JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - While Fulton County Schools claims a gay couple cannot be elected prom King and King because of ballot issues, two high school seniors tell FOX 5 the voting process feels unfair to them.
Joel Lerner and Carter Hebert, the high school band conductor and the high school class president, were both nominated by students at Chattahoochee High to be on the Royal Court for prom. The graduating seniors were told they were ineligible this year to be voted to the top royal titles as a couple.
"I was really happy at first-- wow, we have the opportunity to be this year's high school king and king," Lerner tells FOX 5. "It was heartbreaking," he said.
"We've been lucky because we've never really been facing discrimination, especially in the area we've grown up in, and from the school, which has been amazing. But when it came to this, we were hoping they would do what they normally did and gave us equality and let us run together," said Hebert, who calls the school leadership and teachers generally supportive of LGBT students.
A statement from Fulton County Schools explains the reasoning:
"The Chattahoochee High School administration has met with students requesting to change the process for selecting prom king and queen.
"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. 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 students tell FOX 5, they have heard the school's reasoning but still disagree.
"From our point of view, it would be so easy to change," Lerner said.
The students have started a petition on change.org garnering hundreds of signatures for changes to prom policies, this year and in years to come.
"What we've had to go through, we don't want anyone else to feel the same way," Hebert said.
The students plan to possibly bring the petition before the school board and other administration leaders, and work with them over the summer to possibly implement changes for future proms.