Transgender student barred from seeking homecoming king crown

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Kasey Caron. - PHOTO: transcity.org

A western Pennsylvania school board won't let a transgender student seek the title of homecoming king.

The Richland School Board didn't rule on the 17-year-old senior's request earlier this week, but simply let stand an earlier decision by school administrators, which leaves the transgender student on the ballot for homecoming queen.

"No formal action is required due to the board agreeing with the previous decision of the administration," board solicitor Timothy Leventry said, reading from a statement.

The student's mother, Kathy Caron, said she was disappointed by the board's action.

"My heart sunk a little," Kasey Caron said.

Kasey's driver's license has been switched from female to male, but the school board attorney has previously said that Pennsylvania law requires Kasey to undergo surgery and have his birth certificate changed to legally be considered male.

Kathy Caron also read a statement asking the school board to consider three other issues: allowing Kasey to wear the same color cap and gown as male students at graduation; adding gender identity protections to the district's anti-bullying policy; and creating a gay-straight alliance at the high school.

Board president Michael Bodolosky said the panel would take those issues under advisement.

"I expected it to be a little more of a discussion rather than flat out telling me they're going to take their own time," Kasey said. "I guess I'm going to have to wait."

Earlier this year, in the Red Lion Area School District in central Pennsylvania, a transgender student asked to be identified by his male name at graduation. That student was allowed to wear the black graduation gown worn by boys, but school officials issued a diploma in the student's female birth name and announced the female name at commencement because the diploma is a legal document.

Kathy Caron said friends and family will continue to support Kasey.

"I love my son, and my son is the most awesome," she said. "I couldn't ask for anything better."