High school votes 2 girls as 'homecoming royalty,' plans to use gender-neutral titles going forward

Milford High School's Homecoming Royalty, Abbey Stropes and Trinity Miller, received their scepters in front of their Homecoming Court on Friday. (Photo: Milford Schools via Facebook)

A high school in Ohio has promised to do away with the titles of homecoming king and queen after two girls were voted by their peers to win the "popularity contest."

At Friday night's football game, Milford High School named two female students "homecoming royalty," according to a press release shared on the district's Facebook page.

While the school has typically named a male student "king" and a female student "queen" at their homecoming events, Milford Exempted Village School District will now use the term "homecoming royalty" following the groundbreaking results. The choice to describe the two students who received the most votes from the student body as homecoming royalty, as opposed to the gender-specific "king" and "queen," is to help "ensure all students have the opportunity to feel included."

“Choosing students for Homecoming Court is a long-standing tradition that has always been completely decided by student votes, and this year is no different,” Nancy House, the superintendent of the district stated in the Facebook post.

This year, Abbey Stropes and Trinity Miller will serve as their school's homecoming royalty, where, at the game, they each carried a scepter instead of donning a crown. One of the female students who won ran as "king" on the ballot.

"Students are first asked to write down their choice of the classmate they want to represent their class on the homecoming court. Students are listed on the ballot as individuals, not as couples," the press release explained. "From that list, the top nominees at each grade level are voted upon by the students in their grade level to represent them on Homecoming Court, and to select the 'king and queen.'"

However, this year, based on nominations by the senior class, a female student appeared on the ballot of eligible students running for "king." Since she received the most votes, she was dubbed "homecoming royalty."

In the future, the school plans to refer to any two students who win using the gender-neutral title.

“The selection of our Homecoming Royalty is an opportunity for our students to have their voices heard,” Milford High School Principal, Josh Kauffman, said in the post. “I fully support the voice and choice demonstrated by our students in selecting this year’s Homecoming Royalty.”

The announcement on Facebook drew both praise and criticism from commenters.

"We value all opinions, opinions that agree with the decisions made and opinions that do not agree with the decisions made. We stand behind the voice of the students in making this choice," Milford Schools commented on the Facebook post, adding they expect those who comment to show respect to their students and that they would not tolerate disparaging or threatening comments.

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