CHELSEA, Mich. - With high school football in full swing, many students are looking forward to homecoming week. Traditionally, homecoming kings and queens are crowned with much fanfare during halftime of football games.
A Michigan high school decided to move away from that tradition.
The student council at Chelsea High School's Student Council voted to end the “outdated” homecoming queen title because of the negative experiences it causes, MLive reported.
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“We don't want one of the biggest awards at our school to be associated with 'pretty' or 'popular' stereotypes or to be limited to a specific category of students," Student Council President Drew Vanderspool wrote in a letter explaining the award change to school families.
Instead of crowning a queen, a Chelsea student will receive an excellence award during the school’s homecoming game on Sept. 21. The excellence award will be open to students of all genders, MLive reported.
During the 2016-17 school year, Chelsea students created a #WhyYouMatter campaign that highlighted unique contributions of students and staff members. Student council members this year wanted to expand the campaign and believed that the homecoming queen process undermined the message of #WhyYouMatter, MLive reported.
"(The excellence award) helps to shift what we value," said Adam Schilt, an English teacher at Chelsea who also is a student council adviser. "When you put a sash and a crown on someone, you are implicitly saying this person represents what we value at the school."
The student council produced a YouTube video explaining the changes.
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