After 2 NJ girls win homecoming titles, Passaic Tech adds 2 kings
WAYNE — High school students from Passaic County Technical Institute have protested the school administration’s decision to name two extra homecoming kings, after two females were voted as traditional homecoming king and queen.
Teenager Zoe Nelson told ABC 7 Eyewitness News she successfully campaigned to be selected "king," despite online bullying and harassment, in order to show that kings can be powerful regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.
The school district administration then held two more elections and named all four top vote-getters to the Royal Court, adding two male students to serve as extra kings.
Passaic County Technical Vocational School District is the largest career and technical high school in the state, according to its website.
Nelson and homecoming queen-elect, Jyckell Perez, told NorthJersey.com they believe multiple elections were held to ease concerns of students who didn't want two females as the homecoming royal duo.
Nelson and Perez told NorthJersey.com they felt the school district's decision to add two more kings “devalued” Nelson and organized Monday's protest via Instagram over the weekend.
The district gave a different description of the daytime protest that involved about 1,000 students, saying that students were “invited to peacefully assemble in the district auditorium to share their thoughts in support of the LGBTQ+ community.”
School administrators said the decision to expand the Homecoming Royal Court was to avoid excluding anyone during homecoming weekend, which led to "student concerns" about the selection process.
Nelson chose not to participate in the Homecoming Pageant as she didn't want to be "used" by the school to show how "inclusive" they are, she also told NorthJersey.com.
Nelson and Perez both have been invited to address the next Passaic County Technical Vocational Board of Education meeting on Oct. 28.