Two girls voted king and queen on Ohio high school prom court stirs controversy

Parents have voiced their concerns after the first openly gay couple was voted prom king and queen at an Ohio high school.


Parents gave heated statements at an Ohio school board meeting, voicing their concerns about teachings some say are racist — and also about this year's prom court.


One of the issues at the center of the debate: A new prom court with two girls as king and queen.

Annie Wise was voted prom king and Riley Loudermilk was voted prom queen at Kings High School.

"I admire this generation for their thirst of knowledge and understanding, their strength to stand up for what they believe in," said one parent.

Another unidentified parent at the board meeting disagreed. "Sorry, but I believe that there are still two genders, a male and a female."

These were two of the many opinions voiced at Tuesday night's board meeting. They underline a community on the precipice of change: some for it, others against it.

"It made me mad that adults were commenting on a high school dance," said Traci Loudermilk, whose daughter was voted prom queen.

School officials said the decision was made by the student body.

"This is solely a Kings High School senior class nominated and voted-on initiative," said Dawn Goulding, a community relations coordinator for the school district.

The mothers of the two girls voted prom king and queen say they're proud of the couple for breaking the barrier.

But some of the comments on the school's Facebook post about the king and queen titles made them sad.

"Some people, you're never going to change their mind. And you know what? That's OK too. People are allowed to believe and feel what they believe and feel," Jen Kirby, mother of Annie Wise, said.

For some parents, the issues go deeper than prom court.

"It's been brought to my attention that at least one teacher who flies not only the BLM flag but also a gay pride flag, refuses to fly the American flag," one parent said.

Parents also voiced additional concerns around the New York Times' best-selling book “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” a book junior and senior English elective students have been instructed to read.

Some parents called it racist, while school administrators are calling it a path to cultural competency.