A new controversy is swirling at Alpharetta High School and is starting to get picked up by local and Atlanta media. At this point most of the information is coming from one side of the debate, but here’s what we know.
Reuben Lack is the student body president at Alpharetta High – or I should say he was. Last month he was removed from his position by school administrators. Lack alleges that his removal was due to his support of a proposal to make the prom king and queen tradition more inclusive of gay and lesbian students. He’s retained a lawyer and is suing the school. In his suit he asks to be reinstated as student body president and seeks to be repaid damages including punitive damages.
It’s still too early to take sides in an issue like this. I personally don’t have a problem with any student being considered for prom king and queen. But it’s always been my experience that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Now that the case is in the court system it is doubtful school officials will make public comment.
But the most unfortunate part will be how this reflects on Alpharetta. Atlanta’s media never misses a chance to paint affluent suburbanites as xenophobes (or in this case homophobes). This case will likely serve as ammunition to further that endeavor.
I’m sure this story will continue to play out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can read Lack’s complaint as filed in US District Court (opens as a pdf). Lack’s lawyer also has a blog entry on the case. And finally, here’s an unrelated Youtube video of Lack speaking before the Fulton County Commissioners.