An American high school has apologised for including a trans girl among a list of options for Homecoming King, using her deadname.
Grace Grabner, a senior at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been identifying as female for the past six years.
She said she was horrified to see her former name included on a list of boys distributed among the school’s student body for them to vote on.
“It was embarrassing and it took me back to middle school when that was the hardest time,” she told Fort Wayne television station WPTA.
“It reminded me of everything that happened in middle school and how people treated me.”
Grace’s mother pleaded with the school administration to remove her name from the list or generate a new one, and the list has now been removed.
But with the names already distributed among the 2,500 students, the damage was done. Grace says she’s so humiliated by the “degrading” incident she’s now considering a transfer to another school.
Northwest Allen County Schools officials blamed a computer error for the mix-up, but took full responsibility for not double-checking the list.
“We made a mistake on our end and we apologise profusely that this error happened where we inadvertently took one student who should have been on one list and put them on the opposite list.
“That was our responsibility and our fault, and we feel terrible about it,” district spokesperson Lizette Downey said in a statement.
“This was not a policy decision, a political statement, or purposeful insensitivity to any person or group, it was an oversight.
“We sincerely apologise for this mistake and will take steps to prevent similar issues from occurring again in the future.”
Grabner is now using the opportunity to highlight the ongoing bullying and harassment she experiences from classmates has taken its toll, and is urging the school district to address that culture.
“I think we need to work on that as a school and as a community, we need to work on making a safer place for queer youth and LGBT+ people,” she told Fox 55.