BHS 'Golden Eagle' to replace homecoming king, queen

Student council aiming to make the award more inclusive

Posted 10/8/19

Barrington High School's homecoming celebration is set for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26.

There will be a homecoming parade. There will be a homecoming dance. But there will not be a …

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BHS 'Golden Eagle' to replace homecoming king, queen

Student council aiming to make the award more inclusive

Posted

Barrington High School's homecoming celebration is set for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26.

There will be a homecoming parade. There will be a homecoming dance. But there will not be a homecoming king and queen.

Instead, Barrington High School officials will crown one member of the homecoming court as the "Golden Eagle." The single selection will replace the homecoming king and queen selections that has become a tradition at Barrington High School and many other schools across the country each fall.

Barrington High School Principal Joe Hurley said the student council proposed the change after discussing the idea at length. 

"The student council came to me and the advisors and said 'We're looking to go more inclusive,'" Mr. Hurley said. "It's been discussed over the last couple of years."

Mr. Hurley added that Barrington will not be the first school to move away from selecting a homecoming king and queen. Mr. Hurley said other high schools and colleges have made the change. In 2018, Purdue University and Penn State University replaced their homecoming king and queen titles for a gender-neutral "homecoming royalty."

Mr. Hurley said that when he and other school officials met with the 12 members of this year's homecoming court to discuss the change, all the students fully supported it.

"They were 100 percent behind this," he said. "They were amazing."

Barrington High School teachers Kristina Brochu and Kathryn McGregor serve as advisors to the student council, which strongly supported the change.

"Over the past couple of years we have been making changes to better reflect our student body and to represent and acknowledge inclusivity for all students," they wrote in a recently email. "For example, last year we changed the language on our ballots and students voted for six of their peers to be representatives in the homecoming court. Most importantly, this idea was expressed and discussed amongst our student council representatives. We are very fortunate to have about 100 students in student council to help plan important school events and shape the culture here at BHS. Ultimately, they were the ones who advocated for this change, and we wholeheartedly supported it."

The BHS teachers said most students support the move to a Golden Eagle award.

"When we explained the changes this year to the 2019 Homecoming court they were extremely open minded and supportive of this change. We were very impressed and proud by their reaction and behavior," they wrote.

Mr. Hurley said he anticipates that some people will not welcome the change, comparing the shift to when school officials changed the color of the graduation gowns. For many years, female graduates at BHS wore white gowns and caps, while male graduates wore blue. But a few years ago, school officials decided that all graduates would wear blue caps and gowns with gold trim.

"Change is hard sometimes, I get it," said Mr. Hurley. "But in light of everything, you're not going to say this is bad idea."

Some of the details for the upcoming homecoming ceremony are still being finalized, such as who will crown the Golden Eagle. In the past, one school official crowned the homecoming king while another crowned the queen.

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