Lee County School Board Member Supports Getting Rid of Prom King and Queen: ‘Outdated and Sexist’

By Lydia Nusbaum, Florida's Voice

July 26, 2022 Updated 6:24 PM ET

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July 26, 2022 Updated 6:24 P.M. ET

FORT MYERS (FLV) – Lee County School Board Member Betsy Vaughn said prom and homecoming king and queen are “outdated” and “sexist” at a school board meeting Tuesday.

The Lee County School Board discussed the ‘Civil Rights & Equity Guide’ Tuesday, which provides guidance in case a student approached a guidance counselor about wanting to make changes to their name, gender. A parent can sign off on a gender support plan to include specific accommodations for the student including the use of a gender affirming hame.

The Civil Rights & Equity Guide said “students desiring to run for prom king or queen, when not consistent with their birth sex, must have an active gender support plan.” Vaughn commented on that portion of the guide.

“I’m picking on homecoming or prom king or queen. I find electing a king or queen to be extremely outdated and sexist,” Vaughn said. “By the time you become a young adult in high school, I would actually say that we should consider as a district, maybe some of the schools have done that, getting rid of the sexist titles such as king, queen, prince, princess.

Vaughn suggested using terms like “Royalty” instead.

“I see that there are a number of colleges that have moved away from that and there are high schools that have also,” Vaughn said. “Now, what do they do in lieu of that? Instead of using gender specific titles such as King and Queen, they use titles perhaps such as royalty or they drop and King and Queen and just have a general homecoming court.”

Vaughn said the district should look into making these changes. School district staff members said a student group had brought up making those changes to the homecoming and prom court. The staff members said they will bring it up to a group of principals Thursday for continued discussion.

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