A 16-year-old student at Foothill High School in Palo Cedro, California, is speaking out about a situation that she claims is “blatant discrimination.” Hayley Lack says that she and her girlfriend were nominated as candidates for prom royalty as a couple. The pair were nominated alongside two other heterosexual couples but was informed by school officials that their nomination would not be accepted as it would no be “fair to the boys.”
Cosmopolitan reports that 16-year-old Hayley Lack is outraged over her school’s decision to remove her name from the prom royalty running, along with her girlfriend, because of their sexual orientation. Lack says that she and her girlfriend were nominated as a couple for the title of prom queen and king. However, when the nominations were received, school officials decided that two girls could not be nominated for the title as it would not be fair for the boys at the school.
Lack says that it is “blatant discrimination” by the school officials. The student says that allowing anyone to be nominated for prom royalty, regardless of gender, is the only fair way to run the nominations as that would give everyone in the school equal opportunity to win the title.
“The students and myself believe that there was equal opportunity for both males and females because every senior had the ability to be nominated. We are asking for anyone, regardless of gender, to be able to win king or queen. With that, they would have equal opportunity.”
As a result of the ruling by Foothill High School staff, Lack started a “Petition for Equality for Same Sex Couples at Foothill High School” and began passing it around the school. The petition has made its way to Foothill High School as well as two other schools in the same district. The students from the rival schools say that though they are sports rivals, they can come together to support equality and say they have seen nothing but supportive of the couple.
“Even though Foothill is one of our rival schools, we can all come together to support what the students believe is right. In this case, it’s the right for the students to be able to vote for whoever they want their prom king and queen to be no matter the gender. Even though we’re young, it doesn’t mean we don’t know what we’re doing.”
if you’re interested in signing a petition to not let “tradition” dictate prom royalty at foothill, ask @megancowee pic.twitter.com/bRDuJL4R9B
— River Taylor (@rivertaylor) April 28, 2016
According to an interview in Mic, Lack says that couples have “always been nominated” for the king and queen title together and that it only became a problem when the school saw that a lesbian couple was nominated. However, school officials responded to the complaint noting that the couple must be a boy and a girl. Principal Jim Bartow says that if two girls won the nomination it would be unfair as there would be “unfair to the boy gender.”
“They [the girls] are both able to run separately, but we don’t nominate as couples. It’s not fair to the boy gender.”
Bartow goes on to say that the king and queen title have always been nominated based on gender and not relationship status, noting that if they only allowed couples it would discriminate against those without a partner. Instead, he says that any girl and any boy can be nominated together for the gender-specific titles of king and queen. Bartow says that the girls likely feel discriminated against because they “see themselves as a king and queen” but says there is nothing he can do about that.
Bartow makes it clear that he is not “against their [the lesbian couple] relationship,” but is simply trying to be fair to all genders in the king and queen selection process. He says that Lack and her girlfriend can be nominated as queens individually but would be paired up with a king of the male gender.
What do you think about the school’s decision to not allow the lesbian couple to be nominated together as a pair for prom royalty? Is the school discriminating against the girls?
[Image via Youtube]