For years, high school homecomings have centered around football games, pep rallies, and electing a homecoming king and queen.
But that all changed this year for two Maryland high schools, who are forgoing age-old traditions in the name of inclusiveness.
As NBC Washington reports, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School had a “gender neutral” homecoming court — which allowed students to elect two boys, two girls, or a boy and a girl, or a transgender couple — regardless of “gender identity.”
Meanwhile, Walt Whitman High School chose to forgo homecoming court altogether.
Student Body President Ari Gutman told Bethesda Magazine most students just didn’t care about crowning a king and queen:
“At Whitman, the homecoming court is never really a big deal, it’s not really instilled in our school culture. We decided that instead of having the court, we would just not have it at all, so no one was left out,” adding that “the SGA worried the gender distinctions affiliated with the homecoming court could make gender non-binary or transgender students uncomfortable.”
Two Maryland high schools strayed from tradition during their homecoming festivities on Friday night. http://nbc4dc.com/KYwaWob
Walt Whitman principal Alan Goodwin told Independent Journal Review the decision was entirely in the students’ hands:
“Our student government decided to drop it because of a lack of interest in selecting a homecoming court. There has not been any ongoing discussion about it.”
Though the student government chose to nix time-honored homecoming traditions in the name of inclusiveness, plenty of parents on Facebook felt the move was a little too “politically correct.”
One Facebook commenter, Bonnie Miller, said:
“Let’s just change everything. That way everyone can be happy. CRAZY.”
Chris Mika joked:
“The most important question: Does everyone get a participation award?”
Many said the move was “ridiculous” and inclusiveness was “getting out of hand,” though some parents felt it was the right call.
Megan Bailey-Hall summed their points up best:
“This is why I have so much hope for the future generations! This school gets it! Obviously times are changing- and is that a bad thing? I think not.”
The Maryland high schools aren’t the only ones to adopt a more gender-neutral alternative for homecoming court. The University of Wisconsin-Stout recently replaced their king and queen with “sexless diplomats” instead.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the university broke an 80-year tradition and opted to have 8 to 10 recipients of the “Stout Ambassadors Spirit Award.”
Only time will tell if this “inclusive” homecoming tradition will soon be the new norm.