ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s largest high school is breaking with tradition this year. Instead of a king and queen for prom or homecoming, the students celebrated as royalty will have gender-neutral titles.
Atrisco Heritage Academy High School is the first Albuquerque Public School (APS) high school to adopt a gender-neutral model. The student council recorded a Youtube video to make the special announcement.
“We believe this change will reflect and celebrate the diversity that is present within our student body and community,” Sergeant at Arms Victoria Flores said.
“The top 20 individuals selected by the senior class, regardless of the gender, will compose our homecoming court,” Vice President Cielo Soto said.
Then, after students vote online, the top two vote-getters will be named Royalty, the next two will be called the First High Court and the two after that will be honored as the Second High Court.
“The question that comes up the most is, ‘Well, what if two boys win?’ Okay, then two boys win,” Martinez said with a shrug.
There will no longer be different crowns to distinguish between a king and a queen, and there won’t be the traditional photos of the two as a couple. Instead, the winners will be recognized individually. Administrators say the idea for all of this came from students who wanted to make the school more inclusive.
“The majority of the questions and the majority of the uncertainty came from older people. When we talked to the kids, the kids were like, ‘Yeah, why haven’t we been doing this?'” Martinez said.
Principal Irene Cisneros said she is proud of her students. “To really be concerned and caring for the entire student body here, I just thought that was really impressive,” she remarked.
Students are voting for Royalty this week. Then, the winners will be crowned at school next week.