The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

CHS should update the way homecoming court is decided

The+way+CHS+elects+and+chooses+its+Homecoming+Court+excludes+students+who+identify+as+non-binary.
The way CHS elects and chooses its Homecoming Court excludes students who identify as non-binary.

The way CHS elects and chooses its Homecoming Court excludes students who identify as non-binary.

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Creative Commons

The way CHS elects and chooses its Homecoming Court excludes students who identify as non-binary.

By Nora Holland, Arts Editor

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With the arrival of yet another homecoming for CHS students also comes the time to once again vote for homecoming court. This high school tradition, paired along with spirit days and pep rallies, dates back to decades ago.

Although it has been an ongoing tradition, the original idea of homecoming court is now extremely outdated and has become a popularity contest rather than a fun way of celebrating the annual dance.

Homecoming court is a chance to see how well-known a person is among their peers. This reinforces social hierarchies in high school since the more friends a person has, the more nominations and votes a person will receive.

According to a Feb 2015 study of high school students and self worth by stageoflife.com, 95 percent of teens have felt inferiority at some point during high school. This could be due to several factors including appearance, but other social insecurities are present in many high schoolers. Homecoming court serves as a competition for who can get the most votes, which in turn can hurt the self esteem of many students.

Homecoming court can also be very heteronormative. It dictates that one boy and one girl win the titles. During high school years, students are trying to find both their identity and what makes them happy. Some students may identify as transgender or non binary, which is now way more widely accepted than it was decades ago.

Not only does homecoming court restrict two people of the same gender winning, but it also undoes the progress the Churchill community has made in accepting students has made by putting students that identify differently out of the running.

According to a 2015 US Transgender survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 56 percent of students reported that their classmates accepted them after they came out as transgender. The world is evolving, so the titles of homecoming court should be updated to also accept these students.

Even though homecoming court is very old-fashioned, it does serve as a fun way for students to get involved with the school and to show school spirit at the beginning of the school year. It also boosts students confidence among their peers and encourages excitement for the homecoming dance.

However, it is still a source of self esteem issues among many students who did not make the nominations and is in general too old- fashioned for how present-day high school operates due to its gender specifications.
In order to keep the tradition alive but decrease the negative effects that come with such an outdated event, changes must be made. The titles of homecoming queen and king could be replaced with a gender neutral term, like crowns. A change such as this will allow the tradition to continue on while giving students of all genders and identities a chance to participate.

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CHS should update the way homecoming court is decided