Transgender teen allowed to run for Prom King

Posted at 6:30 PM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 20:24:21-04

A transgender Kenosha teen is being allowed to run for Prom King after he claims his school initially told him he couldn't.

Ash Whitaker has more than 5,000 signatures on an online petition he started Sunday. On the MoveOn.Org page, Whitaker writes he is "unable to [run for Prom King] due to my school's resistance and insistent discrimination against my transgender identity (FtM)."

The Kenosha Unified School District said Wednesday they acted as soon as they were made aware of the situation. They sent a statement saying "In order to meet the needs of all students while maintaining what has historically been done, any student who qualifies for Tremper High School prom court will be listed on the ballot under the gender for which they identify."

Whitaker wasn't able to meet with TODAY'S TMJ4 Wednesday, but his friends say that's an adequate start to their concerns. Still, they want Whitaker to have access to restrooms designated for people of his gender identity.

Emily Taylor said she knows girls who wouldn't be comfortable seeing Ash, who was born female, in the women's restroom because they view him as male.

The school couldn't comment on this issue since it was specific to a student.

The students staged a sit-in at the school Tuesday and have another planned Thursday. Since the resolution of the Prom King issue, they have canceled one scheduled Friday.