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A high school crowned LGBTQ+ prom king & queen. This man threatened to attack the school.

Kettering Fairmont High School prom monarch Dai’sean Conley and Rosie Green Photo: WDTN-TV screenshot

Police in Kettering, Ohio recently arrested a man who threatened to hurt LGBTQ+ students after a local high school crowned two queer students as its prom queen and king.

Officers with the Kettering Police Department arrested 42-year-old Brandon Moore on May 2 after he allegedly called Kettering Fairmont High School and made a broad threat. School officials immediately reported the threat to police, and the police department sent additional officers to help guard the school, Dayton 24/7 Now reported.

Meanwhile, police identified the call’s origin and arrested Moore, charging him with causing panic and threatening violence. Police have pledged to continue a higher presence at the high school in the coming days.

“It’s so unfortunate, I don’t know what kind of person can send a threat to children. What kind of person is that?” Michael Knote, the executive director of the local LGBTQ+ rights organization Have a Gay Day, told WHIO-TV of Moore’s arrest.

Last month, Kettering Fairmont High School students voted to elect two LGBTQ+ students — 18-year-old seniors of color Dai’sean Conley and Rosie Green — as their prom’s queen and king, respectively.

“Even when I was given the crown and I put on my head, there’s a lot of boos in the crowd,” Conley told WDTN-TV. “I didn’t hear them. I only heard the congratulating, which I was very thankful for.” Conley added that she had also received “demeaning” messages since being crowned.

Brandon Moore (photo provided by Kettering City Jail), brandon-moore-kettering-fairmont-high-school-threat-prom-king-queen
Brandon Moore (Photo via Kettering City Jail)

Local adults who disapproved of the teens’ coronation brought the issue up at a May 2 meeting of the Kettering Board of Education. One older white man named Joe Overholser told the board that he thought the titles of prom king and queen should be determined by “biological sex.”

“I’m concerned about what’s going on in the schools. I’m concerned about normalizing the idea of questioning gender,” he said, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Outside of the board meeting’s location, about 40 supportive adults and children lined the sidewalks, carrying rainbow flags and messages of support for the crowned teens. One organizer of the demonstration told the aforementioned publication they wanted the teens’ supporters to be “louder than the hate inside” at the board meeting.

Kettering Board of Education President Toby Henderson told the aforementioned publication that he and other board members had heard little public comment about the coronation. What comments he had heard had been about half-supportive and half-against, he said.

Regardless, Henderson said the board wouldn’t likely address the coronation any further since prom votes are handled by school administrators, their prom committees, and student body governments. “They have rules about how all that gets orchestrated,” Henderson said. “That’s not the type of thing that rises to the level of [the school board.]”

In a statement to Dayton 24/7 Now, Kettering Fairmont High School officials said the prom voting system has been in place “for years,” and officials will only assist students in “evaluating and determining any future changes… if the student organizations are interested in changing the process.”

In the meantime, Green (who identifies as nonbinary) said they want others to know “there’s always someone out there with similar experiences as you so you’re never really alone. If you ever need anyone to talk to there’s always someone.”

Every recent prom season, a few schools across America cause celebration and outrage by crowning LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming prom kings and queens. In 2017, a transgender boy won prom king at an Indianapolis high school. In 2018, a gay teen in a small South Carolina town became prom king while wearing a beautiful dress.

A few cities even have alternative or “lavender” proms where teens can bring same-sex partners or wear whatever chosen attire they please without getting harassed by other students or adults.

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