itawamba County School District’s insurance carrier.

Trident Insurance, which represents the district, made the offer to her July 1 in a letter to her attorneys.

In McMillen’s settlement acceptance, Trident avoided the possibility of a much larger jury award had McMillen’s lawsuit gone to trial in U.S. District Court.

McMillen sued the district saying that it violated her free-speech rights by not allowing her to attend prom with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. She has since been in the middle of a debate that has received national attention.

“It has been really difficult,” McMillen said. “What I went through was probably the hardest thing I ever went through in my life, but it has been worth it. If I can go through this, and I can change things for future generations, then everything I went through was worth it.”

As part of the settlement, the district also will reaffirm its policy so that it does not discriminate against students based on “race, age, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender or religion,” according to court documents.

Read more: NEMS360.com – McMillen settles case over prom for 35 000
6/21/10