Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Down Syndrome Homecoming Kings and Queens

In the last couple of days, I've seen 4 stories of people with Down syndrome being named king or queen of their schools (and if this year is like last year when there were at least 9, I bet more are coming - I'll update here as I see them):



http://www.volunteertv.com/home/headlines/59806182.html



http://www.kcci.com/education/21110021/detail.html



http://www.wbir.com/life/programming/local/liveatfive/story.aspx?storyid=99753&provider=gnews



http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090924/COLUMNISTS16/909240315/1044/COLUMNISTS



http://www2.wsls.com/sls/news/local/article/special_night_for_hidden_valleys_homecoming_queen/52197/



I've thought a lot of this. I wonder if it is possible that mainstreaming has something to do with this? Everything I've read about anyone with DS in the news seems to say that the other kids find the Kings and Queens with DS extraordinary. I've read so many times "I wish I were more like he/she is."



Then I start to wonder if the typical kids are so tired, so worn out of having to be "popular" and "fit in" that a vote for the child with DS isn't a sympathy vote - it is a vote against what teenagers are pressured to be and what they are pressured to value. Maybe a better way to say it is they aren't feeling sorry for her so they voted for her, they are feeling sorry for THEMSELVES that they live in such a cut-throat shallow peer group, that they rebel against it.



Face it, in any school the "popular kids" are almost as small a minority as the "special needs kids." Sounds to me like everyone in the middle is getting together and telling the kids at the top of the social pile that they are no more special than anyone else.



I kind of like that!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I'd only seen 1 story this year. Thanks for posting this. Cool.
---Jen