NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) - A compromise to abolish the titles of king and queen at Mona Shores High School -- after a controversy involving a transgender teen -- was met Tuesday with mixed opinions among students.
"I think it's wrong to change what's been happening just because of one situation like that," said senior John Skocelas, who called himself a supporter of the transgender teen, Oak Reed. "If he got voted in again, it's our vote. It's not what the school wants. It's what we want.
"I feel like there should be a king and a queen. That's the way it's always been for I don't know how many years, as long as I can remember. It's just dumb to change it now."
Reed, who was born a girl but plans to undergo a sex change operation at age 18, was denied the Homecoming King crown in September over gender -- a controversy that gained international attention. Classmates created a Facebook page, Oak is My King , with more than 13,000 supporters worldwide.
School Board President Kandace Boysen told 24 Hour News 8 the compromise -- announced Monday -- involved the Student Senate working with high school administrators. It came after the ACLU stepped in on Reed's behalf.
"There was a lot of student input," Boysen said.
Instead of king and queen at homecoming and prom, students will vote for two seniors and two juniors for court -- without regard to gender.
Based on comments on woodtv.com and Facebook, not everybody agrees with the compromise. Boysen said the school wasn't bowing to political correctness.
"I repeat my statement that it was student input and the administrators, a building decision, and I think the board is pleased with how the principal and the others handled it with the kids," Boysen said.
Senior Hilary Rohlman, who supports Reed, likes the change.
"It will be a little weird. It will just be different," she said. "Everybody will just have to get used to it. I don't think it will be like, 'Oh, that's bullcrap,' and they're going to want to change it and stuff."
Classmate Ryan Zaloga sees both sides.
"If it involves hurting other people's feelings, is it really worth it?" he said. "I guess that's kind of the question, and they decided it wasn't. It's not my decision to make."
Reed is no longer talking to reporters, but a friend told 24 Hour News 8 there are no plans to run for prom. "He wanted it just to fix things within the school system," friend Katherin McSill said.
The ACLU said Reed is pleased with with the compromise.
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