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School Lifts Homecoming Court Ban On Students With Disabilities

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Students with disabilities will be allowed on the homecoming court ballot at a Kansas high school, administrators now say, after it became clear they were excluded from the ritual for more than a decade.

The issue came to light when a group of students noticed that their friend Owen Phariss, a senior with Down syndrome, was not included on the homecoming court ballot at Free State High School in Lawrence, Kans. even though they lobbied on his behalf. Soon enough the students realized that Phariss was not alone. As many as nine others with disabilities were also left off the ballot.

It’s unclear why those with disabilities weren’t included, but the practice appears to have been in place since the school opened in 1997. The school principal who has been on the job for three years said he was unaware of the policy until he was notified by students recently and presented with a petition signed by over 800 people in support of ending the practice.

Now there will be a second round of balloting for an expanded homecoming court and administrators say those with disabilities will not be left out in future years, reports the Lawrence Journal-World. To read more click here.

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Comments (2 Responses)

  1. cfgribble says:

    I am very happy I’m not in Kansas, nor my little dog! Probably Dorothy’s red slippers would probably be an unallowed accommodation! Texas has problems, but this is rediculous!

  2. DidderBoddersDaddy says:

    Although this story was discouraging at first, it really does take a quite encouraging turn here: “The school principal who has been on the job for three years said he was unaware of the policy until he was notified by students recently and presented with a petition signed by over 800 people in support of ending the practice.”

    It is wonderful to see that a petition was started by students on their own free will to begin with, but even better to know that — over 800 — students signed that petition in support of changing that policy. Eight-hundred students, that is a lot of young people; I would like to know how many students attend this school and see what type of percentage of the school population that represents.

    I like seeing activities like this, especially with young people; this is good stuff.

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