The selection of two gender-fluid seniors for Fairmont High School’s prom king and queen has sparked debate in Kettering City Schools.
Fairmont students’ picks of 18-year-olds Rosita Green and Dai’sean Conley last month as king and queen, respectively, prompted a gathering of supporters outside the Shroyer Road school late Tuesday afternoon prior to those opposing the votes addressing the Kettering board of education inside.
Gender fluid is defined by Merriam-Webster “of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is not fixed.”
Green wants others to know “there’s always someone out there with similar experiences as you so you’re never really alone. If you ever need anyone to talk to there’s always someone.”
One rally organizer said the event outside Fairmont — which drew more than 40 people — was designed to be “louder than the hate inside” at the board meeting.
Criticism of the Fairmont prom vote was “definitely expected,” Green said. But “I haven’t gotten any direct hate.”
A pair of Kettering residents who opposed the Fairmont selections said they do not hate those who favored the picks of Green and Conley for their respective titles, but expressed their displeasure with the decisions.
“I think he should have been voted king and the girl queen,” Joe Overholser told the board. “I’m concerned about what’s going on in the schools. I’m concerned about normalizing the idea of questioning gender.”
One woman against the prom vote suggested to the board it “write a policy requiring prom court candidates to run from a position linked to their biological sex.”
She said “schools harm children when they play along with this charade … what Kettering allowed to happen at prom is normalizing something that isn’t normal.”
Conley said at the gathering that he understands people both inside and outside the Kettering school district are unhappy with the decision.
But he wanted to “come together with the community and spread awareness about the situation and let others like us know that they’re not alone.”
Kettering Board of Education President Toby Henderson said he and other members have heard “very little” public feedback about the prom selections, but added the number of comments from both sides were fairly even.
Henderson said the board has not discussed adopting a policy against Fairmont students taking the action they did.
The process of voting for the Fairmont prom court is 100% student-led and is overseen by the class council, the United Student Body and the administration, according to the district.
“They have rules about how all that gets orchestrated,” Henderson said. “That’s not the type of thing that rises to the level of” the school board.
“I don’t think there’s any motivation — as far as I’m aware of — to have a discussion at the school board level,” he said. “I don’t expect we’ll be taking that up.”