Homecoming queen goes viral for giving crown to student who lost mother to cancer

Forrest County Agricultural High School in Mississippi had two homecoming queens this year

Pictured are homecoming queens (left) Brittany Walters, and (right) Nyla Covington at Forrest County Agricultural High School. (Courtesy of Kari Ryals)

FORREST COUNTY, Miss. – A homecoming queen in Mississippi is going viral for showing what it truly means to be kind and put others first.

Senior Nyla Covington at Forrest County Agricultural High School was crowned homecoming queen this week. But after receiving the honor, Nyla decided to give the crown to another student, Brittany Walters, after her mother reportedly passed away from cancer earlier that day, according to a report from WLOX-TV.

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“All I could think about was my mom and how she wanted to be here, and then the next thing I know, Nyla walked towards me, and she hugged me,” Brittany told WLOX-TV. “I just didn’t really think anything of it, and then she started to take off her crown.”

“I told her it belonged to her, and then she was, like, backing away,” Nyla said to WLOX-TV. “I was like, ‘No, come here, get it, you’re your mom’s queen.’ I wanted her to know that. and then I hugged her.”

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Nyla’s sweet gesture at homecoming helped bring some joy to what was an emotional and difficult day for Brittany and her family.

Even still, Brittany said her mother A.J. Walters didn’t want her to miss the special day of homecoming, despite the circumstances.

Her father, Sean Walters, also accompanied her to homecoming. He told WLOX-TV he made a promise to his wife he would be by Brittany’s side.

“(A.J.) made me promise her that I was going to come out here with Brittany because she didn’t want to ruin her day, her homecoming day. She said that’s something she’ll remember for the rest of her life,” Sean said.


one of the hardest nights of my life without her. i have so much love for everyone involved. we all lost a mom that day💕 #missyoumom

♬ original sound - Linda Pašková

Brittany’s mother will be remembered not only by her family but also by FCAHS, as she also worked as an administrative assistant.

With Nyla’s beautiful notion on homecoming night, Principal at FCAHS Will Wheat told WLOX-TV that he hopes it inspires others.

“We hope that Nyla’s selfless act will be a light for the rest of society,” Wheat said. “So, we’re very proud of her and her giving nature.”

After this story gained much attention on social media, both Nyla and Brittany said they have received countless support, according to WLOX-TV. You can read more here.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.