Homecoming King and Queen: Isn’t it Time to End the Monarchy?


Abigail Hetmanski, Senior Staff Writer

“And your 2019-2020 Homecoming King and Queen are…” is what Hubbard students and guests heard on Friday, October 11th of this year, and the year before that, and the year before that, on and on ad nauseam, some might say.  The story of homecoming celebration dates back to 1915, initiated by the colleges of Baylor, Southwestern, Illinois, and Missouri, sources state.  1934 was the year that homecoming crowning  became an annual event. The whole purpose of homecoming at the football game and at the dance is to bring students together to exert a lot of school spirit, theoretically. However, as the years pass, homecoming in high school is centrally focused on the candidacy of the homecoming court more than the football game itself or even the parade and dance. So if homecoming court is distracting students from the real point of homecoming, should a king and queen still exist?

Any high school student will agree that people who get nominated to homecoming court are popular.  This depiction is presented in movies and in real life. Nobody really gets onto homecoming court if he or she is not liked in some way or another by all the students; often it’s about whether or not the candidate is pretty/handsome and carry “social status” like a trophy through the halls. It may or may not be seen by the staff, but every kid knows who or who isn’t “popular” in one’s school.   So is homecoming court just a contest between popular kids used to raise their self-esteem to even greater heights? “If it’s not a popularity contest, then what are we judging them on?”  Says HHS sophomore, Brooke Myers. In comparison, HHS junior, Isabella Sandberg states, “It is 100% a popularity contest, but I also really don’t care.” 

Voting for homecoming court seems to be split into thirds. There are the students who vote for the people they saw on Snapchat requesting: “Vote for me and so-and-so for homecoming court!”,  and there are the students who vote for whomever they think should be nominated–based on the selection provided, and there are those students who just don’t care and copy their friends’ recommendations. Isn’t it time to question whether or not there should be some definite criteria to qualify a queen or king?

Schools around the country are beginning to opt out of the traditional homecoming standards. Chelsea High School in Michigan scrapped the whole homecoming queen idea by presenting students with excellence awards during the annual homecoming game, sources state.  The school claimed their reasons was bullying amongst the girls vying for the crown.  Milford High School in Ohio dumped the homecoming queen/king gender roles, and the students voted for two girls as “Homecoming Royalty,” the term the district will use from now on. These are the positive stories. There have been documented incidents in the past at various high schools where students have mass nominated a peer to king or queen candidacy, as a prank, in an effort to bully or embarrass the student; unfortunately this happens still. Ever see the movie Carrie?  This horror show took this negative promotion idea to the extreme, but audiences recognized the tendency.

Homecoming is a tradition that has been around for years and seems ingrained in high school culture. When it comes down to it, everyone would love to be recognized by their peers as popular, well-liked, or pretty/handsome.  Events like this can be a happy time, reaffirming one’s place in the popular world, or a stressor, making one feel like an unattractive, unpopular loser. Some students just don’t care either way, which means schools must question the purpose. Do high schools continue to fuel the popularity culture or do they change with the times to make everyone feel accepted and really a part of something special? 

Sources: https://www.usatoday.com/story/ondeadline/2012/10/01/michigan-teen-homecoming-bully-joke/1606013/


Link for image: https://www.stumpsparty.com/royal-value-homecoming-royalty-combo/p/CWCRCH?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjauJuNuz5QIV05FbCh3dlQkkEAQYASABEgIp6PD_BwE