I was recently so impressed by the important precedent set by Michigan's Chelsea High School. This year, they have chosen to replace the annual homecoming queen title with an excellence award instead. This change resulted from the high school’s 2016 #WhyYouMatter campaign. The new award will be open to all students regardless of gender. Drew Vanderspool, president of the Student Council, wrote in a letter, “Responses to the change have mostly been positive, though some students who were hoping to be named homecoming queen are disappointed.”
Specific criteria for the excellence award are based on consideration of a student’s academic, social, and emotional attributes, instead of a popularity contest often based on status and appearance.
Benefits of this switch include:
I believe it would be an amazing thing if other high schools across the country would establish such a change. Teenage years can be such challenging times and are full of huge transitions. Just imagine, as more and more teenagers focus on well-rounded excellence, how much better our world could be. As we've seen in our culture recently and as discussed in previous blogs, shifts in awareness around sexual equality and also young people's voices being heard have been prevalent and so necessary. What Chelsea High School is doing is a step in this positive direction.
Spreading the word about this “HOORAY” event would be of great value. This can happen by sharing this blog with others, writing letters to newspapers, and notifying local high school teachers and staff. Perhaps you have additional ideas regarding spreading the “HOORAY” event or thoughts on the step this Michigan high school has taken. All comments would be much appreciated.