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Student Council President Sues Georgia H.S. After He's Removed for Pro-Gay Prom Proposal: VIDEO

Lack

Andrew briefly mentioned this yesterday, but I thought I'd post this great interview with Reuben Lack, who was elected student council president at suburban Atlanta's Alpharetta High School this year, but removed from his position by the school because of a proposal he made to help gay students feel more accepted.

Lack has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Fulton County School System, Alpharetta High principal Shannon Kersey, and faculty advisors Emily Reiser and Michelle Werre demanding Lack's reinstatement and damages.

Georgia's 11 Alive reports:

Earlier this year, Lack said he proposed changing the structure of the senior prom -- eliminating the prom king and prom queen for more gender-neutral titles. He said he pitched it to be more accommodating to gay students at Alpharetta High. But he says the student council never debated it because faculty advisers intervened.

"The teacher moderators were visibly agitated," Lack said.  "They were very, very uncomfortable about it. To the point where they were almost angry."

Within a few days, Lack said the school administration removed him from his position as student council president.

Watch an interview with Lack about the situation, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Kudos to Reuben for standing up for what he believes in. Although conservative, the Alpharetta area is very educated and the schools are very good. I'm surprised that they wouldn't even let students discuss and decide this issue for themselves.

    Posted by: ColinATL | Mar 23, 2012 10:24:54 AM


  2. Wow, brave, smart young man! His parents should be very proud!

    Posted by: Jim | Mar 23, 2012 10:26:17 AM


  3. Go Reuben! When you are older, you can definitely brag that nobody F*s with you!

    Posted by: Angela Channing | Mar 23, 2012 10:34:14 AM


  4. Wow, really articulate and intelligent. He is a power of example for all students and citizens in how to empower themselves and be heard and have an impact on how the world works. Congratulations, you've already won!

    Posted by: too boot | Mar 23, 2012 10:39:46 AM


  5. This is an easy First Amendment case. Take em to the bank, Reuben.

    Posted by: Jack | Mar 23, 2012 10:50:20 AM


  6. The old guard types and conservative viewpoints are being dismantled, discredited and deconstructed everwhere in this country and it delights me. There is simply no good reason why Reuben's proposal cannot be considered and implimented by a majority vote if it were to come to that. Being that it concerns yet another King and Queen event I call it more good old American revolutionary anti-monarchical protest.

    By contrast, isn't it appalling that this boy would be beaten to death in daylight in Tehran. And make no mistake, with nucular weapons
    that's exactly what any of the abomi-Nations would do to the West.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 23, 2012 11:09:48 AM


  7. Reuben is my kind of guy. Go Reuben!

    Posted by: Oliver | Mar 23, 2012 11:14:55 AM


  8. It's all about my own generation of old farts.......

    We have never quite grasped that the world is changing through greater education....
    The new generation will be so much more progressive; except for those indoctrinated with being saved again.
    The old farts of Boener, Ryan and the Tea Baggers will all be dead in a few years and social evolution will go on without them led by this brave young man and people like Zack Walls.
    @ UFFDA: it really is embarassing the way many in the USA are still enamoured by monarchy.........Kings and Queens, pathetic .

    BTW, he may be beaten to death in Tehran , but he could just as easily be shot by a self appointed, and legally tolerated, fascist in Florida !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 23, 2012 11:58:14 AM


  9. Student Council: never intended to be serious or proactive, a rubber stamp for whatever administrators want. Disturbing the Prom "traditions" by suggesting spending the money for some useful purpose would be enough of a challege. Reuben's proposals to make some real-world changes is subversive. Great for him. I hope he sticks to his ideas and presses on.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Mar 23, 2012 12:40:53 PM


  10. Yeah Reuben! Fight back!

    Posted by: Miguel | Mar 23, 2012 12:45:07 PM


  11. allies like this young man are freakin' AWESOME

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 12:51:00 PM


  12. i hope he sues the pants off of them!! Smart kid...progressive and caring!!

    Posted by: tommyboy10T | Mar 23, 2012 1:13:12 PM


  13. Excellent job, Reuben! We support you and your courage!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 23, 2012 1:25:24 PM


  14. Several years ago, a Kansas-side suburb of KC elected an openly gay guy as Prom King... with a certain amount of fanfare and great acceptance. Yep, its the old farts holdin' the kids down. Bad administration. Sue, baby, sue!

