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A transgender student in Georgia who was nominated for prom king has been told by the school’s administration that he must run for prom queen or not at all.
When the prom king and queen candidates were announced over the PA system at Johnson High School in Gainesville earlier this month, Dex Frier, 17, said he was excited. “The announcement came on [and] I was one of six prom king candidates, which is insane. I was one among some of the most popular kids at school,” Frier told BuzzFeed News.
Unfortunately, the celebration for Frier was cut short when he was called into the principal’s office for a meeting with him and a school supervisor last Friday. “They called me there to tell me I couldn’t run for prom king ’cause I wasn’t legally male and that was the way it was in Hall County [school district],” said Frier. He was told he would only be allowed to run for prom queen. Frier also said that the principal told him he was given the directive to not allow Frier to be prom king by the district superintendent, Will Schofield.
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Schofield said, “I am not interested in being responsible for placing our school district, by acts of commission or omission, in the middle of a national social, societal and legal issue which would have the potential to substantially disrupt us from our core mission of providing an education for the boys and girls in our community.”
The problem with this view, of course, is that not allowing a trans boy to run for prom king makes the school a hostile environment for trans students, which absolutely disrupts the “core mission of providing education.”
One of Frier’s friends, Fiona Sandi, emailed Schofield, asking him to consider the negative effects his decision could have on trans students, and pointing out that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a “gender-affirming approach” with trans kids. A Change.org petition has also been started for Frier, which over 13,000 people have signed.
“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this,” Frier said to BuzzFeed News. “It hurts being told you don’t deserve the same rights as someone else because you’re not the same as them.”
H/T BuzzFeed News
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree