Two gay high schoolers in Georgia say administrators won’t allow them to run together as prom kings.
Joel Lerner and Carter Hebert were both nominated by classmates to be in the Royal Court at Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek. They were two of three boys nominated, and students also nominated three girls. But their hopes of becoming the school’s first same-sex royal couple were dashed when they were told they couldn’t run together.
Administrators claimed ballots were already set up allowing students to choose a king from a list of male candidates and a queen from a list of female candidates. “Nominations have been made and the process is underway,” said a district spokesperson. “If they would like to change the process moving forward, student leaders are encouraged to present a proposal to the school’s administration and governance board.”
Lerner, who is conductor of the school band, told Fox 5 Atlanta the decision was “heartbreaking.”
Hebert, who is class president, says he and Lerner have been lucky at Chattahoochee: “We’ve never really been facing discrimination, especially in the area we’ve grown up in, [or] from the school, which has been amazing.”
They don’t believe altering the ballots this year is difficult, and have launched a Change.org petition calling for the school to change the title from Prom King and Queen to Prom Royalty.
“It would allow for two people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, to win,” the petition reads. “This not only allows the chance for a homosexual couple to possibly win, but it also ensures that the most deserving people win… If the most deserving of the nominees are two girls, they would both be allowed to win, instead of historically only allowing one to be crowned royalty.”