Teens Crown Disabled Girl Homecoming Queen & Warm Our Hearts (VIDEO)

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courtney tharpSometimes I read stories about teen sexting and drinking and I worry for our future. And then I read stories like this one, and I just have to believe -- the kids are all right. Students at Waverly-Shell Rock Senior High School in Waverly, Ohio elected a girl with cerebral palsy as their Homecoming Queen. Courtney Tharp was surprised, then overjoyed to be crowned by her peers. "She was really excited," says assistant principal Jeremy Langner. "At first she was reluctant to respond, but she started giving everybody high fives. Her face was priceless. It was a really neat moment."

This story has special resonance for me because my youngest sister, Marisa, has cerebral palsy. She's known some heartbreaking discrimination. But the love, kindness, and appreciation she's experienced from her peers has far outweighed her negative encounters. Like Courtney, she's brought positive energy to every community she's ever been in, and people love that. Langer describes Courtney's contribution, and why she so well deserves her crown.

The student body enjoys Courtney being around. She really embodies the community as well, with her love for learning and the passion for being a Go-Hawk. On a daily basis she brings the right attitude.

But this isn't just about Courtney. This is about all the students. It's amazing that all these kids recognize and value someone like Courtney. This speaks well of them. Their parents should be proud. They could have voted in someone "cooler," more popular. But instead, they voted with their hearts.

"Honestly, I'm more excited for Courtney than for myself," says Homecoming King Kaleb Staack. "I mean, yeah, it's a great honor, but for someone like Courtney to be my queen, that's just perfect." Oh my God, who raised that sweet boy?

I can't remember who won homecoming queen when I was in high school. But I'll bet you these students will never forget who they voted for.

Are you surprised that the students elected Courtney as their homecoming queen?

 

Image via KWWL

 

inspiring teens, school

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nonmember avatar Jen

Waverly Shell Rock is my high school, and I was homecoming queen in '99. I love my community and my school, however, we live in IOWA, not Ohio.

nonmember avatar Jody

Oh please they were just showing fake sympathy. They prob were forced to vot for her.

nonmember avatar Elizabeth

They were forced to vote for her stuid ass.

Movie... Moviebuff

I'm sure their parents made them vote for her.

nonmember avatar Beth

Really why are we hearing about this oh I know because she is "special". Lets face the truth nobody cares.

redK8... redK8blueSt8

Woah, such cynicism and cruelty. What makes you think it was forced? Honestly Jody and Elizabeth, were you two in competition with her for queen?

nonmember avatar meghan

Seriously? The adults made them vote for her? Have any of you ever tried to tell a teenager what to do?

nonmember avatar Meg

She only won because she's special needs. What about all of the other girls who wanted to be homecoming queen? Now only disabled people will win things in life because we don't want to feel guitly.

nonmember avatar Meg

She only won because she's special needs. What about all of the other girls who wanted to be homecoming queen? Now only disabled people will win things in life because we don't want to feel guitly.

flood... flood1971

@ Jody and Elisabeth - judging by your spelling you are probably the same person. If not, well, both of you not only have no heart, but your spelling is as miserable as you are. @ Moviebuff and Beth, hope someone cares for you, since obviously you are too jaded to care outside of yourselves. A good story, kind and sweet and all you people can do is be bitter and hate? Guess all of you wanted that crown in high school and didn't get it. Get over it and get some human decency and feeling. You are all pathetic.

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