This weekend San Diego’s Patrick Henry High named Rebecca Arellano their Homecoming King and her girlfriend, Haileigh Adams, their Homecoming Queen, making national news and prompting an outpouring of support – and also apparently some VERY negative reactions.
On Monday, the school district’s Superintendent, Bill Kowba, was so outraged by the vitriolic comments the district received condemning the decision to crown the couple that he interrupted a press conference on the district’s budget to voice his support for the Homecoming Royalty.
“What is essentially disappointing is that adults who have contacted the school, many not even San Diego residents, are demonstrating such a lack of tolerance and such a negative role model for children with their hateful comments,” Kowba said.
He goes on to point out that if the comments had come from students at the school, they would be facing disciplinary actions for bullying. The couple was crowned on October 28- a fitting way to close out October, a month designated for both LGBT history and bullying prevention.
On being crowned, Arellano commented, “Thanks to every single one of you! You guys made this happen and we are all part of something huge. I can't fully express how grateful I am. I am completely shocked that this happen[ed].” She also said that one of her teachers told her, “Today school is a bit better because of you girls.”
The importance of school teachers and officials like Superintendent Kowba voicing their support for students in situations like this and recognizing the importance of a safe school, free from bullying and harassment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, should not be understated. GLAAD applauds Superintendent Kowba for speaking out in support of the Homecoming couple.