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.