By Caitlin Smith
Tigard High (Tigard, Oregon) is the first of many schools across the nation to change the way they elect homecoming court this year. In a high school setting, it is traditional for schools to pick two representatives from each grade level–a boy and girl–to be crowned royalty.
In turn, Tigard allowed the student body to vote for the two students they thought best represented their class, despite their gender.
Left: Tigard High sophomore class royalty, riding in the annual homecoming parade. Photo credit: Tigard Leadership
Homecoming is commonly known as a giant popularity contest, which elevates a small number of individuals every year. Voting without gender distinctions made way for uniting the entirety of the school. Being mindless of smaller details such as gender leaves students to consider the more important qualities of the nominees such as their leadership qualities, awareness, and integrity. There were no guidelines for who could be elected at Tigard. It was up for the students to decide what these qualities were for themselves.
Right: Tigard junior class royalty waves to the students at the homecoming parade. Photo credit: Tigard Leadership
Among those elected were class officers, club presidents, students at the top of their class, athletes, and introverts. Also, many commented on the diversity of this election. Perhaps, taking the standard “king and queen” mindset away from the table broadened the mindset of student voters: maybe homecoming doesn’t have to be a giant popularity contest, after all. This kind of voting reflects an important change in high school culture. Teens are the leading factor in this political revolution, mainly because we are shaping the environment in which we want to live the rest of our lives.
Featured image: Senior class royalty at the parade: two to be elected that night at the homecoming football game. Photo credit: Tigard Leadership