Are these young people fighting the wrong issue? I've been lambasted by readers declaring that I support and practice heterogeneity. My turn to call the kettle black. Why is a lesbian couple trying to fit into a contest for homecoming king and queen? It' s a king and queen competition. There needs to be a king and a queen.
Did that shake some feathers up? I hope so. I'll explain my point after Hayley and her girlfriend's story.
Even though she and her girlfriend were nominated to become this year’s prom king and queen, [Haley] Lack, who enjoys overwhelming support from fellow students, has been told by school administrators that she’s ineligible, according to the Redding Record Searchlight.
The reason, administrators told the paper, is that having two members of one gender would exclude the other.
“Their argument doesn’t make sense to me,” Lack told the Searchlight. “We don’t need a female on the football team or a male cheerleader to be fair — why do we need a guy when the couple nominated is a female couple?”
Lack and her girlfriend are circulating a petition to have Foothill change its voting system, the Record Searchlight reported. As of last Tuesday afternoon, Lack told the paper, they had collected more than 100 signatures.
“Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I couldn’t be a king,” Lack told ABC affiliate KRCR.
Principal Jim Bartow told the Record Searchlight that the current system is fair and noted that he will not allow a female to be crowned king. He compared the process to other school activities that need to be equal between males and females.
“If they are a boy they are running for king, if they are a girl they are running for queen,” he said. “It’s got to be equal for both genders, and that’s what it is all about. We want it to be equal.”
“It’s not fair to the boys, you know, and it wouldn’t be fair to the girls if we allowed boys to run for queen,” Bartow told KRCR.
Messages left with the Shasta Union High School District, which oversees the Foothill campus, were not immediately returned.
But Shasta Union High School District Superintendent Jim Cloney told the Record Searchlight that prom court decisions fall under the authority of individual schools.
A statement released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and signed by Elizabeth Gill — a senior staff attorney with the organization — said the school’s policy violates the “constitutional and statutory rights of gay and lesbian students” and demanded that it be “rescinded immediately”:
Students have a recognized free expression right to bring same-sex dates to the prom, and that right extends to running for prom king and queen. As a federal court in Mississippi found more than five year ago, ‘this expression and communication of her viewpoint [bringing a same-sex date to prom] is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment.
. . . The nomination form for prom king and queen allows students to nominate couples, and it is our understanding that different-sex couples are often nominated for and elected prom king and queen. To prohibit same-sex couples from engaging in an activity regularly allowed different-sex couples is discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Sabrina Vallejo, a 16-year-old junior who is dating another teenage girl, told the Record Searchlight that if she became homecoming queen and were paired with a teenage boy, she would consider it an implicit rejection of her sexuality.
“It’s kind of hard to even want to be a part of the nominations and even want to go to dances or anything . . . feeling like I can’t be myself without being discriminated against,” Vallejo said. “Every girl wants to have that moment where they feel like a princess, you know? And it’s like I can’t really express that or have that moment like any other girl would because I found happiness with someone who isn’t a boy.”
In the end, Lack thinks she has a solution, a way to make the prom gender-neutral. Instead of a king and a queen, students would nominate “Royalty 1 and Royalty 2,” she told KRCR. – washingtonpost.com
If students were so concerned about becoming the winners of a popularity contests where the winners are defined as a male ruler and a female ruler and the administration wants to stick with tradition, then, yes, you should change that tradition. Go to the administration before it becomes and an issue and propose they change it to High Court, Junior Court, etc, or something like that. Make sure the ballots are VERY CLEAR and reflect modern times. Either accept a male and a female winner, or go with a best couple 1 and best couple 2.
And the administration should follow suit as well. I was being pretty harsh on the female students that are fighting this issue. If the administration is allowing for couples to be voted in on the approved ballots, then they need to respect the outcomes. The solution may be that there is no king and queen one year, but instead "your high court is …" Then if there is a male and female winner for second place, do you say junior court or do you allow prince and princess, duke and duchess. Or do we need to get rid of the heterogeneity altogether and never have royal male and female appointed titles anymore?
Throughout my own years in high school as a student and my 10 years of teaching high school, there have been more proms where the elected King wasn't dating the elected Queen and no one thought anything about it. It would fluctuate from who the hottest guy was and who the hottest girl was and other years the most popular couple would win, yes, a boy and a girl. There were times when a gay boy was king and a year where a lesbian was queen and they both celebrated with their respective dates. We didn't think anything of it for it was homecoming king and queen. If we only voted for couples, then you better be dating someone if you wanted to be considered for a court position. Just another way prom would suck if you were single.
If you are mad that you are not winning an archaic popularity contest having its foundation in heterogeneity, then that is fine. I was SO MAD at Katrina A in high school for getting a scholarship above me. It was a scholarship given to students of Hispanic heritage and I am from a French Canadian background. I think I am still livid to this day that I did not get that, but why in the hell should I have received that scholarship. She was deserving because of her heritage. Yes, a King is deserving of his crown because of his identifying as a male. “Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I couldn’t be a king,” Lack told ABC affiliate KRCR. Yes, it actually does mean that.
The original Washingtonpost.com article started off " In a few years, Hayley Lack, a 16-year-old in a lesbian relationship, could conceivably apply for a marriage license in her home state of California. " People fought for the right to marry their partner, so that there could be two husbands or two wives, and not a king and queen. If you are a lesbian or gay couple trying to fight to be "king and queen," you might as well be fighting to be recognized as "husband and wife." We just went through that battle. Fight to be happy couple 1 and happy couple 2 and so on. Don't fight to fit into a system that will be asking, "which one's the king and which one's the queen?"
Ugh. Sorry. I vented. I advised the Civil Rights Team, Student Council, and National Honors Society at the schools where I was employed. I know my students would have handled this situation differently.