Video: Autistic Teen Crowned Homecoming King Celebrates With Dance & Hi-Fives During Assembly

March 7, 2019 Updated: March 18, 2019

When people think of high school homecoming—and more notably, the awards given to homecoming “king” and “queen”—it can be all too easy to picture the popularity contest depicted in movies and TV shows.

At South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, though, the students came together to vote for one of their classmates in a display not of division, but inclusion.

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Blake Rice 发布于 2017年3月10日周五

South Mecklenburg student Blake Rice is on the autism spectrum and has epilepsy, which can make it difficult to relate to peers and connect on a social level.

Instead of harassing or bullying Rice, though, the students at the North Carolina school showed that the future may be pretty bright after all. Gathering together as a group, the students nominated Rice for the homecoming court this year—and he won!

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A video of Rice receiving his homecoming king crown in the school gym went viral, as fellow classmates all cheered the teen on for his reception and spontaneous on-stage dance. His grin went from ear to ear, proving that it doesn’t take a huge gesture to help someone feel included and make their day.

His father, Matthew, a teacher at the high school, wrote a letter to the students of the school to thank them from the bottom of his heart for their incredible gesture.

“A year ago, as we were preparing for Blake’s brain surgery, I never could have imagined this moment. A few weeks ago, a few of you set in motion events that have become in my mind what I can only think of as a referendum on kindness,” he wrote on Facebook.

“All who nominated, organized and voted chose to turn what could be an opportunity for exclusion into a celebration of inclusion. It sets you apart. It shows the world just a glimpse of the amazing culture of South Meck.”


Blake Rice 发布于 2017年3月10日周五

When speaking to the local news, Matthew explained how impactful the nomination was when he considered how it showed what the future leaders of society have to offer.

“It shows you they do have a lot of hope for their future, and they are protective of our most vulnerable people and they do love our diversity here at South,” he said.

The responses on social media were overwhelming, as people rushed to express pride for their alma mater. Even people who graduated from the high school 20 and 30 years ago took to Facebook to let the current students know how proud they were of the message of diversity and inclusion being shown by the teens.

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Congrats to Blake, Ivey, and Dashawn!!!!!

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