It’s prom season and that means a prom king and queen will be crowned. While this old tradition can sometimes be the result of a popularity contest, some students break with the typical “most popular” voting process and choose their prom royalty based on other qualities. One Texas high school couple were very disappointed when they didn’t win queen and king at their high school prom and are claiming they were discriminated against because they’re a lesbian couple.
Shenta Knox and Sam Washburn ran for prom queen and king at Morton Ranch High School and were supported by their classmates, but didn’t manage to win the crown. Sam told KPRC-TV that they were surprised by the outcome, noting: “I was feeling confident, but then the votes came out and I thought, ‘Well dang, maybe we didn’t have that much support.’”
Shenta posted pics of her with her girlfriend on Twitter, explaining: “Since me and my girl both wanna be on prom court but MRHS doesn’t have 2 queen slots…vote Shenta Knox as prom queen and Sam Washburn as prom ‘king’ next Monday!”
Rather than accept defeat, they first inquired about rather a recent detention was a contributing factor but Shenta was told the detention was “minor” and in no way the reason for their failure to win queen and king. Administrators told them they just “didn’t get enough votes.”
The criteria to qualify for the crowns, according to the school, are to have the greatest number of votes, maintain good grades, and have no disciplinary issues.
Shenta’s mother, Shera, then got involved to see if there was more to the matter, demanding: “Show us that the girls together did not earn it and that they were not just taken off the list because they’re a female couple.”
Sam posted a video on Twitter, writing: “It wasn’t fair for our school to take us off prom court for being gay and together, so I tried to make it up to her. In the video, she gave Shenta flowers and surprised her with a sign that said “Prom?”
Those who weighed in with comments on social media weren’t completely on their side, with remarks such as: “Life is full of disappointments, sometimes you win sometimes you lose, get used to it and move on!” and “No different than any other couple who didn’t have enough votes! You lost. Get over it.”
Another commenter pointed out: “Ummm… typically the naming of a prom king and queen is the result of an ‘election’ (you know, meaning free choice)… So, are they claiming that they should have won regardless of the preferences that other students expressed in their VOTE?”
One person commented: “I cannot believe that this is an issue. If I get 100 votes and you get 99, I win! Either way the world nor your school will not change. It’s a competition, you must accept that or refuse to participate if you cannot accept reality. Enjoy high school because it’s fixing to get a whole lot tougher real soon.”