Students With Down Syndrome Named Homecoming Queens: Go, Mariah and Co!

Friday night, Mariah Slick was crowned Homecoming Queen at Azle High School in Azle, Texas. This is news because Mariah has Down syndrome, and is the first homecoming queen at her school with DS to hold that honor. Way to kick off Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which started October 1.

Mariah is in excellent company.

The week before, high school senior Emily Niedrich—who has Down syndrome—snagged the homecoming queen title at Birch Run High School in Michigan. Earlier in the month, students at Western Alamance High School in North Carolina voted senior Abbey Martin to be the school’s 50th homecoming queen. She also has Down syndrome. So does Sydney Bloom, the 2011 Homecoming Queen of Tarkington High School in Liberty County, Texas,

And at the beginning of September, Madi Sonju (above) become the 2011 Homecoming Queen at Deseret Hills High School in Utah. Her twin, Macey, the previous year’s queen, placed  the tiara on her head. Both sisters have Down syndrome.

This kind of news revs your heart and gives you a whole lot of hope for your child with special needs. And you know what would be even more amazing? When the day comes that homecoming queens with Down syndrome no longer get lauded for winning in spite of their special needs. And when people do not refer to a win as an act of “kindess,” as one school principal put it.

Someday, hopefully, young women with Down syndrome or other special nominated needs to the homecoming court would be a totally typical occurrence—no more worthy of a national headline than any other popular, charming, pretty girl who becomes homecoming queen.


Photo/My Cup Of Koolaid

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  1. by Chrissi

    On October 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I had a hard time reading this article because of the tears in my eyes :) Congratulations to the girls, their parent and the students who voted them into a position of great honor.

  2. by Geralyn

    On October 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I am with you Ellen, I will consider this good and progressive when I start seeing every single homecoming King and Queen appointment make headline news, until then our sons and daughters are used as a trendy cause for the rest of the student body to feel charitable.

    Our children do not need charity, they need equality.

  3. by Michelle

    On October 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I agree, too! 3 years ago I wrote this on my blog: “As much as I like reading these articles though, I’m looking forward to a time when it won’t be so newsworthy to report the Homecoming King/Queen has Down syndrome.

    It will just be so-and-so was selected as Homecoming Queen, and not so-and-so, who has Down syndrome, was selected Homecoming Queen. It will be nice for there to be a time when it becomes so common to nominate fellow students with Down syndrome, or other special needs, for the Homecoming Court alongside their peers that their differences won’t have to be pointed out. It’ll just be.”

    And every year around Homecoming time I see numerous articles highlighting the fact that someone with Ds was nominated, or won, King or Queen. It is become more and more common. It’s becoming, “oh, another article about a teen w/Ds being elected Homecoming Queen/King.” Not so newsworthy anymore, which is meant in a good way.

  4. by Tooner

    On October 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    A couple years ago, I was nominated for a Volunteer of the Year award where I work. But, I was very upset because this guy told me he voted for me just because I have a disability and just because he felt “sorry” for me. I was very very upset at this and this didn’t make me feel any better. But, I do on the other hand appreciate when people see me doing things that they think that I can’t do. I want to show people that I am able to do things, just like they are if you know what I mean. For that girl maybe it was something she really wanted to do and getting voted in showed people that she could.

  5. by Troy Tetreau

    On November 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  6. [...] who was her school’s senior prom queen. Electing students with DS to be prom queens and kings has been a trend for the last few years. I’ve often had mixed reactions to this, especially when students or [...]