Two high school students in north Fulton County have started an online petition, hoping to change the voting process for prom king and queen to make it possible that two people of the same gender can be elected to the court.
The petition was started by two Chattahoochee High School seniors, Joel Lerner and Carter Hebert.
The pair was nominated by fellow students to be on the “royal court” for the school’s prom, but the school said they were ineligible to be voted as “King and King” because the voting process currently allows for just one male and one female to be elected to the top honors. In the current voting process, three boys and three girls are nominated, and then students vote one of each to be king and queen.
“Chattahoochee High School is refusing to allow equal representation of people of all genders and sexualities at Prom,” Hebert wrote on Change.org.
The petition was started on Tuesday. By Thursday morning, it had garnered 807 online signatures.
A spokesperson for Fulton County Schools said that the administration at the high school met with Lerner and Hebert about changing the voting process for prom.
“The students were told that because nominations have been made and the process is underway, the school administration is not in a position to make changes at this time,” said a statement from Fulton Schools. “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.”
The meeting between administrators at Chattahoochee High School and the students went well, apparently, as Hebert amended the petition on Wednesday. He called the school an "extremely accepting place" and added that it was "understandable" as to why the administrators didn't want to change the prom voting process this year, as it close to the date.
But Hebert and Lerner still want change for the future. Instead of the school electing a king and queen, the two students want the titles to be changed to “Prom Royalty” so that the two “most deserving” people can win “regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”
“We want (to) change the focus, so that in future people in a similar situation as ours can have an equal opportunity as heterosexual couples. The same goal still stands, but with focus on the future, instead of this year's Prom,” Hebert wrote.
Last month, a same-sex couple in Mississippi started a petition after the principal of a school said a girl could not be nominated for prom king.