After years of following a traditional Homecoming court structure, DHS jumps ship to a court of royalty rather than King and Queen
By Jacoby Haley and Tess Alekseev
And now, announcing your Homecoming Supreme Royalty…
Wait, what? Homecoming court has always been known as a high school staple, but for Dexter it just became a little different. Faculty members and the student council recently decided to change the traditional Homecoming court: The titles of “King” and “Queen” will now be “Supreme Royalty,” and “Prince” and “Princess” will be “Royalty.”
This change is to be the first of many changes to add inclusivity, a principle some feel has been historically missing in our high school. Staff members told the Squall said they understand there will be push back about this change.
Despite this, these staff members still stand behind the change.
“Since you can’t please everyone, you really need to do the right thing, and I think the change [to Royalty] was the right thing to do.” Principal Kit Moran said.
How it happened:
In an attempt to become a more inclusive school, some of the student body and faculty members suggested a change, which was later accepted, to the traditional homecoming court. The idea was that if gender roles are eliminated from court, those who don’t conform to the gender binary would feel more included.
The Squall was informed that the Spectrum Alliance, Dexter’s Gay-Straight Alliance, brought the issue to student council. People were feeling left out. Student Council, advised by Al Snider, decided that a change to court’s name adds a sense of inclusivity to the idea of homecoming.
The faculty at DHS was never approached about their thoughts on the change. Although the faculty was not included in the decision process, Moran said the idea was “generally accepted” at the first staff meeting. “No one seemed to have any problem with it.”
Even though the staff seemed to show no problems with the change, staff members did have different opinions on the switch.
As previously mentioned, the Spectrum Alliance had a pivotal role in the change to Royals.
“It’s an amazing step forward,” said Autumn Campbell, the advisor for the Spectrum Alliance. “We need to break down the black and white binary of fixed gender because we need to make all students feel included.”
Sophomore Grace Ward supports the change in principle, but feels this is just the first step.
“There’s progress that still needs to be made,” Ward said. “I don’t know if this is the best [solution], but prejudice is still present at DHS and this is a great progress.”
Kevin Cislo, now in his third year of teaching at DHS, has a very strong opinion in favor of a traditional court. Cislo, who was on court in high school, thought that there was no real reason to change court.
“Although people see that it being a popularity contest is a problem, those kids are popular for a reason,” Cislo said, “Usually the kids being chosen are doing something right.”
Junior Kevin DeVoogd also favors a traditional court.
“It should be separated from boys and girls,” DeVoogd said. “It’s tradition. It’s how it’s always been done.”
English teacher Debora Marsh believes that homecoming court is solely based on popularity. This notion concerns her as this opens an opportunity for exclusion within the student body.
“Anything we can do to breakdown cliques and to bring people together, I’m all for it.” Marsh said.
She also suggested a number of potential solutions to this problem, such as a court based on merit, or, more drastically, the removal of homecoming court entirely.
Based on results from a Squall survey, the DHS student body was in full support of a traditional homecoming court. Their reason was exactly that: it’s tradition. Out of 80 DHS students interviewed, for every student in support of royals, there were over six in favor of a traditional court.
The student body as a whole may not have been in favor of the change, and the change was not done for the entirety of the student body. This change, Moran said, was implemented as to make even just one more student feel included.