Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal won't be endorsing one high school's effort to have its first integrated prom -- at least for the time being, his spokesman said.
In an email to WMAZ-TV, Deal's representative Brian Robinson said the governor would not respond to a progressive nonprofit group's calls to support students' efforts to organize the first integrated prom at Wilcox County High School.
"This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic Party and we're not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt," Robinson wrote, according to WMAZ-TV.
Yet three Republican state representatives have joined four Democrats in endorsing the integrated prom, according to Better Georgia, the group that called for Deal to also support the idea.
Wilcox County High School, located in Rochelle, Ga., is planning to have its first integrated prom this year, thanks to the efforts of a small group of students who organized and fundraised for the event. The Georgia NAACP helped the students' effort by lobbying the Wilcox County School Board to end the practice of segregated proms.
In the past, students have attended racially segregated proms. The dances were funded by the county's families, not by the school.
Still, efforts to organize a prom where students of any race could attend were met with hostility.
"I put up posters for the integrated prom and we've had people ripping them down at the school," Keela Bloodworth, one of the students who led the effort to host the integrated event, told WSAV.
The school's principal, Chad Davis, said that school officials will consider having an official prom in 2014, according to a statement on the school's website.