Reprinted from

YADKINVILLE, N.C. — A Yadkin County school official said Tuesday night that he believes a gay couple should be allowed to attend their senior prom.

Chase Wall and Jordan Beam are being allowed to attend Starmount High School's senior prom.
Chase Wall and Jordan Beam are being allowed to attend Starmount High School's senior prom.

“This has been a really hot topic. I’ve gotten more phone calls on this than anything else since I’ve been on the board,” Larry Vestal said. “But to me, this was kinda a ‘no brainer.’ I know people are upset, but they just need to get over it . . . I feel like the board made the right decision.”

Vestal’s comments come on the heels of the school board’s recent decision to allow Chase Wall, a Starmount High School student, and his boyfriend, Jordan Beam, to attend the May 1 prom. At first, the school’s principal, Danyelle Parker, told Wall that he couldn’t bring Beam to the prom.

Beam’s mother, Lisa Nixon, was intent on her son and Wall attending the prom and told Parker she planned to contact the American Civil Liberties Union and the media. School Superintendent James Bentled consulted with the board’s attorney and was told that the school system must comply with its non-discriminatory policy.

Vestal said that Bentley made the right decision even though he said it might not be a popular one, especially in a small, rural county of 38,000 residents that is steeped in traditional conservative values. Many of Vestal’s constituents believe that homosexuality is a sin and that the school board should not endorse gay rights.

Vestal said officials can’t discriminate against a student or faculty because of their sexual orientation.

“We met with our attorney and he gave us good advice and I’m glad we are following that,” Vestal said. “We were told that we had to stick by our non-discrimination policy and that meant allowing him (Wall) to bring his friend to the prom.”

Vestal, who was elected to the board two years ago, said that he and other board members have fielded several angry phone calls from county residents. One caller, Vestal said, said she wouldn’t support Vestal in the next election.

Vestal recalled a similar situation when he was a student at Jonesville High School more than 40 years ago. One of his students, who was gay, didn’t attend the school’s prom, fearing retribution from his classmates.

“We’ve had gay students before,” Vestal said. “In that case, the student just chose not to go to the prom and I think that was a shame. That is something a person only gets to do once or twice in their life.”

Vestal said he wished all of the board’s decisions generated the same kind of passion and interest from the community.

“It’s a shame an issue like this gets more attention than the actual education of a student,” he said.

This article was originally published at on April 21, 2010 and was written by editor Andy Matthews, This article is reprinted with permission.

7 replies on “Official supports policy to allow gay couple to attend senior prom”

  1. Great coverage. There are a few good people in Yadkin County! If everyone would acknowledge past wrongs and work to make amends today.

  2. Great Job Handling this situation Mr.Vestal! Its amazing to me how people are so concerned with these kids going to prom. There parents pay tax dollars just like any other kid that attends yadkin county public schools and its there right to go to prom with whoever they want!

  3. How sad the heterosexuals must be.

    They don’t get to abuse their gay child this time.

    Oh well, maybe next time, haters.

    Morality indeed.

  4. I think that we should absolutely not allow this to happen in our school systems. We can’t pray and christian students rights are limited. This was only allowed because of Obama is his gay agenda. Homosexuality is wrong. Common Sense… the parts dont fit. Even someone without religious beliefs can see that is unnatural. I personally do not want my child exposed to such foolishness and with this call by the board will be pulling my children out of the yadkin county school system. I do not regret any of my comments and firmly stand by the fact that homosexuality is absolutely an abomination.

  5. Alice, you have some serious issues. This has nothing to do with Obama’s gay agenda there have been gay people in this country and around the world long before Obama ever became President.

    This has been allowed because to deny them this right violates their Constitutionally protected rights, not to mention human and civil rights. Both of these boys have the same rights as you and your children. If you can’t see that, then maybe someone needs to take some of your rights away and lets see if you complain then.

    As for prayer in school, they can still pray all they want…but silently so that other students with different belief’s don’t have to be forced to listen to the prayers of one religion or not pray at all…that is their choice.

    As for these two gay boys that you find so intimidating, pulling your children out of Yadkin schools because of this is idiotic, are you also going to pull them out of real life so you can be assure that they are never exposed to anyone gay..because that is what you are going to have to do.

    What if one of your children comes to you and tells you they are gay, are you going to stop loving them, are you going to abuse them, discriminate against them, treat them like 2nd class citizen’s who aren’t entitled to the same rights as everyone else? The answers to those questions will tell you what kind of parent, you really are!! UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!

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