Administrators at Willow Canyon High School in Surprise, Ariz., are refusing to consider student ballots cast for a lesbian couple to be homecoming queens, regardless of broad support the young women have recieved from the student body.
"People arguing about ... whether it's tradition or it's equality," senior Megan Sanchez told the Arizona Republic. She's among many students vocally objecting to the administration's decision to disregard votes cast for a lesbian couple to be named homecoming "queen and queen."
Dysart Unified School District officials released a statement Tuesday contending that the years-long practice of electing male and female homecoming royalty should be honored.
"The Willow Canyon High School students do not elect a couple as Homecoming Queen and King, rather individual students self-nominate or are nominated to run for Homecoming Queen or for Homecoming King," reads the statement. "One person is voted in by fellow students to represent female students at Homecoming and one male student is voted in by the students to represent the boys. Who that female and male student is, is up to the student vote."
That hasn't stopped numberous students and parents from questioning the wisdom of holding to tradition at the expense of progress, notes the Republic. Sanchez, who has been in close contact with the distraught couple, feels that the school has sent mixed messages with its decision.
"There's a ton of talk about equality and how everyone needs to have an equal opportunity," Sanchez says, suggesting that the exclusion of same-sex couples contradicts this school principle. Others have drawn attention to the fact that the school's administration appears to be dismissing the concerns voiced by its student body.
"You're our school, you're meant to support your students, not shut them down saying, 'You're only supposed to do this,'" senior Samantha Breedveld explained to theRepublic. "It's just wrong."
"They have to realize that there are going to be gays and lesbian out there," she continued. "They can't basically say, 'We don't want you. You can't do this, or we will ignore [your] existence.'"
Watch the Republic's reports below to learn more.