Patrick Henry High School in California is breaking ground with homecoming policies and raising some student and parent hackles. The student body recently voted a lesbian couple homecoming king and queen. Rebeca Arellano was elected the first female homecoming king and her girlfriend, Haileigh Adams, as homecoming queen.
Arellano says the two wanted to run as a couple and the only way to do that was for her to run for homecoming king. Arellano and Adams say their parents, as well as a large portion of students, have been supportive. Other students and their parents think a homecoming king should be a boy. I polled parents, asking what they thought. Here are reactions to the question: "As a mom or dad, what would be your response if a gay couple was elected prom or homecoming king and queen at your teen's school?
* "I would have absolutely no problem with it. How wonderful the kids in this school are rising above hate and are accepting of others' lifestyles." -- Rissa Watkins, Phoenix
* "As a parent who wants her kids to grow up respecting all nationalities, religions, lifestyles and other labels, I would be proud of the school for helping me instill that lesson. The school's job is education and teaching kids about diversity and respect is part of that. The best way to teach is to lead by example. I'm not saying all schools should elect a lesbian couple. But if that is the couple that fits the role best, that's who should win." -- April Paul, Denver
* "I think it is fantastic and about time. With the increase in bullying of gay and lesbian teenagers over the last year, I greatly respect this school for standing up and showing it is acceptable. While other schools have banned gay and lesbian couples from dances, this school has stood up for their students. When the schools ban these couples I think it sends the message it is wrong and only fuels the bullies. Hopefully this will be a step to stopping the bullying." -- Deborah Braconnier, Las Vegas.
* "As parents, it is about time that we follow our children's lead and become more tolerant of all people. Life is too short to waste time with hate." -- David H. Harris, Grand Haven, Mich.
* "Personally, I wouldn't really care and would probably just talk to my kids about it. I am more of the mindset that school is meant for educating kids in reading, writing, math and science and not social agenda. As a parent, I have no issue with homosexuality but that issue aside, I have always felt the popularity contests at schools are the reason there is such a "separation" issue in schools." -- Tammy Morris, Marion, Ill.Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben writes about parenting issues from 25 years raising four children and 23 years teaching K-8, special needs, home-school and adult education.
- homecoming king and queen