ATLANTA (AP) – A suburban Atlanta high school student says in a federal lawsuit that administrators removed him as student body president after he promoted changes aimed at making the prom more inclusive to gay students.
Reuben Lack, an 18-year-old senior at Alpharetta High School, filed the lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court. He’s asking a judge to issue an injunction reinstating him as student body president.
Lack said he introduced a resolution at a January student council meeting to modify the school’s “prom king and queen” tradition to make it more inclusive to gay students. He suggested several options, including changing it to “prom court” so a same-sex couple could be elected, he said in the lawsuit.
Lack says he was told by school officials Feb. 8 that he was immediately removed from his position for “pushing personal projects” and advocating policy changes.
School officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment early Friday.
“The whole point of student government is that it’s supposed to be exercise or an education in democracy,” said Lack’s attorney, James Radford Jr. “This is completely undemocractic.”
Lack, a senior, is the captain of the school’s debate team, and his photo was featured prominently on the school’s website Friday for a recent debate team accomplishment. He moderated a public debate in Alpharetta’s recent mayoral race, and he’s been honored by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners for his advocacy on behalf of youth, the lawsuit states.
Radford said Lack tried to work with the school to find out why he was removed.
“But they’ve never given him a specific reason why he’s been removed and why they’re not willing to work with him to bring him back,” Radford said.
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