Is the North Polk Homecoming Court Outdated?


Congratulations to the 2022 homecoming king and queen, Jadyn Halupnick and Nick Cox and the princess and prince, Angel Lindell and Aidan Kelsick.

Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

With homecoming week in full force, the hot debate about homecoming court has resurfaced in my thoughts. 

First, I would like to say that I appreciate the tradition behind homecoming and respect all of the people that have been and will be on the court. I in no way want the tradition of the court to be erased, but I do sincerely believe that it needs to change with the times. 

Listed below are the students that are on the 2022 homecoming court.

Freshmen: Jack Spieker, Charlotte Watson

Sophomore: Aidan Bracelin, Kasey Jesse

Junior: Aaron Anderson, Kalysta Vaughn

Senior: Mason Stokes, Aidan Kelsick, Nick Cox, Edoardo Pozzi, Charley Rhodes, Angel Lintell, Sydney Houston, Jadyn Halupnick, Kearsten Faux, Aubrie Kiesling

If not regulated properly, homecoming courts can be the brunt of many jokes and can exclude certain groups of students. 

Homecoming candidate Charlie Rhodes stated, “especially compared from last year [homecoming] court is a very even group of individuals.” 

North Polk has made changes to the homecoming voting form to help deter bullying. Before the voting ballot is sent out students can fill out an opt-out form so their names will not be listed on the ballot. 

Homecoming candidate Charlie Rhodes believes that these changes have had a positive output, “Especially compared from last year [homecoming] court is a very even group of individuals.”

However, the school has done nothing to make the homecoming court more inclusive for students that do not fit into the gender binary or are not heterosexual. To these students, being voted as a king or a queen can make them feel like they’re being pushed into heteronormativity. 

It is becoming more common for schools, especially inner-city schools, to adopt alternative homecoming courts. These courts still embrace school tradition, but in a way that makes everyone comfortable. 

There are many ways that the school could mold the homecoming court into being more inclusive. One example that would most closely imitate what the school has now is just taking the homecoming court idea but getting rid of the king and queen titles. This could mean that instead of a king and queen there could just be the top two voted people, no matter the gender. The school could also just celebrate all of the court without voting specifically for a king and queen. 

Another option for avoiding bullying as well as making the process more inclusive could be to take the power out of the students hands and give it to the teachers. This could look like teachers voting on which students really embody school spirit, sort of like student of the month. 

Another way this could look is students have to write a small paragraph stating the reason that their chosen candidate should be on the homecoming court and then teachers vote based on the writing submissions. 

No matter what, the school needs to heed this message, and understand that while homecoming court is tradition, it is also hurting a large portion of the student body.