Students at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Michigan, have taken a stand against bullying by getting rid of one of the school's biggest traditions -- homecoming queen.
Chelsea High School decided to give the axe to the longstanding tradition for many reasons (it's outdated and gives in to stereotypes), but one of the main reasons is that the voting process often pits girls against each other, leading to bullying and name calling, according to a letter from the school's student council.
"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 the letter.
In a video posted on YouTube by the student council, one faculty member said that students once voted for a girl for homecoming queen as a prank and that the award had become too mean-spirited.
Instead of crowning a homecoming queen, the school will now give out an excellence award open to students of any gender and in any grade that celebrates his or her positive contributions to the school and the community. The award will be given out at the school's homecoming football game on Sept 21.
The school's shift to focusing on positive behavior from students and staff comes from its 2016-17 #WhyYouMatter campaign, which helped inspire the student council to take the steps forward to change up the tradition, much like beauty pageants have recently dropped swimsuit competitions.
The change has been received pretty positively from students, but sophomore Maddie Dunlap said that it has taken longer for some to warm up to the idea.
“Nobody really has a good reason why they want it to stay the same. We think as a student council, the negative feedback is not even close to outweighing the positivity that this award will spread,” Dunlap said.
Chelsea High School also crowns a winter carnival king, as well as a prom king and queen, but the school and student council haven't made any decisions if those awards will be updated as well.
And besides, aren't these homecoming crowns and tiaras just a piece of plastic anyway?