Student President Loses Title After Gay-Inclusive Prom Pitch
BY Michelle Garcia
March 22 2012 8:39 PM ET
A Georgia high school student government president is suing his school after faculty members fired him from his position after he tried to make his prom more LGBT-inclusive.
Reuben Lack pitched an idea to the Alpharetta High School student council that would change the titles of "Prom King" and "Prom Queen" to "Prom Court" so that same-sex couples could be honored by their fellow students. According to Courthouse News Service, students debated the proposal, but before the council could come to a full vote, the issue was pulled by faculty adviser Michelle Werre.
Two weeks later, Lack made another attempt to introduce a resolution to change the titles, but Werre again told students to stop debating the issue.
After school, another student had an email conversation with Lack, claiming that he spoke with principal Shannon Kersey, who also shot down a "proposal made by Lack to organize a conference for leaders of various student organizations at AHS," according to the lawsuit.
Days later, Werre and another faculty adviser, Emily Reiser, told Lack that he was being removed immediately as student body president "for 'pushing personal projects' and advocating for 'policy changes.'" Lack was also told that he was being removed for attacking principal Kersey in an email exchange with another student, and various other infractions.
Lack, a student with a 3.7 GPA, according to a local NBC News affiliate, is now suing the school district, Reiser, Werre, and Kersey in federal court to be reinstated as student body president as well as for punitive damages.
A spokeswoman for the school district said that Lack was let go from his position because of his "inadequate performance as a student body president." However, according to the lawsuit, Lack has moderated a public mayoral debate, acted as a student ambassador for the Fulton County Commission, had bike racks installed at his school, and wrote the first set of bylaws for the student council. While also acting as president of the debate team, Lack received an Incredible Dedication Award from the county Board of Commissioners.