Started by a person named "Will," a petition is circulating, created on signon.org to allow same-sex couples at proms and semi-formals at Saint John's High School in Shrewsbury.
The petition reads that "Saint John's is an all-male high school in Worcester County, Massachusetts. They do not allow same-sex couples to attend semi-formals or proms. As an Alumni of Saint John's I would like this policy changed. I want all my fellow Pioneers to have an equal access to all of the experiences Saint John's offers."
Will states that it is the second petition of this nature, and that the first was taken down.
According to Mike Wentworth who contacted Shrewsbury Patch, a petition was originally started by a gay male student at the school, but the original petition was removed. Wentworth attends Shrewsbury High School, but hopes to bring awareness to the issue.
"I think it's terrible that people still think that it's okay to treat gays like second class citizens," said Wentworth. It's 2013; we should have moved past that a long time ago."
The St. John's handbook, which can be found on the school's website, does not address same sex couples at dances. Its "school dances" section states, "Saint John’s High School dances are restricted to Saint John’s students. Female students from area high schools are welcome. Students are to dance appropriately at all times. Those students or guests, who in the eyes of the administration, are dancing inappropriately or who are dressed inappropriately, will be removed from the dance. The parents of Saint John’s students who are removed will be notified. Attendance at school dances is a privilege which may be forfeited by inappropriate behavior."
With a goal of 750, the signatures have hit 654.
Matthew Leyton from Leyton wrote, "This should not even be an issue. LET THEM GO."
John Harris, a resident of Leicester who signed the petition, wrote, "This school is so backwards and broken. I know it would hurt their 'image,' but wouldn't it be great if the school treated all their students the same way, whatever sexual orientation they are. The fact I have to sign a petition for this is sickening."
Signatures include those from Northborough, Shrewsbury, Hopkinton, Marlborough and Grafton, but also from across the country, including San Francisco and Portland, OR. Some from other countries, such as Sweden, Denmark, Canada and England, have also signed the petition.
Danielle from Salem, MA, wrote, "Shame on the school. It was rules in 2003 that same sex marriage is unconstitutional. In 2004 the first homosexual marriage in the US took place in Boston. Now in 2013, ten years later, same sex couples are not allowed to attend prom? It's their right to do so."
Editor's note: Shrewsbury Patch reached out to Saint John's for comment, but at this time had not received a response. It should also be noted, however, that it is school vacation week. This story will be updated with any additional information and responses we receive.