    Posted by: kansastock | Mar 23, 2012 3:09:33 PM


  15. I'm surprised the ACLU hasn't stepped in. This seems like a much more compelling case than the message t-shirt ones they've taken on recently. I'm interested to hear some remarks from our resident legal expert.

    Posted by: kirkyo | Mar 23, 2012 3:25:57 PM


  16. There's so much I don't want to know. If monarchy is regarded as anything more than eye-candy it's stupid. But Prince Harry is a darling.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 23, 2012 3:55:25 PM


  17. That was for JACKTWIST.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 23, 2012 3:56:29 PM


  18. easy win! school better get ready to PAY UP.

    This is how you win fights THEY (homophobes) star....hit em' where it hurts! and don't be afraid to do so either.

    Posted by: Real Talk | Mar 23, 2012 7:08:02 PM


  19. I have a saying which I love saying to myself when anyone thinks they're going to pull their homophobic crap with me:

    "You're f*cking with the wrong f@g."

    This kid rocks!!!

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 23, 2012 11:14:12 PM


  20. This story makes me smile because Reuben is clearly someone who has a bright future ahead of him. He's unusually articulate for a high school student council president and he's not afraid to challenge the established prejudices.
    The story reminds me of the Southern student councils of the 1960s that were provoking the anger of faculty advisers by suggesting that black people should be allowed at prom.

    Posted by: gregv | Mar 24, 2012 4:01:32 PM


  21. I am Reuben's father and a proud of the courage he has shown through this ordeal. While there are a lot a false statements and bullying that has taken place in social media and in the airwaves against Reuben, Reuben knows that the fact snd laws are on his side and will have his case proven in a court of law and not on the Internet.

    I do want to make a few points clear. Reuben is straight. Not that it would matter either way to me. But this isn't a personal crusade of self interest. He is not some kid seeking attention. He doesn't need it. He is wuite accomplished and recognized for what has already done. Reuben believes strongly in the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olum - repairing the world. So when you have a position of leadership you should not squander the opportunity. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of the students he represents. ALL students. And he did. He had been working on a project to save the school (and if successful, all schools in the district) between $30-40,000 annually in a/c and maintenance costs through his White Roofs project. That's a teachers salary or money to fund the academic and/or arts clubs (athletics seems to always take money that should be doled out to the entire school, but that's another issue Reuben can't address while out of office).

    Reuben was also the co-chair of the AHS Teen Republicans for many years. Yes, he was no social conservative but he is a staunch fiscal conservative and believes in pragmatic thinking over strict ideology. He even ran for the Chairman of the Georgia Teen Republicans but he chose not to sacrifice his principles to garner votes. So he lost big.

    Leadership is what you make of it. Generally, student councils are toothless boring clubs. Every once in a while though a special kid who understands process and cares to stick his neck out CAN make things just a little better and a little easier for the next person. Reuben is for real. He didn't ask for the attention. Blame the teachers and principal for drawing that attention. He gave them six weeks quietly trying to either show him a single shred of evidence that supported their allegations - they could not. Not one piece of evidence exists that rises to a level that would permit his voice to be silenced.

    The AHS student council is made up of class presidents elected by their class and the losers in those races. Additionally there are five officers elected school wide. The senior class president lost to Reuben for student body president. So, Reuben is not popular among a large group of the council while being supported by a majority of the school. Most members of the council received few votes are there simply by virtue of their running. Yet, they have been some of the most hostile towards Reuben spreading rumors and bullying him on social media. But Reuben will prevail because he has facts, documents, videos, transcripts of conversation with the principal and more to prove his case. Please continue your support for him with your kind notes. It means a lot to him. Thank you all so very much.

    Posted by: Nathaniel Lack | Mar 24, 2012 5:26:13 PM


  22. BTW... The ACLU in Georgia had been contacted twice but they do not take phone calls. They never responded to our emails. Other ACLU offices said if we were in their community they would have helped immediately but that the georgia office had to take this one. Lamda Legal did respond back and offered support but Reuben had already retained counsel by the time they got back to him. I suppose that responding to phone calls and emails take just a bit longer in the Deep South. ;)

    Posted by: Nathaniel Lack | Mar 24, 2012 5:34:25 PM


  23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzTW8TDCBCo
    Reuben might not be 'gay' but he certainly isn't straight.

    Posted by: mld | Mar 24, 2012 7:36:52 PM


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