Special-Needs Students Become Homecoming Queens And Kings

09/30/2010 12:21 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Being elected to homecoming court may still be a popularity contest, but the rules of the game have changed, USA Today reports. Some high school students with special needs are being promoted and elected by their classmates to court this fall, following a trend of increasing acceptance of these students at events they may have once been discouraged to go to.

In Lawrence, Kan., a boy with Down Syndrome was elected to homecoming court after his friends and family started a petition to get him on the ballot. In the end, they collected 800 signatures for the petition and the boy, Owen Phariss, is now in the running for homecoming king.

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