HALL COUNTY, Ga. - A transgender student said his Hall County high school removed him from this year's prom king ballot.
Johnson High School senior Dex Frier said he was nominated by the student body as one of six candidates for prom king.
Frier said he was later told that he could only be on the prom queen ballot.
Frier, whose birth name is Phenix, told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen that he started identifying as a male his sophomore year.
"They don't have a clear rule that says you have to be biologically male to run for prom king (or that) you have to be biologically female to run for prom queen. There is no rule that states that," Frier said.
Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield sent the following statement:
“First, this school district has never removed any student from any prom or homecoming court. Furthermore, I will not respond publicly, in any manner, to a situation that has the potential to single out any student in any way. We protect the privacy rights of our student body. On a broader note, I am not interested in being responsible for placing our school district in a 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. Prom should be a time for students to fellowship together and celebrate their local school.”
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Classmates are taking sides in dueling online petitions.
An online petition calling for Frier to remain a candidate for prom king has received more than 10,000 signatures. There's also a petition with more than a dozen signatures calling for his name to not be on the ballot.
"One of the petitions states, 'If your birth certificate does not say you're a male then you shouldn't be allowed to run for prom king,'" said Frier's friend, Lena Hand. "(The other petition) has 10,000 people more than that one. They are behind us on this."
While the statement from Schofield says the district has never removed any student from prom or homecoming court, Dex said administrators told him it's a problem.
"The fact that you're trying to convince everyone this is a problem for me to run is unbearable," he said.
The prom is Saturday.
Frier said win or lose, he's going to the dance.
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